What Is Mu Zei (Scouring Rush or Rough Horsetail)

Mu Zei is also known as Scouring Rush, Rough Horsetail, Shave Grass or Equisetum hyemale, which is a perennial evergreen herb belonging to the Equisetaceae. It has a medicinal history of more than 1,000 years.

This plant often grows in the humid forest or lakeside with an altitude of 1,000-3,000 meters. It can be found in Asia, Europe, North America, and Central America.

Some Indian tribes make it into a drink for diuresis. In Japan, boiled and dried Equisetum hyemale can be used as a traditional polishing material, similar to fine sandpaper.

In the summer and autumn of each year, people gather the above-ground part of Equisetum hyemale, remove their impurities, dry them in the sun or the shade, cut them into sections, and make them into Chinese herbs.

Mu Zei contains volatile oils, alkaloids, succinic acid, ferulic acid, vanillic acid, flavonoids, fructose, glucose, tannin, and saponin.

According to <Compendium of Materia Medica>, the medicinal property of Mu Zei is relatively mild, with a sweet and bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of liver and lung meridians.

In Chinese medicine, Mu Zei is often used to treat conjunctivitis, keratitis, hepatitis, traumatic bleeding, hematochezia, and metrorrhagia. It is an important component of Bo Yun Tui Yi Wan and Long Ze Xiong Dan Capsules.

Health benefits of Mu Zei

  • Anti-inflammation, anti-virus, and anti-malaria.
  • Inhibiting the central nervous system, sedation, and anti-convulsion.
  • Increasing coronary blood flow, slowing heart rate, dilating blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.
  • Inhibiting platelet aggregation and release, anticoagulation and hemostasis.
  • Relieving traumatic bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, hematochezia, metrorrhagia, and hemorrhoids bleeding.
  • Relieving redness, swelling and pain of eyes, and tears caused by wind-heat or liver-heat, and improving vision.
  • Treating acute conjunctivitis, chronic conjunctivitis, keratitis, acute dacryocystitis, acute hepatitis, chronic hepatitis.
  • Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Bacillus anthraci, Streptococcus B, diphtheria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, typhoid bacillus, and shigella dysenteriae.
  • The study found that Mu Zei has a diuretic effect.

Mu Zei is used with other Chinese herbs

Side effects of Mu Zei

Mu Zei has been used clinically for many years, with almost no side effects. A small number of people taking it may cause dry mouth or abdominal discomfort.

Precautions of Mu Zei

  • The dosage of Mu Zei should be controlled at 3-9g.
  • It can be made into decoction or ground into powder for external use.
  • It contains volatile oil, so it is not suitable for long-term decocting.
  • It should not be used to treat eye diseases caused by summer-heat.
  • People with qi or blood deficiency should not take it.
  • Pregnant women should not take it.

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