Shui Niu Jiao (Cornu Bubali or Water Buffalo Horn)

Shui Niu Jiao commonly known as Cornu Bubali or Water Buffalo Horn is the horn of Bubalus bubalis, which is a vertebrate belonging to the family Bovidae. It is an animal medicine, which first appeared in <Mingyi Bie Lu> around 420-589 AD.

Bubalus bubalis is also called domestic water buffalo or Asian water buffalo and is a large bovid. It originated in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and China. Now, it can also be found in Europe, Australia, North America, South America, and some African countries.

Around 3000 BC, Buffaloes were domesticated in the Indian subcontinent. Now, 95.8% of buffaloes are raised globally. In some Asian countries, it is used to cultivate rice fields. Around 26 million water buffaloes are slaughtered each year for meat worldwide. They contribute 72 million tonnes of milk and three million tonnes of meat annually to world food.

Generally, medicine farmers gather the horns of Bubalus bubalis, boil them in water, remove the horn plugs, dry them, cut them into thin slices or file them into coarse powders, and make them into Chinese herbs.

Shui Niu Jiao contains cholesterol, protein, peptides, keratin fibers, cardiotonics, guanidine derivatives, serine, glycine, alanine, lysine, histidine, aspartic acid, arginine, glutamic acid, Proline, cystine, methionine, isoleucine, leucine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and some inorganic elements.

According to <Ri Hua Zi Zhu Jia Ben Cao>, the medicinal property of Shui Niu Jiao is slightly cold, with a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the heart and liver meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Shui Niu Jiao is often used to clear heat and cool blood, remove toxin and convulsions, treat seasonal febrile diseases, blood heat, high fever in children, allergic purpura, thromboangiitis obliterans, acute cerebral infarction, Japanese encephalitis, viral Hepatitis, rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis.

There are about 50 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Niuhuang Jiangya Wan, Angong Niuhuang wan, Xiong Dan Jiu Xin Wan, and Ju Fang Zhi Bao San.

Health benefits of Shui Niu Jiao

  • Anti-inflammation, anti-virus, anti-endotoxin.
  • Increasing the number of platelets and shortening the clotting time.
  • Cooperating with pentobarbital sodium to extend the sleep time of experimental mice.
  • Exciting the pituitary-adrenal cortex system, lowering total cholesterol, having antipyretic, sedative, and anticonvulsant effects.
  • Reducing capillary permeability and preventing capillary rupture and bleeding.
  • Reducing the proliferation of alveolar epithelial cells and protecting the liver and lungs.
  • Antagonizing mouse infection caused by E. coli or beta-hemolytic streptococcus.
  • Clearing heat, treat high fever, unconsciousness, delirium, convulsions caused by the invasion of xue system by heat.
  • Relieving stroke hemiplegia and obnubilation.
  • Cooling blood, treating hematemesis, and epistaxis caused by blood heat.
  • Removing heat toxins, relieving swelling and pain of the throat, and treating sores and carbuncles caused by heat toxins.
  • Studies have found that its extracts and decoction can enhance the contractility of the toad’s heart in vitro.

Shui Niu Jiao is used with other Chinese herbs

Side effects of Shui Niu Jiao

Shui Niu Jiao has been used clinically for many years, with almost no side effects.

Overdose of it may cause upper abdominal discomfort, nausea, bloating, or loss of appetite.

Precautions of Shui Niu Jiao

  • The dosage of Shui Niu Jiao should be controlled at 15-30g.
  • It can be made into decoction, concentrated powders, or injections.
  • When making its decoction, it is recommended to cook for at least 3 hours.
  • The dosage of concentrated powders of Shui Niu Jiao should be controlled at 1.5-3g.
  • People without syndromes of excess heat should not take it.
  • People with deficiency-cold in the spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • Pregnant women should not take it.