Zhi Mu is also known as Rhizoma Anemarrhenae, which is one of the earliest medicines discovered and applied in traditional Chinese herbal medicine. It has a medicinal history of more than 2,000 years.
The Zhi Mu referred to herein is the rhizome of Anemarrhena asphodeloides, which is a perennial herb belonging to the family Liliaceae.
This plant is native to China, Mongolia, and Korea. It often grows on hillsides, grasslands, dry or sunny places below 1,450 meters above sea level. It has strong adaptability, so it is often used as the plant of choice for greening mountains and wasteland.
In spring and autumn each year, people gather the rhizomes of Anemarrhena asphodeloides, remove their impurities and fibrous roots or remove their outer skins, dry them in the sun, cut them into pieces, and make them into Chinese herbs.
Zhi Mu contains multiple timosaponins, anemaran, mangiferin, isomangiferin, choline, nicotinamide, nicotinic acid, tannic acid, and various metal elements, reducing sugar, etc. The easily broken Zhi Mu with yellow-white cross-section is the best.
According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Zhi Mu is relatively cold, with a bitter and sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung, stomach and kidney meridians.
In Chinese medicine, Zhi Mu is often used to clear heat and reduce fire, nourish yin and moisten dryness, and treat urinary tract infection, prostatic hypertrophy, bitter taste, oral ulcer, and sore throat.
About 300 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions contain Zhi Mu, such as Bai Hu Tang, Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan, Er Xian Tang, and Da Bu Yin Wan.
Health benefits of Zhi Mu
- Anti-pathogen, anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, and anti-tumor.
- Inhibiting platelet aggregation and having a cholagogic effect.
- Maintaining skin and nerve health and promoting digestion.
- Reducing oxygen consumption caused by increased thyroxine and inhibiting activity of Na +, K + -ATPase.
- Inhibiting the decrease of plasma cortisol concentration caused by the dexamethasone, preventing adrenal atrophy, and reducing side effects of hormones.
- Clearing heat and reducing fire, treating high fever, irritability, and thirst caused by seasonal febrile disease.
- Moistening dryness of the lung, eliminating phlegm, and treating fever, dry cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath caused by lung heat.
- Nourishing the kidney yin, treating the internal heat, night sweats, upset and spermatorrhea caused by kidney yin deficiency.
- Nourishing lung yin and stomach yin, relieving thirst, bad breath, toothache, and headache caused by stomach heat.
- Treating dry stool, constipation, and dysuria caused by intestinal dryness.
- Inhibits Shigella dysenteriae, typhoid bacillus, Bacillus paratyphosus, Vibrio cholerae, Escherichia coli, proteusbacillus vulgaris, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Staphylococcus, Pneumococcus, β-Hemolytic Streptococcus, and Candida albicans.
- The study confirmed that anemaran can lower blood sugar.
Zhi Mu is used with other Chinese herbs
- Topical application of decoction made from Zhi Mu and Xia Ku Cao (Spica Prunellae) can treat scalp peri-folliculitis.
- It with Sheng Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae), Xuan Shen (Radix Scrophulariae) and Mai Dong (Radix Ophiopogonis) can treat constipation caused by yin deficiency.
- It with Huang Bai (Cortex Phellodendri), Dan Shen (Red sage), Yi Mu Cao (Leonurus), Da Huang (Radix et Rhizoma Rhei), and Niu Xi (Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae) can treat prostate hypertrophy.
- It with Shi Gao (Gypsum), Zhi Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae Preparata) and Jing Mi (Japonica rice) can relieve high fever, sweating, irritability, and thirst caused by seasonal febrile disease.
- It with Huang Bai (Cortex Phellodendri), Sheng Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae), Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni), Mu Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan), Shan Yao (Rhizoma Dioscoreae), Fu Ling (Poria Cocos), and Ze Xie (Rhizoma Alismatis) can nourish yin and reduce fire, treat fever, irritability, night sweats, and spermatorrhea caused by yin deficiency.
Side effects of Zhi Mu
Zhi Mu has been used clinically for many years, with almost no side effects. Taking it in excess may cause diarrhea.
Individual patients taking it may cause gastrointestinal reactions such as loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting.
Precautions of Zhi Mu
- The dosage of Zhi Mu should be controlled at 6-12g.
- It can be made into decoction for oral or topical use.
- It is not recommended to use iron utensils to boil it.
- Frying Zhi Mu with salt water can better nourish yin.
- People with weak spleen should not take it.
- People with deficiency-cold in spleen and stomach should not take it.
- People with kidney yang deficiency or impotence should not take it.
- People with diarrhea or chronic diarrhea should not take it.