Xi Xin – Asarum root – Often referred to as “Wild Ginger,” though unrelated to ginger – “Thin Acrid”
Nature: acrid, warm, slightly toxic
Enters: Lung, Kidney
Actions: Alleviates pain; releases the exterior, eliminates wind, disperses cold; warms the Lungs, resolves harmful fluid, transforms phlegm; opens the nose; mildly promotes sweating.
• Wind-cold or any exterior cold pattern, especially with the addition of dampness or underlying Yang deficiency: headache (especially Shaoyin, radiating to the teeth), toothache, body aches, Bi syndrome, other pain.
• Cold and harmful fluid in the Lungs: cough with thin, whitish sputum, difficulty breathing.
• Nasal congestion – various types.
• Shaoyin syndrome, fever, deep pulse.
• Topical: in powder, mixed with water and glycerine, and applied to the navel (for at least 3 days) for oral lesions.
• Better at warming the interior than releasing the exterior.
• For nasal and oral problems, it is often powdered and sucked directly into the affected areas.
• Antipyretic; analgesic.
• Liu: Can be used in doses as high as 10g daily for body aches. Monitor the patient for signs of toxicity – not for prolonged use at higher doses.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies this herb with acrid warm herbs that release the exterior.
• Contains aristolochic acid in aerial parts. Use only the root
• Caution in patients with renal problems. May be restricted by FDA.
Hsu: Local anesthetic, analgesic; antitussive.
DY: Powerful analgesic. Despite its warm quality, it can be combined with appropriate herbs for any Hsu: Local anesthetic, analgesic; antitussive.
DY: Powerful analgesic. Despite its warm quality, it can be combined with appropriate herbs for any pain pattern.
• Toxic at doses over 5g per day.
IBIS: Carminative, diaphoretic.
• Avoid in stomach inflammation and/or intestinal inflammation due to its spicy stimulant effects (Brinker).
• Avoid during pregnancy due to its emmenogogue and abortifacient effects (Lewis & Elvin).
Dose: 1-3gpain pattern.