English: Chlorite Schist

Chinese: 礞石

Parts used: The mineral

TCM category: Cool herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough

TCM nature: Neutral

TCM taste(s): SaltySweet

Organ affinity: Heart Liver Lung

Scientific name: Chlorite Schist

Other names: Duan Meng Shi, Jin Men Shi, Mica, Chloris, Chlorite

Use of Meng Shi (chlorite schist) in TCM

Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: Collect the mineral and heat under fire. Crush before use.

Dosage: 3-6g in powder or 10-15g in decoction.

Main actions according to TCM*: Descends Rebellious Qi and expels Phlegm. Calms the Liver and stop convulsions as well as anxiety.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Meng Shi may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Chronic cough with sticky phlegm Convulsions Anxiety Wheezing Food stagnation Chronic convulsion Severe palpitations Mania

Contraindications*: Contraindicated during pregnancy and for these with weak constitution.

Common TCM formulas in which Meng Shi is used*

Gun Tan Wan

Source date: 1396 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Formula key actions: Drains Fire and Phlegm .

Conditions targeted*: Anxiety neurosisManic depression and others

Meng Shi is a king ingredient in Gun Tan Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

In Gun Tan Wan, Meng Shi is sweet, salty and neutral. It strongly drives Phlegm retained in the Stomach and Intestines downward and out of the body.

It also descends the Qi to calm wheezing, arrests palpitations, pacifies the Liver, and suppresses anxiety and convulsions. 

It is used in its calcined form to ensure that its properties
are rapidly dispersed.

Read more about Gun Tan Wan

Key TCM concepts behind Meng Shi's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Meng Shi belongs to the 'Cool herbs that transform Phlegm and stop Cough' category. In TCM Phlegm is a condition of Stagnation of Fluids which tends to start in the Spleen and then goes to the Lungs. If this overly accumulates it thickens and becomes pathological Phlegm. Phlegm, being a form of Stagnation, often starts as being Cool and transforms to Hot as the condition progresses. The herbs in this category are Cold in nature so they treat the later stages of the Stagnation: Hot and Dry-Phlegm with symptoms such as cough, goiter or scrofula.

As suggested by its category Meng Shi is Neutral in nature. This means that Meng Shi typically doesn't affect the balance in your body. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Eating too many "Hot" (Yang) ingredients can lead to an imbalance whereby one has a Yang Excess. The inverse is true as well: too many "Cold" (Yin) ingredients can lead to a Yin Excess. The Neutral nature of Meng Shi means that you don't have to worry about that!

Meng Shi also tastes Salty and Sweet. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Salty ingredients like Meng Shi tends to have a draining effect in the body because they clear accumulations, remove Phlegm and soften hard lumps. On the other hand Sweet ingredients tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Meng Shi is thought to target the Heart, the Liver and the Lung. In addition to regulating Blood flow, in TCM the Heart is believed to be the store of the 'Mind' which basically refers to someone's vitality. The Liver on the other hand is often referred as the body's "general" because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and the Body Fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions. In addition to performing respiration, the Lungs are thought in TCM to be a key part of the production chain for Qi and the Body Fluids that nourish the body.