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: Crush the mineral into a powder
Dosage: 0.3 - 2 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Calms the spirit and Heart. Stops convulsions. Clears Heat and toxins.
Contraindications*: This is a toxic mineral that contains mercury, it should not be used in large doses or for extended periods of time. Cinnabar should not be used by those without Heat signs. DO NOT COOK as this will increase its toxicity.
Source date: 1732 AD
Number of ingredients: 15 herbs
Formula key actions: Sedates the Heart . Clears Phlegm. Clears Fire. Calms the Mind.
Zhu Sha is a king ingredient in Sheng Tie Luo Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Source date: 650 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Formula key actions: Heavily sedates and calms the Mind . Pacifies Rising Yang . Improves the vision and hearing.
Zhu Sha is a deputy ingredient in Ci Zhu Wan. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Cinnabar is red and corresponds to the Fire phase, like the Heart. Magnetite is black and corresponds to the water phase, like the Kidneys.
Together, they anchor the Mind and pacify the floating Heart Yang so that it can interact with the Kidneys. In this manner, the Fire in the Heart is controlled and the Essence in the Kidneys is able to rise, which gradually resolves the condition.
Source date: 1107 AD
Number of ingredients: 8 herbs
Formula key actions: Stabilizes uterine bleeding . Clears Blood Stagnation .
Zhu Sha is an assistant ingredient in Zhen Ling Dan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.
In Zhen Ling Dan, Zhu Sha calms the Mind, which is often disturbed by the bleeding and pain.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Zhu Sha belongs to the 'Herbs that anchor and calm the Spirit' category. These herbs are substances that tranquilize the Mind and treat symptoms such as restlessness, palpitations, anxiety or insomnia. They tend to have sedative properties by weighing the Qi downwards and should generally be used for a limited time only.
Furthermore Zhu Sha is Cool in nature. This means that Zhu Sha tends to help people who have too much 'Heat' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Cold in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Heat in their body are said to either have a Yang Excess (because Yang is Hot in nature) or a Yin deficiency (Yin is Cold in Nature). Depending on your condition Zhu Sha can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Zhu Sha also tastes 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. Sweet ingredients like Zhu Sha tends 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 Zhu Sha is thought to target the Heart. 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.