Flying squirrel faeces

Chinese: 五灵脂

Pinyin: Wǔ Líng Zhī

Parts used: Dried faeces

TCM category: Herbs that invigorate the Blood

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): BitterSweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenLiver

Scientific name: Trogopterus xanthipes

Other names: Trogopterus Dung

Use of flying squirrel faeces (Wu Ling Zhi) 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: After harvesting, the sand, gravel, soil and other impurities are removed and the shapes are sorted so we end up with consistent block-sized pieces.

Dosage: 3-9 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Disperses congealed Blood in the lower abdomen and uterus and relieves pain. Promotes childhood nutrition with Cold Stagnation and focal abdominal swelling.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which flying squirrel faeces may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Uterine fibroids Ovarian cysts Uterine cysts Swollen adbomen due to malnutrition Tumors Amenorrhea Snake bites Insect bites

Contraindications*: Avoid during pregnancy and traditionally not to be used with Ginseng.

Key TCM concepts behind flying squirrel faeces (Wu Ling Zhi)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), flying squirrel faeces are plants that belong to the 'Herbs that invigorate the Blood' category. Like the name indicates these herbs tend to stimulate the Blood flow. In TCM they're used to help the circulation of Blood in cardiovascular conditions or menstrual irregularities as well as to treat acute pains caused by Blood Stagnation. They can also be used to treat Blood Stasis in the case of certain tumors, cysts and hardened clots.

Furthermore flying squirrel faeces are plants that are Warm in nature. This means that flying squirrel faeces tend to help people who have too much "cold" in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much cold in their body are said to either have a Yin excess (because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition flying squirrel faeces can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Flying squirrel faeces also taste Bitter and Sweet. The so-called "five elements" theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Bitter ingredients like flying squirrel faeces tend to have a cleansing action on the body by clearing heat, drying dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. 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 flying squirrel faeces are thought to target the Spleen and the Liver. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, blood coagulation and fluid metabolism in the body. 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 body fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions.