English: Oxidized iron filings

Chinese: 生铁落

Parts used: The mineral

TCM category: Herbs that anchor and calm the Spirit

TCM nature: Cool

TCM taste(s): Pungent

Organ affinity: Heart Liver

Scientific name: Oxidized iron filing

Other names: Frusta Ferri

Use of Sheng Tie Luo (oxidized iron filings) 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: Heat the raw iron rock on fire and the outer layer get oxidized. Collect the filing, remove impurities, clean and dry.

Dosage: 30-60g

Main actions according to TCM*: Calms the Liver Fire and sedates the Mind.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Sheng Tie Luo may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Mania Delirium Palpitations Insomnia Irritability

Contraindications*: Contraindicated for these patients with Spleen Deficiency..

Common TCM formulas in which Sheng Tie Luo is used*

Sheng Tie Luo Yin

Source date: 1732 AD

Number of ingredients: 15 herbs

Formula key actions: Sedates the Heart . Clears Phlegm. Clears Fire. Calms the Mind.

Conditions targeted*: EpilepsyBi-Polar disorder and others

Sheng Tie Luo 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.

In Sheng Tie Luo Yin, Sheng Tie Luo enters the Liver Channel to treat anger and mania.

It strongly anchors and calms the Mind

Read more about Sheng Tie Luo Yin

Key TCM concepts behind Sheng Tie Luo's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Sheng Tie Luo 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 Sheng Tie Luo is Cool in nature. This means that Sheng Tie Luo 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 Sheng Tie Luo can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Sheng Tie Luo also tastes Pungent. 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. Pungent ingredients like Sheng Tie Luo tends to promote the circulations of Qi and Body Fluids. That's why for instance someone tends to sweat a lot when they eat spicy/pungent food.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Sheng Tie Luo is thought to target the Heart and the Liver. 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.