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 rhizomes and roots, soak in water, clean, slice and dry
Main actions according to TCM*: Clears Toxic-Heat. Disperses swelling so as to relieve pain. Cools the Liver so as to relieve convulsion.
Primary conditions or symptoms for which Chong Lou may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Abscesses Sores Snake bites Stasis by traumatic injury Trauma pain Trauma swellings Traumatic injuries Traumatic bleeding Inflammation Chest swelling Swollen throat Convulsions in children Seizures in children
Contraindications*: This product is not recommended for those with hard, Yin-natured sores, and should be used cautiously by pregnant individuals and those with weak health conditions.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Chong Lou belongs to the 'Herbs that clear Heat and relieve Toxicity' category. Herbs in this category are used to clear inflammatory and infectious conditions, referred to as 'Internal Heat' in TCM. This is why most of the herbs in this category will have both antibacterial and antiviral properties. In TCM one has too much 'Internal Heat' in their body as a result of a deficiency of 'Yin' (which is Cold in nature, see our explanation on Yin and Yang) or, more commonly, an Excess of Yang (Hot in nature). Herbs that clear Heat and relieve Toxicity treat the latter while, at the same time, removing infectious toxins from the body. As such they tend to be Cold or Neutral in nature.
As suggested by its category Chong Lou is Cool in nature. This means that Chong Lou 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 Chong Lou can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Chong Lou also tastes Bitter. 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. Bitter ingredients like Chong Lou tends to have a cleansing action on the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements.
The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Chong Lou is thought to target the Liver. In TCM the Liver 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.