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: Remove the calyx from the top of the fruit, clean it and dry it, preferably under the sun
Dosage: 3 - 9 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Directs the flow of Qi downward
Contraindications*: To be used with caution for patients with prolapsed organs due to Deficient Qi as it has a descending action on the Qi.
Source date: 1706 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Formula key actions: Augments the Qi. Warms the Middle Burner. Directs Rebellious Qi downward. Stops hiccup.
Shi Di is a king ingredient in Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
In Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang, Shi Di is a major herb for stopping hiccup and belching.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shi Di belongs to the 'Herbs that regulate Qi' category. Herbs in this category typically treat a TCM condition called 'Qi Stagnation'. Concretely it means that Qi is blocked in the body's Organs and Meridians, most typically the Stomach, Liver, and to a lesser extent, the Lungs. In modern medicine terms, Qi Stagnation often translates into psychological consequences such as depression, irritability or mood swings. It's also frequently associated with conditions such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopausal symptoms, the development of breast swellings as well as various digestive disorders.
Furthermore Shi Di is Neutral in nature. This means that Shi Di 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 Shi Di means that you don't have to worry about that!
Shi Di 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 Shi Di 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 Shi Di is thought to target the Stomach and the Lung. In TCM the Stomach is responsible for receiving and ripening ingested food and fluids. It is also tasked with descending the digested elements downwards to the Small Intestine. 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.