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Saiga antelope's horns

Chinese: 羚羊角

Pinyin: Ling Yang Jiao

Parts used: The horn

TCM category: Herbs that pacify Internal Liver Wind and stop Tremors

TCM nature: Cold

TCM taste(s): Salty

Organ affinity: Heart Liver

Scientific name: Saiga Tatarica Cornu

Use of saiga antelope's horns (Ling Yang Jiao) 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: The horn is typically grinded into a powder

Dosage: 0.9 -3 grams when taken in powders or pills; 1.5 to 3 grams when taken in decoctions.

Main actions according to TCM*: Clears Internal Liver Wind, subdues Yang. Clears Liver Fire and brightens the eyes. Eliminates toxins and reduces fever.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which saiga antelope's horns may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Spams Fever Convulsions Delirium Loss of consciousness Dizziness Blurred vision Headache Swollen eyes

Contraindications*: May lead to allergic reactions

Common TCM formulas in which saiga antelope's horns (Ling Yang Jiao) are used*

Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang

Source date: Qing dynasty

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Formula key actions: Cools the Liver. Extinguishes Wind. Increases Fluids. Relaxes the sinews.

Conditions targeted*: EncephalitisMeningitis and others

Ling Yang Jiao is a king ingredient in Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

In Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang, Ling Yang Jiao enters the Liver and Heart channels where it pacifies the Liver, extinguishes Wind, and clears Heat.

Read more about Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang

Key TCM concepts behind saiga antelope's horns (Ling Yang Jiao)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), saiga antelope's horns are plants that belong to the 'Herbs that pacify Internal Liver Wind and stop Tremors' category. These herbs are used to treat so-called 'hyperactive Liver Yang'. Concretely this translates into high blood pressure as well as seizures, spasms, convulsions, dizziness and vertigo. These herbs often seem to have a powerful antispasmodic effect on the nervous system.

Furthermore saiga antelope's horns are plants that are Cold in nature. This means that saiga antelope's horns typically help people who have too much 'Heat' in their body. 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 saiga antelope's horns can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Saiga antelope's horns also taste Salty. 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. Salty ingredients like saiga antelope's horns tend to have a draining effect in the body because they clear accumulations, remove Phlegm and soften hard lumps.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such saiga antelope's horns are 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.