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: Extract the rhizome, clean it thoroughly and dry it under the sun
Dosage: 3 - 9 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Opens the Orifices, awakens the Mind (Shen) and expels Wind-Damp Phlegm. Harmonizes the Earth element and dispels Damp. Applied internally or externally for Wind-Cold-Damp painful obstruction.
Contraindications*: This herb should not be used by those with Yin Deficiency with Heat signs and should be used with caution by those with excessive sweating or spermatorrhea
Source date: 1862 AD
Number of ingredients: 7 herbs
Formula key actions: Clears Heat. Transforms Dampness. Regulates Qi. Harmonizes the Middle Burner.
Shi Chang Pu is a deputy ingredient in Lian Po Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
Source date: 1116 AD
Number of ingredients: 8 herbs
Formula key actions: Regulates and tonifies the Heart and Kidneys. Stabilizes the Essence. Stops leakage.
Shi Chang Pu is an assistant ingredient in Sang Piao Xiao San. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.
Source date: 1732 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Formula key actions: Clears Heat. Warms the Kidneys. Drains Dampness. Separates the clear from the turbid.
Shi Chang Pu is an assistant ingredient in Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), sweetflag rhizomes are plants that belong to the 'Herbs that open the Orifices' category. The functions of these herbs are much more platonic than the name implies. They're used to help treat conditions associated with central nervous system collapse, including strokes and coma.
Furthermore sweetflag rhizomes are plants that are Warm in nature. This means that sweetflag rhizomes 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 sweetflag rhizomes can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Sweetflag rhizomes also taste 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 sweetflag rhizomes tend 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 sweetflag rhizomes are thought to target the Stomach, the Heart and the Liver. 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 regulating Blood flow, the Heart is believed to be the store of the 'Mind' which basically refers to someone's vitality. 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.
β-Asarone of Chinese herb Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii effectively inhibits the proliferation of human gastric cancer cells, induces their apoptosis and decreased the invasive, migratory and adhesive abilities.1
1. Wu J, Zhang XX, Sun QM, Chen M, Liu SL, Zhang X, Zhou JY, Zou X. (2015). β-Asarone inhibits gastric cancer cell proliferation. Oncol Rep , 34(6):3043-50.