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 impurities, soak slightly, cut in thick slices and dry.
Dosage: 6 - 10g.
Main actions according to TCM*: Causes urination and removes Damp-Heat
Contraindications*: Do not use during pregnancy or breast-feeding
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Formula key actions: Promotes urination,. Warms the Yang. Strengthens the Spleen. Promotes Qi transformation function. Drains Dampness. Clears edema.
Ze Xie is a king ingredient in Wu Ling San. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Source date: 1481 AD
Number of ingredients: 9 herbs
Formula key actions: Promotes urination. Warms the Yang. Strengthens the Spleen. Drains Dampness. Promotes the movement of Qi. Harmonizes the Stomach.
Ze Xie is a king ingredient in Wei Ling Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Source date: 1119 AD
Number of ingredients: 6 herbs
Formula key actions: Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system).
Ze Xie is an assistant ingredient in Liu Wei Di Huang Wan. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.
In Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, Ze Xie clears and drains the overabundance of Kidney Fire. It is used here to prevent the rich, cloying properties of the key herb (Prepared rehmannia) from congesting the mechanisms of the Kidneys, which would induce even more Heat from Deficiency.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), water plantain are plants that belong to the 'Herbs that drain Dampness' category. These herbs are typically diuretics, meaning that they promotes the increased production of urine in order to remove Dampness that has accumulated in the body. According to TCM Dampness accumulates first in the lower limbs, causing edema and impaired movement. From there, if unchecked, it can move upward and impair digestion and eventually the respiratory system.
Furthermore water plantain are plants that are Cold in nature. This means that water plantain 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 water plantain can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Water plantain also taste Sweet. 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. Sweet ingredients like water plantain tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.
The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such water plantain are thought to target the Bladder and the Kidney. In TCM the impure water collected by the Kidneys that cannot be used by the body is sent to the Bladder for storage and excretion as urine. The Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body.
A new triterpenoid named alisol O was isolated from the rhizomes of Alisma orientalis and together with six known compounds and exhibited inhibitory activity in vitro on hepatitis B virus (HBV).1
Alisma orientalis methanolic extract showed hepatoprotective effects on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and may be a potential clinical application for treatment of this chronic liver disease.2
1. ZY Jiang, XM Zhang, FX Zhang, N Liu, F Zhao et al. (2006). A New Triterpene and Anti-Hepatitis B Virus Active Compounds from Alisma orientalis. Planta Med, 72(10): 951-954. DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-947178
2. Hong, X. , Tang, H. , Wu, L. and Li, L. (2006), Protective effects of the Alisma orientalis extract on the experimental nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 58: 1391-1398. doi:10.1211/jpp.57.10.0013