Herbs (mostly) from TJ Tsarong's Handbook of Traditional Tibetan Drugs

A comparative analysis of some actions, uses in various traditions

George M. Carter

A Brief Herbal Guide for Dr. Namgyal Tenzin

for the


held in Dharamsala, India

September 17-29, 2001

Document for Public Use/Distribution; Not for Resale

Please make donations to the Tibetan Children's Village

Herbs from the Handbook of Traditional Tibetan Drugs

A comparative analysis, George M. Carter; September 2001

Notes and key to abbreviations:

Note 1: In the Tibetan Formulations column, the "uses" are based on use within the context of a FORMULA. Where an herb was never listed as the first ingredient in any formula, those where it was listed second or third in the formula were considered. This is predicated on the assumption that ingredients are listed in order of importance which may be somewhat misleading. Thus, the "use" of the herb in Tibetan medicine really derives from the context of the whole formula. Where possible, information from Dharmapada (denoted Thangka) indicates a brief description of the individual herb. See relevant footnotes.

Note 2: The actions and uses listed for each herb are discussed in greater detail in the relevant materia medicas (see References list at end). The efficacy in treating disease or the physiological action (e.g., astringent) is not evaluated here. Comparisons with pharmaceutical drug treatments cannot be inferred. Risk/benefit/cost analyses are needed! This can help to identify options where pharmaceutical drug therapy is not immediately available or where the toxicities of such therapy may outweigh the benefits in comparison to the herbal alternative.

Note 3: These are only notes. All errors are the responsibility of the author (who would be delighted to hear from people with comments, corrections: gmc0@ix.netcom.com).

Notes of CAUTION: Please note that this information is not provided to suggest self-diagnosis or self-treatment. Some of these herbs may have serious toxicities. Appropriate, professional diagnosis is critically important. If herbs are indicated, they must be used in the proper dosage, for the proper length of time and often in the right combination to correct underlying imbalances to which we are all prone. Each tradition has its own methods for diagnosis which impacts the treatment program. In addition, this information does not obviate the need for addressing diet, exercise, and, to the extent one practices such interventions, appropriate spiritual practices and/or meditation to facilitate healing. Even with all of this, the simple fact is we are each mortal and must face our own eventual death. Be present! Embracing good intentions, loving kindness and true compassion go a long way to healing many of the more profound ills of the heart-mind-spirit with which we must all struggle.

NS: No species for this genus listed in reference volume. NG: No genus/species listed.

Int: Internally. Ext: Externally. Sx: symptoms Thangka, Hsu, Huang, Nadkarni, Tsarong: see references section at end of table.

F#: indicates Formula 3. E.g., "Minor ingredient in 35" means it is found in 35 separate formulae; whereas "minor ingredient in F35" indicates it is a minor ingredient in formula number 35. Numbers in (parentheses) in Tibetan column derived from the Handbook. For herbs with multiple listings, formula in bold are those where herb is first one listed. If not in bold, it is most likely one of the first three listed ingredients. See note above.

Latin Name

Common Name

Tibetan Formulation Use(s)


Chinese Medicine

African Medicine

Notes; Grieve/European

Acacia catechu, (L.) Willd.

Catechu, Black Catechu. Cutch. Dark form is astringent; light is sweeter.

Epistaxis (35); pains in hips/upper body (35); "bad" blood in lower body, pain in upper region of back, difficulty breathing (148); Thangka: alleviates blood diseases-seng-ldeng

Gum w/betel as a chew; for diarrhea, hemorrhages; often mixed with cinnamon; toothache; other uses.

See Butea frondosa.

Huang: Er cha; promotes salivation, resolve phlegm, arrest bleeding and treat pyogenic infection; use peeled branch, stem; Hsu: NG.

A. senegal (gum arabic), as well albida, brevispica, macrothyrsa; senegal for dysentery, diarrhea, gonorrhea remedy (in Tanzania), anti-inflammatory; fruits, bark, latex. Applied externally for nodular leprosy (Gambia).

Mimosaceae. Extract, bark, wood, flowering tops, gum/latex used. Iwu: A. albida for childbirth, fever, coughs, diarrhea uses leaves, fruits. Grieve: High tannic acid content; infusions for nosebleed, uterine hemorrhage. External for boils, ulcers. Dentrifice.

Acalypha australis

A. australis L. is annual copperleaf

Thangka: remedy for fever associated with wounds and contagious fevers-chu-sho

NS-A. pennata Willd. leaves for indigestion, bleeding gums, snake-poison antidote; A. fruticosa Forsk. leaves for dyspepsia; A. hispida Burm. flowers for diarrhea; A. indica L. (syn. spicata, ciliata, canescana) leaves as laxative; contains alkaloids; expressed juice emetic for kids; various ext uses; cathartic, antihelmintic, expectorant, emetic, anodyne, hypnotic

Hsu: A. australis L. (tie xian cai) dried, whole plant used; bitter, astringent, neutral; cleanses heat, delivers water, kills intestinal parasites; used in dysentery, diarrhea, hemoptysis due to cough, hematochezia, functional bleeding, malnutrition, abdominal distention, dermatitis, eczema, incised wound bleeding. In vitro bacteriostatic effect against dysentery (but whether and how well in humans?)

NS-A. ciliata fruits, leaves for coughs, rituals, wound dressing; A. indicum-leaves as antihelmintic, eye inflammation; A. wilkesiana leaves as antimycotic, antibacterial, wound dressing. A. ciliata used with limited success for bilharzia; A. ornata frequently prescribed for skin infections (scabies)

Euphorbiaceae. Grieve: NG.

Listed at Dharmapala site (noted as Thangka); not in Tsarong.

Aconitum balfourii, Stapf.

Gobari (Nepal)

Deinorrhizum type (Stapf defined by root)

Dysentery, fever from inflammation, lungs, throat, flu inflammation (33); anti-inflammatory, analgesic (121); contagious or febrile disorders, flu (161)

Pseudoaconitine 0.4%

The more powerful alkaloid, like A. ferox; very toxic. A. felconeris Stapf. leaves, seeds, roots used (Vatsnabh) as anodyne, antidiabetic, antiperiodic, etc.; large doses poisonous.

NS; Huang: A. brachypodum (yi zhi hao) as analgesic, activate blood circulation, reduce swelling; arthritis-not for pregnant or children.


Ranunculaceae. Hsu: notes acontine alkaloids (incl. aconitine, mesaconitine, hypaconitine, jesaconitine) are most toxic. Atisine and variants (napelline, songorine, ignavine, hyognavine, kobusine) are less toxic; aconite species often contain cardiotonic, hygenamine (dl-dimethyl-coclaurine)

Aconitum heterophyllum, Wall.

Indian Atees

(Stapf-anthora type root)

Excess from eating greasy foods causing headache, bitter taste, fever/thirst, yellowish sclera, nausea, vomiting (26); febrifuge, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, pain from throat, lung, eye inflammation (27)

Ativisha. Roots bitter, tonic, astringent, stomachic, antiperiodic, aphrodisiac. Atisine is alkaloid principle. Diarrhea, dysentery, acute inflammatory infections with cough or dyspepsia associated. Various decoctions based on use; different forms are toxic, some with potential remedies, others without (European form); strict supervision if using and with care; do not use old herbs; constituents lose potency; annual, biennial and perennial forms (Stapf). Aconitine, indaconitine and pseudaconitine are alkaloids with physiological activity.

NS; Huang: A. husnezoffi (cao wu or tsao wu) hypaconitine, acontine, aconine, mesaconitine and talatisamine. Analgesic, sedative; slows heart rate. Quite toxic-overdose causes parasthesia, dry mouth, bradycardia, coma (extreme)


Ranunculaceae. Contains alkaloid atisine.

Aconitum spicatum, Stapf.


(Stapf. napellus type root)

Meat poisoning; difficulty swallowing (28); antihelmintic, treating sudden pains from inflammatory infections, intestinal parasites or microorganisms affecting head, tooth, anal region and skin (57)

Contains toxic alkaloid, bichaconitine; considered one of the Napellus types (biennial)

NS; Huang: pai-fu-tzu used as analgesic, tranquilizer but may be dried white root of Typhonium giganteum


Ranunculaceae. Huang: low-dose aconitine stimulates heart function; higher doses depress. Roots must be processed (various ways; often including long boiling) to reduce toxicities. Grieve: notes that A. napellus Linn. is extremely toxic (Monkshood); whole plant is used but mostly root. Wash cold, slice long, let dry, collect in autumn; ointment used for neuralgia. Causes burning then numb tongue if not prepared.

Aconitum violaceum

Napellus type

(Stapf. napellus type root)

fever from inflammation, to help offset severe infection (117)

NS; p.31; A. napellus is also known as Monk's hood, aconite, wolf's bane

NS; Hsu: fu-tzu/wu-tou is A. carmichaelii Debx. hot, toxic; restores yang; arthralgia, analgesic, cardiotoinc. See 371/


Ranunculaceae. Grieve: see previous entries

Aconitum sp.


Thangka: Monkshood as A. naviculare; alleviates blood diseases, cures poisoning -bong-nga dkar[-po]; A. lycoctonum (yellow wolfsbane) cures poisoning-bong-nga ser [-po]

see previous entries

see previous entries


Ranunculaceae. Grieve: see previous entries

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong.

Acorus calamus, Linn.


Pacifies hot/cold disorders, for common cold (16); antihelmintic (57); stomach pains, parasites, tonsillitis (88); increase stomach heat, stomach pain, flatulence, vomiting, appetite loss, vertigo (138)

Vacha; rhizome used; for dyspepsia, flatulence, loss of appetite as infusion; hysteria, neuralgia; with licorice for cough, fever (esp. in kids) Ext. for rheumatism. Essential oil, acorin, bitter (choline) and calamine (useful in dysentery). Root/rhizome used.

Shui-chang-pu. Pungent, warm; heart/liver meridians; stomachic, analgesic, sedative, antifungal; diuretic.


Aroideae. Grieve: NO Araceae; sweet sedge; root used; properties due to volatile oil, obtained from steam distillation; aromatic stimulant, mild tonic; bitter; carminative; increases appetite; tincture of oil also used in inhalations; may chew dry root for dyspepsia or infuse; used in ague.

Adhatoda vasica Nees ex Wall.

Malabar nut

General upper body pain, dry mouth, insomnia, sighing, dizziness, etc. (7); general rLung with fever causing dizziness or insomnia, painful breathing (8); Thangka: alleviates blood diseases-ba-sha-ka

Vasaka, vasa; leaves, roots, flowers, bark all used; a variety of bush; bitter with alkaloid vasicine, adhatodic acid. Root bark. Expectorant, diuretic, antispasmodic, alterative. Leaf/root decoctions used for asthma, cough, etc.


NS; A. buchholzii as anti-inflammatory, fish poison, use fruits, whole plant.

Acanthaceae. Grieve primarily refers to uses in India; flowers, leaves roots, fruits as antispasmodic for asthma, intermittent fever; expectorant in bronchitis, phthisis

Adiantum pedatum, Linn.

Northern Maidenhair

(Maiden hair fern is the A. capillus-veneris variety)

Bad-kan sMug-po - to help recognize disorders and bring them back to source; balance bodily temp, increase appetite, control epistaxis, heal bad-kan, mKhris-pa; lethargy, thirst, stomach/liver pains; menorrhagia (151); see 174

Chronic catarrh; distinguished as separate from capillus-veneris which is used as expectorant, diuretic, emmenagogue (promote menses); for chronic cough. Whole plant antirheumatic, astringent, demulcent, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, haemostatic, pectoral, tonic; tea or syrup used for nasal congestion, asthma, sore throats, etc.; root decoction massaged into rheumatic joints; N. American Indians chew fronds, then apply them to wounds to stop bleeding; strong infusion of whole plant is emetic for ague, fevers; merits scientific investigation


NG (or family)

Polypodiaceae; Grieve: A pedatum from Canada! A dainty little evergreen fern. Lots of tannin and mucilage. In France, syrup of fronds and rhizomes for pulmonary catarrhs. Demulcent with orange flower flavoring. She notes that species in India, Mexico (less powerful), Jamaica and Ethiopia use it similarly.

Aleuritopteris argentea Gmel.


Thangka: Inferior species compatible [which male fern]; alleviates meat poisoning, compounded poisons and faver caused by bile-cha-mthun gang du'-mo dman-pa




Pteridaceae. Grieve: NG

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong.

Allium sativum, Linn.


Antihelmintic, hemorrhoids (34); minor ingredient mostly; Thangka: tranquillizes fevers asociated with wind-sgog-skya.

Rasonam (lacking one taste); lashuna; hot, stimulant, carminative, emmenagogue, antirheumatic, antihelmintic, alterative

Ta-suan; antihelmintic with warm property, pungent flavor. For acute or chronic gastroenteric diseases, dysentery, febrile diseases, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, whooping cough

Hypertension, diabetes, anti-inflammatory, diabetes and for respiratory infections (pneumonia); ext. in N. Nigeria for skin problems.

Liliaceae. Allicin studied for cryptosporidiosis);Alliin hydrolyzes to allicin

Inhibits Staphylococcus flavus (dysentery, pneumonia), antifungal effects and against Trichomonas vaginalis.

Amomum subulatum, Roxb.

Ceylon or Greater Cardamom

Component in 25 formulas; for kidney function (10); bad-kan sMug-po healing with sx of sour/watery vomitus, stomach/intestine inflammation, hematemesis, dry feces or diarrhea (46); vasodilator and nerve disorders like Parksinson's (59)

Seed oil as stomachic for post-choleric irritation; decoction used as gargle for gums; cheaper cousin of E. cardamomum.

NS-see E. cardamomum (pai-tou-kou); also Suo-sha, which are usually ginger variants; Yang-chun-sha is A. villosum which Huang refers to as sha ren--arrests diarrhea, prevents miscarriage

A. zingiber ref to see Zingiber officinalis.

Elletaria. Seeds and oil mostly used; see also Elettaria cardamomum

Angelica sp.


Constituent in 8 formulae; tonifies body, promotes longevity (40); tonifies kidney, polyuria, seminuria (41); cold kidney, polyuria, seminuria (129); see also 131 re cold kidney

A. glauca used as cordial, stimulant in dyspepsia, constipation

Dang Gui or Tang-Kuei is A. sinensis, used to move blood, moisten intestines, regulate menses; diuretic, uterine-regulating and sedative effects noted; used traditionally for headache due to blood deficiency, chest/abdominal pain, constipation, amenorrhea, menorrhagia and bleeding

NG. Several members of this family are used in African traditions. See H. nepalensis and discussion of C. asiatica.

Umbelliferae. Grieve: Lengthy article, A. archangelica, Roots (medicinal), leaves (bitters), stems and seeds (flavoring) used; highly esteemed. Action is carminative, stimulant, diaphoretic, stomachic, tonic, expectorant

Aquilaria agollocha, Roxb.

Eaglewood or Aloewood

Mental unrest/lethargy; outer bark of herb mentioned as separate, additional ingredient (7, 8); Thangka: tranquilizes fevers asociated with wind; a-ga-ru

Stimulant, cholagogue, deobstruent; paste used for kids w/bronchitis; also in gout, rheumatism, stop vomiting and for snake-bite; fumigation acts as anodyne for surgical pain. Java-rusa-uda is a common confection used as a nervine tonic, for seminal debility, giddiness, leucorrhea

Chen Xiang, chen hsiang pungent, bitter flavor, mild, warm; qi descends, harmonizes middle warmer, supplements yang, disperses cold; trad use for asthma, vomiting, hiccoughs, epigastric pain, deficiency cold of waist and knees; in vitro effects upon typhus and dysentery bacteria; analgesic


Thymelaeaceae. Wood contains essential oils and resins.

Chinese chen xiang may be A. lignum or A. sinensis; or even Excoecaria agallocha which is Euphorbiaceae family. Huang specifically refers to chen xiang as A. sinensis (Lour.) Gilg.; used as an antiemetic, to rest the stomach; promote qi circulation; also as a neuroleptic. Grieve has no mention of aquilaria, nor eaglewood or aloewood.

Areca catechu, Linn.

Betel-nut palm

All types of kidney disorders, tonifies seven bodily sustainers (lus-zung) (75); kidney tonic (76)

Nut for bowel complaints, as a vermifuge. Various pastes made for chewing for teeth and gums (w/tobacco makes things worse); tincture as a gargle; used for tape worms, hookworms (but may be that causes people to spit them out rather than kill)

Ta-fu-pi (da-fu-pi) uses dried fruit skin; contains tannin; pungent flavor, mild warm property; qi to descend; for chronic hepatitis, indigestion, edema, oliguria, diarrhea. Pin-lang-tzu (bing-lang-zi) is seed; chewed; vermifuge; arecoline paralyzes flatworms; stomachic, swelling, tenesmus

Fruits, leaves used as a tonic, laxative. Iwu notes arecoline's use in Alzheimer's disease. Arecaidine and guvacine may be GABA-uptake inhibitors and thus may explain potentially addictive nature of the herb. Long-term use may also increase cancer risk, possibly due to arecaidine.

Palmae. Constituents are alkaloids such as arecoline. Huang: refers to it as bing lang. May elevate CyP450 (does in mice; didn't say which); secretagogue; treats taeniasis (tapeworms). Used with nan gua zi (Cucurbita moschata). Dose is 80-100 g for adults, 50-60 for kids) decocted and on an empty stomach.

Arenaria capillaris

Grieve: common sandspurry is A. rubra

Minor constituent in F171, used for lung disorders, spitting blood




Caryophyllaceae. Grieve notes that it is commonly used in bladder disorders and calculous diseases, cystitis.

Arenaria glanduligera


Lung inflammation, bloody sputum (9); minor ingredient in 4; Thangka: superior black arenaria alleviates fever of lungs - rtsva a-krong nag-po mchog; treatment of the lungs - a-krong




Active ingredient (A. rubra) is a resinous, aromatic substance.

Aristolochia moupinensis

type of birthwort or snakeroot?

Minor ingredient in 14; controls excess blood to liver? (23); enlargement of liver (69); liver inflammation (71)

NS-mostly use A. bracteata or A. indica. Used variously for rheumatism, gout, snakebite; found in many cultures.

NS-A. fructus (ma-tou-ling, ma-dou-ling) may be A. contorta Bunge or A. debilis Sieb et Zucc. Clears lungs, controls cough, causes qi to descend, suppresses asthma; has expectorant effect and inhibits dermatophytes.

NS-Commonly found ingredient in treatments for diabetes and cough. Roots of A. albida are used as a stomachic, tonic, malaria/fevers, local analgesic and for guinea worm; A. petersiana used in dysentery, cough, fevers, snake bite.

Aristolochiaceae. A. fangchi version may be kidney toxic; inhibits phospholipase A2 and thus beneficial as anti-inflammatory, for snakebite.

Huang say A. debilis is qing mu ziang or ma dou ling; A. manshuriensis is mu tong (see Clematis) from genus Clematis or Akebia. Used as diuretic, to promote milk secretion. Popular combo includes mu tong with dan shu ye and gan cao. A. debilis or A. contorta, as ma dou ling used as bronchodilators and antibacterial; exepctorant. A. debilis described as qin mu xiang to promote flow of chi; currently used for hyper-tension, gastric spasm/pain; vasodilator. "Toxicity is low" altho GI effects have been noted (nausea, vomiting, constipation).

Artemisia nestita


Minor constituent in F34, used as antihelmintic, for hemorrhoids

NS-mentions A. vestita, Wall. (HK> Fl. Br. Id.) as one of a list of uninvestigated species of Artemisia.

NS-A. annua (qing hao su) for malaria; A. argyi (ai ye yu) for and A. capillaris (yin chen).

NS-A. afra for vermifuge, fevers; A. maciverae for fever, wound healing; A. ramosa for antihelmintic, colic, indigestion.

Compositae. Grieve: NS-see next entries.

Artemisia vulgaris, Linn.


Minor constituent in F171, used for lung disorders, spitting blood; Thangka: brown mugwort from Dzong-gyab alleviates fever of throat, lung diseases - tshar-bong smug-po

Antihelmintic, antiseptic, expectorant; Nadkarni refers to A. absinthum as mugwort which is inaccurate.

NS-see previous entry.

See previous entry

Compositae. See lac (second "Meat n Minerals" table) below. Grieve: leaves allowed to infuse in a cup of alcohol overnight may be used to treat poison ivy which is a variety of Rhus; however, some folks have a sensitivity to this!

Artemisia sp.


Inferior artemisia (from Dzong-gyab) alleviates fever of the throat and lung diseases-tshar-bong dman pa; white artemisia [from Dzong-gyab] (same effect) tshar-bong dkar-po; "Small" mugwort cleanses serum, dropsy-mkhan-chung; "Black" artemisia is Artemisia hedinii Ostenf dispels diseases of bile, jaundice of the eyes in particular-zangs-rtsi nag-po; see Tanacetum.

See previous entries.

See previous entries.

See previous entries.

Compositae. Grieve: (cont'd from previous entry); leaves used as Wormwood, varieties of which include A. absinthum (Common); A. pontica (Roman wormwood) among others. Stimulant, slightly tonic properties, nervine, emmenagogue, diuretic, diaphoretic actions. Chiefly used as emmenagogue with Pennyroyal, Southernwood (A. abrotanum). Mugwort used to treat palsy, fits, epilepsy, Parkinson's (leaves); also for fevers; ague; stepped in baths.

Asparagus spinosissimus

A. officinalis is the common western vegetable.

Minor ingredient in 8; A. racemosus - for dysentery, inflammation, biliousness, epilepsy, ophthalmic diseases.

NS-A. racemosus is Shatavari; use the root; for cancer, convalescence, cough, herpes, ulcers; has antidarrhetic, refiregerant, diuretic, antidysenteric, nutritive, tonic, demulcent, galactagogue, aphrodisiac, antispasmodic and stomachic properties with A. officinalis, gonoclados, adscendens, sarmentosus as other species used.

NS-A. cochinensis is Tian dong which contains beta-sitosterol; effect on leukemia, lung cancer (animal/in vitro)

NS-A. africanus-hematuria, syphilis (Sudan), diuretic (leaves, roots), also used to treat psychosomatic disorder (evil spirits); A. buchananii - one of several herbs used for bilharzia; A. racemosus-anti-inflammatory, diuretic, laxative (leaves, fruits); A. setaceus -used for coughs

Liliaceae; animal studies show reduction in mortality to sepsis from E. coli, offsets leucopenia and induces leucocytosis; offsets cyclophosphamide-induced myelosuppression and neutropenia.

Grieve: diuretic and laxative; as well as for gravel and dropsy.

Aster souliei

Superior starwort

Minor component in F151; Thangka: Aster barbellatus / hedini / souliei Franch et al.; cures poisoning and contagious diseases-me-tog lug-mig mchog-gang-du'ang; Aster sp. inferior or water starwort cures different types of contagious diseases-de-ba dman-pa'am chu de-ba; "Lesser" starwort is Aster strachei / Heteropappus, alleviates contagious poison, brown phlegm and fever of the channels-lug-chung.

NS-A. trinervius for hemorrhage, malaria.

NS-Huang: A. ageratoides (hong guan yao); whole plant use; contains quercetin; antitussive, expectorant, antiasthmatic; Hsu:Asteris indici or A. lasioclada Hayata (ma-llan) to cool blood, dispel heat, for edema, jaundice, etc.-Kalimeris indica. A. tataricus is tzu-wan root or rhizome for cough, asthma, bloodly phlegm; bitter flavor warm property

NG. Lots in the Compositae family.

Compositae. Grieve: NG.

Astragalus yunnanensis


Diuretic (20); both hot and cold bladder disorders, diuretic, clears the urethra (43)

NS-A. hamosus Linn. has emollient, demulcent gum like tragacanth; A. multiceps Wall. seeds for colic, leprosy; A. sarcocolla, Dymock. gum as aperient; A. virus is A. gummifer using the gum.

NS-Huang: A. complanatus (sha yuan zi, milk vetch) for liver and kidney; sedative, calming effect; A. membranaceous (huang se) dried root for common cold, influenza; ext. for wound ulcers as ointment; also used to treat chronic glomeruli nephritis. Hsu: huang-qi is root derived from various species; important tonic; sweet, mild, warm; increases body wt in mice; diuretic; offsets nephritis in rats; cardiotonic.

NS-A. gummifer as mild laxative; leaves for wound healing; Tragacanth tree (gum is used as pharmacological suspension agent)

Leguminosae; Grieve: A. gummifer is tragacanth; gummy exudate is demulcent; used as a lozenge; mucilaginous; for burns. Huang: A. membranaceus contains saponins, coumarin, flavonoid derivatives, betaine, rhamnocitrin, astragalosides. Enhances LPS-induced macrophage expression of TNF; used for common cold, influenza; ointment used for wound healing.

Bambusa textilis

Bamboo (shavings)

Resin; also Phyllostachys sp.; febrifuge (25); pediatric for cough, fever, hepatomegaly, difficult breathing (49); ped. for infections, fever, diarrhea, coughing (50); anti-inflammatory and as above, cold sweat, wt. loss (51); promote appetite, balance hot/cold (52); as 52 and chronic cough (53); promotes appetite, bal. hot/cold and chronic cough, heart inflammation and 'hidden fever' (54). 65,72,74; Thangka: Bamboo pith of B. arundinacea Gamble for treatment of the lungs-cu-gan.

NS-B. arundinaceae, B. bambos Nadkarni notes B. arundinaceae, Retz. (Vamsha, Lochana) is B. apous, B. orientals, B. spinosa. Blue or white varieties used; have sweet taste. Tabashir, the white inner part of the stalk, contains 90% silica as hydrate or silicic acid and used as stimulant, astringent, febrifuge, tonic, cooling, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac. Leaves as emmenagogue, antihelmintic. Pickles, curry from shoots for appetite, digestion. Ext. leaf juice to expel parasites

Huang: NG; Hsu: B. caulis in Taeniis (chu-ju, zhu-ru) to remove heat, resolve sputum, expels fidgets; used for fever with irritability and fidgets, vomting, hemoptysis, epistaxis, convlusions in children; contains pentosan, lignin, cellulose, triterpene. Hsu: By contrast, B. concretio silicea (tien-chu-huang tian-zhu-huang is Phyllostachys nigra Munro var. henonis comes from the lump-shaped material in the joint stem and is used for kids with convlusions, febrile diseases.


Bambusaceae. Grieve: NG.

The green surface of the shoot is scraped until the white, inner part is left which is used for medicinal purposes. There are many different varieties but apparently, all are used similarly (Hsu). Most common in Chinese med. is

Berberis dictyophylla

B. aristata known as Indian or Nepal Barberry or Tree-Turmeric (a bush)

Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, ureter inflammation, burning micturation, semen/blood discharge in urine (91)

NS-B. aristata fruit, root-bark, stem, wood used. Tincture from root-bark for bitter, tonic, stomachic, cholagogue, antiperiodic, alterative properties. Ophthalmic, ulcers

B. vulgaris Linn. is berries of barberry; daruharidra, daruhaldi.

Coptis chinensis (huang lian) contains berberine. Injections slow heart rate altho lower doses may stimulate it; can be used instead of chloramphenicol for cholera; effects against C. albicans and MAI. Avoid vitamin B6 if using as antibacterial.

NG nor family noted in Iwu

Berberidaceae. Nadkarni: B. asiatica Roxb. is used for similar wide-ranging effects but whole root is used in fever, believed to be as strong as quinine; either species may be found in ras or rasaut (for conjunctivitis). Various formulae. B. lycium Royle. also used as febrifuge, carminative, gentle aperient. See Coptis teetoides

Berberis idaeopsis

True Barberry is B. vulgaris, Linn.

Eye medicine of barberry extract; 0.5g in distilled water and dropped in eyes for pain, watery, itching/red eyes from inflammation (99)

Thangka: Yellow flowers and fruits of Berberis asiatica cure diarhoea; skyer-pa chu-bzang; by contrast, skyer-pa´i bar-shun cures poisoning (also B. asiatica).

NS-B. vulgaris used commonly for bile & urinary disorders, stones, scarlet fever, rheumatism; diuretic, astringent, antibilious, refrigerant actions. Small doses, tonic; larger doses, purgative.

Huang: San ke zhen, ziao yeh gen is root of B. soulieana, B. wilsonae, B. poretti, or B. vernae. Anti-bacterial; promotes leucocytosis; effective choleretic. Lipoxygenase inhibitor; removing heat and dampness. Used to treat leucopenia related to cancer. Hsu: B. aregentianae Schneid (san-ko-chen or san-ke-zhen) for red dysentery, jaundice, sore throat, ocular irritation, external trauma. B. lignum or B. thunbergii DC (Megi in Japanese) for heat qi, intestinal parasites. Water decoction for eyes.

NG nor family noted in Iwu. Nadkarni notes that berberine played an important role in "old Egyptian medicine." Also in Arabic traditions. Iwu: Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides contains berberine.

Berberidaceae Fruit contains malic, tartaric and citric acids. Roots/bark contain berberine, of course, the major constituent (found in goldenseal Hydrastis canadensis). A bitter, mildly toxic alkaloid. Used in leprosy, snake-bite; importantly for cutaneous leishmaniasis ("oriental sore")--berberine SO4 injected around the sore. Chopra found no benefit in malaria.

Boerhavia diffusa, Linn.

Red or Spreading Hogweed

also Tar vine

Not used in Tibetan medicine?

roots diuretic, emetic, expectorant, laxative, stomachic; used for asthma, edema, anemia, jaundice, ascites, anasarca, scanty urine and internal inflamation; also said to be an antidote to snake poisoning; alkaloid in roots shown experimentally to "produce a distinct and persistant rise in blood pressure plus marked diuresis".

Punarnava; red is raktpunaranava, white is Shweta punarnarva. Herb and root used. Tirtha: Red is bitter, cool, pungent; for nervous system, heart disease, skin problems, kidney stones, rat,snake bites; leaf juice for jaundice; vermifuge. White is laxative, diaphoretic for edema, anemia, heart disease, colic, cough, kidney problems as well as uses for red.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG

Nadkarni: notes white form is used in medicine; roots are bitter, stomachic, laxative, diuretic, expectorant, diaphoretic, emetic; root is further antihelmintic, purgative and febrifuge; white variety for edema, anemia, heart disease, cough and intestinal colic. Ointment for leprosy, skin diseases; appears beneficial for liver-related ascites.

Roots, leaves used for dysmennorhea, jaundice, asthma.

Nyctaginease. Grieve: NG

Punarvine is a mixture designed by Dr. Shashank Joshi (Bombay) for HIV treatment consists of Boerhaavia diffusa-50 mg; Beriberis aristata-50; Glycyrrhiza glabra-60; Phyllanthus emblicus-50; Terminalia chebula-50; Tinospora cordifolia-60; Trubulus terrestris-60; Swerti chirata-50; Withania somnifera-60 mg.

Brassica alba


See Sinapsis alba




See Sinapsis alba

Butea frondosa, Roxb. & Koen.

Bastard Teak, Kino

Anthelminthic, hemorrhoides (34)

Gum, seeds, flowers, bark and leaves used. Gum is astringent. Seeds laxative, antihelmintic. Leaves, flowers tonic, astringent, aphrodisiac, depurative, diuretic. Bark gum used like catechu but gentler; external seed powder for ringworm; herpes (Dhobis' itch); leaf juice or powder for boils, acne, boils, etc


NG-although many members of the family are used (including Glycyrrhiza glabra, Milletia, Physostigma venenosum, Pterocarpus and Mucuna pruriens). Pterocarpus erinaceus leaves, fruits used for skin diseases and fevers.

Papilionaceae. Grieve: Lists as Kino being Pterocarpus marsupium, Pterocarpus erinaceus or B. frondosa; N.O. Leguminosae. These are all varieties. Jamaican form is Coccoloba uvifera. Odorless, astringent flavor and chewed, make saliva bright red. Tannin; internally for diarrhea, dysentery, pyrosis. Externally as a gargle. See also eucalyptus, she notes.

Butea monosperma


Minor ingredient of F167

NS-B. superba Roxb.; gum also used.




Caesalpinia bonducella, Roxb.

C. bonduc: Physic nut, fever nut, molucca bean, bonducella nut

Minor ingredient in several; kidney disorder (75, 76, 143, 164)

Antiperiodic, tonic, snakebite; C. bonduc Roxb. more often used. Bitter alkaloid bonducin. Seeds, nut, root, bark, leaves used. Poultices used for various conditions; different parts for internal use treat a variety of disorders.

Huang: NS-Dried leaf/stem of C. sappan L. (su mu) contains tetraacetyl-brazilin, proesapanin which are active against HCT-8 (human cancer cell line). Trad. use is activate blood flow, remove blood stasis, reduce swelling, relieve pain; Hsu:Sappan Wood (su mu) is dried heartwood; sweet, salty, neutral; for cardiac pain in women, amenorrhea; qi obstruction; anemia, carbuncle, ext/int trauma.

NS- C. pulcherrima used as febrifuge, antidiarrhea; from fruit, leaves.

Caesalpiniaceae (part of larger Leguminosae family). Grieve: NG.

Hsu: Notes ku-shih-lien is C. minax Hce. dried seed. C. sappan has sweet, salty flavor; neutral property and used for controlling bleeding, for cardiac pain in women, for anemia, carbuncle, trauma. Contains 2% brasilin. Shortens blood coag. time, low doses induce sleep while higher doses paralyze; inhibits various bacteria in vitro.

Cannabis sativa Linn.

Marijuana, Indian hemp

Minor ingredient in several; anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-rheumatic, pain relief in joints, sinus disorders, clears up itching (106); analgesic, reduce swelling (119)

Narcotic, stomachic, antispasmodic, analgesic, stimulant, aphrodisiac, sedative. Leaves, seeds, resin all used; ganja (narcotic), bhang (non-narcotic) and charas (resin; strong narcotic) are forms used. Bowel complaints, appetizers, nervous stimulants. powdered leaf for wounds; poultice for local inflammation, erilypsias, neuralgia, hemorrhoids. Bhang as aphrodisiac. Charas for insomnia. Many uses.

Hsu: Ma-tzu-jen, ma-zi-ren is the dried seed. Sweet flavor, neutral property. Moistens intestines, promotes bowel movement; for intestinal dryness and constipation. Sesame seed can work instead since it is illegal many places.

Huang: Huo ma ren is fruit used as mild laxative, again using the seed. Chinese pharmacopoeias do not mention hallucinogenic or other CNS effects. Contains cannabinol; high concentrations of muscarine in the seeds may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and, if the dose is too high, convulsions and coma.



Grieve notes that equal numbers of tops of male and female plants, bruised in mortar, express the juice and with an equal portion of alcohol, 1-3 drops every 2-3 hours will cure gonorrhea.


Grieve notes use for easing pain, inducing sleep, soothing nervous disorders; for neuralgia, gout, rheumatism, delirium tremens, insanity, infantile convulsions, insomnia, etc. "In Thibet [sic] momea or mimea is said to be made with hemp and human fat."

Hemp oil is reputed to have the best balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is not narcotic.

Caragana franchetiana


Minor ingredient of F148


Huang: C. microphylla (jin gi er) or C. intermedia Kuang., C. franchetiana Koma. contains alkaloids and glucoside; used in folk medicine to lower bp and to support general body function, for chronic bronchitis; may cause dry mouth, hypersensitivity (itching), nausea, vomiting.


Grieve: NG

Re C. jubata: "Antirheumatic, demulcent, vulnerary. Used in the treatment of boils, swellings, coughs, headaches and rheumatic arthritis"

Caragana jubata


Minor ingredient of F35 (pain)


See above.


Grieve: NG

Carex sp.


Minor in F22 (deafness) and F24




Cyperaceae. Grieve: NG. There are many species. German Commission E notes German sarsparilla is C. arenaria. Used for gout, joint inflammation; saponin content may result in local irritation. Dried underground parts used. Diaphoretic, diuretic. Claims not evaluated.

Carthamus tinctorius, Linn.

Safflower; Bastard Saffron, Wild saffron; Parrot seed

Used in many; transforms hot edema to cold (37); enlarged liver (69); liver inflammation, bad-kan sMug-po; blood from 'Bam which rises and causes pain in upper back (71); bleeding, as coagulant (78-9), kidney problems (80); liver trouble (81); fever (120); mind-increasing jewel (145); coughing, fever, pain (166)

Seeds are purgative; root is diuretic. Flowers for jaundice; oil for itch, rheumatic joints; for cooking; hot infusion of flowers for jaundice, diaphoretic, catarrh, muscular rheumatism; cold infusion as laxative, tonic. Oil used in cooking, etc.

Huang: Hong hua is dried flowers for contracting uterus (small doses); contains glycoside carthamin; stimulates heart at lower doses and inhibits it at higher doses; for blood circulation, remove blood stasis; for cerebral thrombosis (50% injection); 2 ml IM for neuralgic dermatitis.


Compositae. Grieve: Flowers as laxative, diaphoretic; for children, infants for measles, fevers, eruptive skin complaints. Infusion with 1/2 ounce of flowers in pint of boiling water, taken warm for diaphoresis.

Hsu: pungent, mild, bitter flavor; warm; amenorrhea; trauma, pain due to stagnant blood; hypotensive effects noted in animal models; dilates coronary artery.

Carum carvi

(or carui), Linn.

Caraway seed

Minor ingredient in 7; open channels to let rLung flow; pain in cerebral nerves; shaking of hands (103); balancing rLung, antiemetic, antinauseant (139)

C. carvi as stomachic, carminative. Cuminum cyminum, cumin or caraway seed; used for hoarse voice, dyspepsia, chronic diarrhea. Pastes are often made. Cumin seeds are larger, paler.



Umbelliferae. Grieve: Carminative; mild stomachic properties. 1-4 drops of essential oil on sugar for flatulence. For colic; one ounce of seeds infused 6 hours in cold water for infants (1-3 teaspoons).

Cassia tora


Minor ingredient in 9; anti-inflammatory, analgesic (89, 119)

Chakra marda. Leaves seeds, roots used. Leaves internally as gentle aperient; ext. as germicide, antiparasitic. Roots, seeds same when used externally.

Grieve notes that many varieties are not as effective; the leaves of C. acutifolia are most effective as purgative but are often taken with cloves, ginger, cinnamon as correctives to the sometimes strong nausea senna can cause.

Hsu: Chueh-ming-tzu, jue-ming-zi. Sweet, bitter, salty flavor; cold. For liver heat, headache, optic atrophy, cataract, hyperemia, ocular swelling and pain; hypotensive, antifungal effects. Emodin, obtusifolin. Huang: say jue ming zi is C. obtusifolia; lowers cholesterol, anti-hypertensive, antibacterial, laxative; GI nausea, distension, loose bowels are side effects

NS-a variety of species are found in Africa. C. acutifolia used as purgative, antipyretic. mild laxative; pulverized leaves for burns. C. angustifolia leaf and pod infusion as laxative.

Caesalpinaiceae. Grieve: NS-C. acutifolia is senna.

Iwu: major constituents anthraquinones, amino acids, proteins, kaempferol, rhein and other chemicals. Don't take in presence of hemorrhoids, prolapsus, etc.

Hsu: notes C. acutifolia Delile, or angustifolia Vahl (fan-hsieh-yeh, fan-xie-ye, is extremely cold property; for food stagnancy, distension in chest, abdomen.

Chaenomeles lagenaria or C. speciosa

Chinese quince or Japanese quince

For Khris-pa without increasing Bad-kan (135); minor in other formulae.


Huang: NG. Hsu: mu-kua, mu-gua; sour flavor, warm property; beriberi swelling, arthralgia, chronic cough; diuretic, antispasmodic, antibacterial and hemopoietic (malic acid)


Grieve: NG

"The fruit is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent and digestive…decoction is used internally in the treatment of nausea, joint pains, cholera and associated cramps"

Chrysanthemum tatsienense

C. roseum is Persian pellitory

Lung inflammation, blood in sputum (9)

NS-C. coronarium and C. indicum essential oils used in treating gonorrhea.

NS-Hsu: C. indicum (yeh-chu-hua) has sweet, bitter; cold for hypertension related headache, dizziness; inflammation, tumor.


Compositae. Grieve: NS; notes C. roseum Adam is a/k/a Pyrethrum roseum Bieb. from whence the insecticide.

Chrysosplenium nepalense

C.grayanum maxim is saxifrage

Minor ingredient in four. Thangka: The "kingly" species, among the six species of spleenwort / asplenium; soothes and purifies all diseases of bile in general; gYa´-gyi ma-rigs drug-las rgyal-po; species called "Queenly" soothes and purifies all diseases of bile in general-btsun-mo; "Golden" spleenwort (same effects) is gser; "Silver" is ngul; copper-colored is zangs; iron-colored, lcags




Saxifragaceae. Grieve: NG

Cinnamomum camphora Nees.


Minor in F106, F145; Thangka: suppresses fever in general-ga-bur

Nadkarni says see Camphoris officinarum: Bauh. Essential oils used; some variants (bhimseni kapur) highly prized; diaphoretic, skin and cardiac stimulant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, internally expectorant, sedative, aphrodisiac, narcotic, carminative. In large doses, anti-aphrodisiac.

Hsu: Chang-nao, zhang-nao; pungent flavor, warm property; poisonous. Essential oils 1%: d-camphor, alpha-pinene, camphene, phellandrene, cineol, safrol, eugenol. For pain/swelling in chest/abdomen, beriberi, dermatosis, dermatitis and scabies; toothache; trauma. Huang: Chang nao; antiemetic


Lauraceae. Grieve: Laurel camphor or gum camphor; numbs peripheral sensory nerves. Combines with glucuronic acid. Used to help recovery from heart injury arising from infection, typhoid; prevents growth of pneumococci. Calming influence on hysteria, neuralgia, nervousness and for serious diarrhea; also has anti-inflammatory properties/for rheumatism. Spirit, tinctures and liniments used; sometimes injected.

Cinnamomum cecidodaphne Mcissn. or C. glaucescens

Nepal: sugandha kokila oil from berries

Minor in F7, F8; accumulation of rLung in life channel (Srog-rtza) causing anxiety, mental unrest, cerebral ischemia, pain (39)




Lauraceae. Grieve: NS

Just a note--the essential oil is a powerful microbicide but also extremely toxic/irritating and is thus rarely used.

Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Breyn.

C. cassia is cinnamon

Used in 27. Balances vitiated rLung in stomach, anti-emetic, antinauseant (139)

Tvak; Listed with C. cassia; for dyspepsia, diarrhea, flatulence, vomiting; strengthens gum, improves breath

Hsu: Kuei-chh, gui-zhi; aches, pains of amenorrhea, obstruction of chest; phelgm; cinnamaldehyde has antipyretic, tranquilizing, analgesic, stomachic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral (in vitro against influenza)

Spice for health food; carminative using bark, leaves.

Lauraceae. Grieve: The genuine cinnamon is C. zey. and the cassia form is "bastard cinnamon." Stomachic, carminative, mildly astringent; high doses fatal in dogs. C. inners used in India for dysentery, coughs.

Huang: twig; antibacterial and vasodilation from cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamyl acetate; gui zhi.

Clematis montana

C. recta is Flammula Jovis, Upright Virgin's Bower.

Minor in F100 and F138.

NS-Leaves generally used in various species but noted as toxic; C. trilobus leaves used for syphilis, scrofula, leprosy, chronic fever, snakebite.

NS-Hsu: C. florida is tieh-hsien-lien, tie-xian-lian, bitter, warm use for gout, jaundice, stroke syndrome, contusion externally. Root of C. chinensis Osbeck or C. mandshurica Rupr. is pungent, warm for rheumatism, gout, loin-knee-limb pain, apoplexy, migraine, edema; has a variety of in vitro effects.

NS-Leaf juice of C. grandiflora as vesicant, for headaches, skin diseases, rituals; C. hirsuta for leprosy, skin diseases, fevers.

Ranunculaceae. Grieve: NS-various species mentioned; noted as poison. Produce inflammation, vesication on skin; diuretic, diaphoretic; int/ext use for syphilis, ulcers.

Huang: notes mu tong is A. manshuriensis Kom, C. armandii or C. montana Buch.-Ham. or Akebia quinata. Decoctions of 9 g for intensive heat, to promote milk secretion and for acute urethritis, nephrotic edema, mammary gland obstruction.

Codonopsis convolvulacea


Minor in F115




Campanulaceae. Grieve: NS

Codonopsis nervosa, (Chipp.) Nannf.


General lymphatic disorders, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antirheumatic, feet swelling, gout, paranasal sinusitis-pruritis, abscesses, leprosy (89) ; "The flowers are used in Tibetan medicine" sweet, astringent taste, cooling potency; analgesic, anti-inflammatory, used for pain, swollen joints of arthritis /gout, stiffening of ureters, paralysis due to cerebral ischemia

NS-C. ovata Benth. roots, leaves used for bruises, ulcers.

Hsu: tang-Shen, dang-shen is dried root of C. pilosula (Franch.) Nannf., tangshen, Oliv. C. nervosa (Chiff.) Nannf. or C. clematidea Clarke. sweet, warm. Splenic gastric weakness, to replenish qi, harmonize spleen, stomach, help thirst/appetite. Stomachic, increases RBC in rabbit; hypotensive effects.


Campanulaceae. Grieve: NS; simply notes C. tangshen as a poor substitute for costly ginseng.

Huang notes it was used as ginseng substitute but contains nootropic and CV hypotensive effects; contains saponins, alkaloids; minimizes immunesuppressive effect of radiotherapy; delays hypersensitivity reactions.

Codonopsis ovata

Ludut in Punjab

Minor in F5.

Roots and leaves used for bruises, ulcers.



Campanulaceae. Grieve: NS

Commiphora camphora

Myrrh (C. molmol)

Febrifuge for many types of fever, gout, arthritis, Me-bal (67); dries blood serum, uric acid, joint pain and inflammation, skin eruptions (118); anti-inflammatory, analgesic, dries up uric acid, joint pain/itching/swelling which turn "reddish-brown" (119)

NS-see. C. mukul.

NS-Huang: C. myrrha is mo yao and resin is used which contains Z-guggulsterol and I, II, III guggul sterol as well as alpha-camphorene, myrcene. Activates blood flow, relieves pain, promotes tissue regeneration.

NS-C. africana exudate for chew sticks, stomachic, carminative, colds; rituals of Tuareg Arabs; C. erlangerana roots juice for stomach ache, gargle, expulsion of placenta; C. molmol exudate, stem bark for oral hygiene, stimulant, emmenagogue, wound dressing, purgative, snake bite; C. pilosa fruits, latex for toothache, fevers, sore throat, purgative.

Crassulaceae. Grieve: NS-C. myrrha is astringent, tonic, stimulant; for cough and in plasters. Notes that C. opobalsamum is balm of Gilead; for diseases of urinary tract but has similar properties as other balsams.

Hsu: notes C. molmol Engl. is Somali myrrh; C. abyssinica (Berg.) Engl. is Arabian myrrh. In vitro, antifungal effects noted; antitussive and expectorant effects, treats bronchitis.

Iwu: Nyamwezi use stem bark decoction as snake bite remedy. Wound dressing in east Africa.

Commiphora mukul, also Balsamodendron mukul Hook.

Gum Guggulu, Indian Bedellium, Salaitree

Minor ingredient in 28. Dysentery, fever from inflammation (33); pain, inflammation reduction, fever, welling gums, palate (113); anti-inflammatory (121); anti-inflammatory, analgesic, inflam. of eyes, nasal cavity, pus in ear (167)

Guggula. See Balsamodendron mukul; a/k/a B. agollocha. Notes family is Burseraceae. Used as an ointment, confection or plaster. Rarely may produce rash or kidney irritation, subsiding upon discontinuation. Cheaper myrrh substitute. Plater for ulcers; gargle for gums. Various mixtures for stomach, borborygmus trouble, dyspepsia; stim. appetite, digestion; stim. expectoration in TB and disinfects sputum


Nadkarni: Plasters for sores, hiccups, rheumatism. Guggula 5, Triphala 3, pipali 1 is common remedy

Inhibits platelet aggregation, increases catecholamine biosynthesis; lowers cholesterol in humans; activates thyroid gland.

Crassulaceae. Grieve: Mentions that this may be derived from C. roxburghiana, Balsamodendron mukul, B. roxhurghii or Amyris bdelium; moister than myrrh and comes in dark, reddish-brown masses. In Europe for plasters.

Coptis teetoides, Franch.

Gold thread root

(See Thalictrum foetidum)

Minor in F36 (swelling, bruising); Thangka: Goldthread from Kham repairs damaged tendons, alleviates contagious diseases-myang-tsi spras khams-sogs; alleviates blood diseases-khrag-rkang.

Mamira, Mishamitita. C. teeta Wall. Bitter tonic for appetite (no tannic acid; removes flatulence. Used for jaundice, dyspepsia, fevers. Roots of Thalictrum foliolosum and Picrorhiza are cheaper substitutes, hard to distinguish.

Huang: C. chinensis huang lian contains principally berberine; used for dysentery, whooping cough, diphtheria; scarlet, typhoid fevers. Notes dried rhizome of C. deltoidea, teetoides CY Cheng and chinensis Franch are used.


Hsu: fidgets due to heat, abdominal pain; fullness in chest/abdomen, tenesmus hemoptysis, epistaxis, conjunctivitis, tumor, oral ulceration.

Ranunculacae. Grieve: Notes form is has higher percentage of berberia than any other drug; used as tonic, esp. for stomach. C. trifolia used as bitter; local application for thrush in children. Used for dyspepsia. Also a hypertensive agent; wound infections, septicemia an hepatitis are other uses. See Berberis

Coriandrum sativum, Linn.


Minor in 20. Diuretic (20); swollen knees from 'Bam (36); bad blood, hoarseness, red eyes, dry mouth, etc. (92); for mKhris-pa (135); Thangka: alleviates phlegm associated with heat-u-su.

Dhanyak. Part used is fruit (aromatic, stimulant, carminative, stomachic, antibilious, refrigerant, tonic, diuretic, aphrodisiac), leaves (pungent, aromatic). To disguise taste of rhubarb and senna. Fruit decoction by muslims for eye-wash in conjunctivitis, smallpox. Used in many mixtures for vertigo, digestion, etc.

Hsu: Yuan-sui-tzu,yan-sui-zi; pungent,warm; indigestion, ext. for smallpox, measles; hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse (sponge with decoction).


Umbelliferae. Coriandrol is major essential oil.

Grieve: Stimulant, aromatic, carminative. Too much may be narcotic. Lucknow curry powder is 1 oz ginger, 1 oz coriander seeds, 1 oz cardamom seed, 1/4 oz best cayenne and 3 oz. turmeric. Yum!

Corydalis meifolia

"Mountain" turkey corn

Minor in F89; for general lymphatic disorders, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, rheumatism, swelling feet; Thangka: relieves effects of poisoning, suppresses swellings of limbs-lug-ngal / mngal-'di rir-skyes-par stong-ri zil-pa

NS-C. govaniana, Wall.-see next entry.

NS-see next entry.


Furmariaceae. Grieve: NS; alkaloids noted below may have narcotic action.

Corydalis sp.

cousin of Turkey corn

Minor ingredient in 9. Stomach inflammation w/sour, watery vomitus, cough, bad-kan sMug-po, hoarseness (47); bad-kan (77); Thangka: C. edalis Maxim (Lipidium latifolium) two species of turkey corn and dittander which grow anywhere; dry out serum from chest, mend skull fractures, secure cancellate bone tissue; alleviates dropsy-dar-ya-kan rigs gnyis gang-du´ang-mo; Superior turkey corn from Kham repairs ruptured blood vessels, alleviates acute pains of small intestine-rgu-drus mchog khams sogs.

Mentions C. govaniana, Wall. as plant of "genus" Furmariaceae; yellow juice used for eye-diseases; tonic, anitperiodic.

Huang: Used as analgesics. C. turtschaninovii bess f. yanhusu is yan hu so; C. decumbens (Thunb.) Pers. is xia tian wu; C. incisa (chuan duan chan cao) and C. thyrsiflora Prain is zhui hua huang gin) native of Tibet, used there for headache, to relieve pain.


Hsu: C. decumbens for hypertension hemiplegia, rheumatic arthritis, pelvic pain, poliomyelitis sequelae. Notes presence of tetrahydropalmatine, with analgesic and hypnotic action; bulbocapnine dilates blood vessels, counteracts adrenaline and acetylcholine.

Furmariaceae, altho Chinese texts place it in Papaveraceae family. Grieve: Notes similarity to Dicentra canadensis (Turkey corn) which contain alkaloids such as corycavine, bulbocapnine, corydine. Tonic, diuretic, alterative; Turkey corn often combined with stillingia, burdock or prickly ash.

Cremanthodium ellisii


Minor ingredient in F5.



NG. Also Grieve: NG.

Compositae. C. humile is Mingchenserpo (Bhutan)

Crocus sativus, Linn.


Minor ingredient in F5; F67 (all types of fever, gout, arthritis, me-bal (inflam. skin disorder); F150.

Kum Kuma. Bitter, pungent taste; small doses in fever, melancholia, enlarged liver, spasmodic cough, asthma. As paste for headache, for bruises, hemorrhoids

Huang notes use of extract crocin for ethanol-induced learning/memory impairment. Fan hong hwa as anodyne, tranquilizing, emmenagogue.


Hsu: notes uterine-stimulating and vasoconstrictives effects documented.

Iridaceae. Grieve: Yellow stigmas of flowers are medicinal parts; carminative, diaphoretic (for children), emmenagogue; chronic hemorrhoids of the uterus.

Cucurbita pepo

Pumpkin seed; sweet white pumpkin

Minor ingredient in 3.

Seeds antihelmintic; leaves for burns. See Lagenaria vulgaris:. Pulp used as adjunct to purgative; leaves purgative. Oil from seeds of lettuce, pumpkin, watermelon and poppy for insomnia (rubbed on head). Leaves in decoction with sugar for jaundice.

Hsu: Nan-kua-tzu, nan-gua-zi is seeds of C. pepo, C. maxima Duch. or C. moschata Duch. var. melonaeformis Makino. Sweet, warm. harmonizes stomach/spleen; enhances qi flow; kills intestinal parasites; for diabetes, cestodiasis, ascariasis. Paralyzes flat-worm and inhibits schistosome growth.

Fruits, leaves; vegetable for soup, laxative; seeds as vermifuge; pulp used in burns, boils, inflammatory swellings

Cucurbitaceae (melons). Grieve: Cucumber seeds (Cucumis sativa, Linn) have similar anti-taenia effect as C. pepo. She notes that C. evifera is Vegetable Marrow, which Nadkarni notes is used in chatni and halva and refers to the American variety.

Huang: notes cucurbitine is active constituent that inhibits taenia egg, segments; for max effect, used with Areca catechu (bing lang). May reduce IgE, thus good for some allergic responses. Nausea and vomiting AE possible.

Cupressus sp.

-- (cedars)

Minor ingredient in F105

C. sempervirens, Linn.; wood as astringent; fruits antihelmintic.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Coniferae. Grieve: Notes that C. thujoides is the white cedar; can be poisonous; Thuja occidentalis, yellow cedar used as aromatic, astringent, diuretic. Thujone is found in Artemisia absinthum.

Cupressus torulosa

Himalayan cypress

Minor ingredient in 6.

NS-see previous entry.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Coniferae. Cupressaceae? Grieve: NS-see previous entry.

Curcuma longa, Linn.

Curcumin; Turmeric; Saffron (?-Nadkarni)

Opens channels (blood vessels, nerves) allowing rLung to flow; pain in cerebral nerves; radial artery stiffening, shaking hands (103); antipyretic, urethra inflammation, diuretic (168). Also in 105, 113; Thangka: cures poisoning- yung-ba.

Haridra, Gauri. Curry powders owes its aroma and taste to oil. Aromatic, stimulant, tonic, carminative. Int. rhizome juice is antihelmintic; ext. for bruises, leech bites. Mixed with cow's urine in some formulae for int/ext use; sometimes mixed with neem leaves, topically for ringworm, itching, eczema. Int. for jaundice, liver problems. Various takes for digestives, obstinate skin complaints. Choleretic and for liver.

Huang: C. aromatica (yu jin) may also be C. longa. Listed as choleretic and antihepatitis Trad use is to activate blood flow, remove blood stasis, promote qi circulation, relieve depression, remove heat from heart, normalize gallbladder fx, cure jaundice. Clinical efficacy against cervical cancer, leukemia. Ext. for chronic ulcers, scabies. C. zedoaria (e zhu). Hsu: Chiang-huang, jiang-huang. pungent, warm; for general pain, shoulder arthritis. Stimulates bile secretion, detoxifies liver, hypotensive (anesthetized dogs?), uterine-stim.

Anti-inflammatory, vermifuge, embrocation using rhizome. West Africa as antihelmintic, ointment for skin diseases; also as anti-inflammatory and eye wash for conjunctivitis. East Africa, powdered rhizome mixed with flour and applied to head for headache relief. Rhizome and juice in Mauritius as emmenagogue. Non-toxic. Lab studies show cortisone effects, antitumor, reducing cholesterol (rat model).

Zingiberaceae; but Nadkarni says Scitaminaceae.

Some anti-HIV activity in human clinical studies; inhibits HIV long terminal repeat in vitro.

Grieve: Mild aromatic stimulant "rarely used in medicine." Once a cure for jaundice but now merely as a colorant, additive to curry and mustard (adulterant in the latter case). Curcumin is the yellowish coloring matter left after boiling in alcohol, filtering and drying, the remaining residue digested in ether, filtered and evaporated.

Cuscuta chinensis, Lamk.

Chinese dodder

(Dodder is C. europaea - Grieve a/k/a beggarweed, hellweed, strangle tare, scaldweed and devil's guts!)

Minor ingredient in F16.

C. chinensis Lamk. is a "parasitic twiner" (lives off of various other herbs). C. reflexa (dodder) seeds, stems, fruit used. Cold infusion of seeds as depurative and carminative for pains, stomach-aches. Seeds with sarsaparilla to purify blood; stems in decoction for constipation, flatulence, liver complaints and bilious affections. Externally for itch and other skin diseases. Fruits for fever and cough.

Huang: (tu sizi) contains glucosides, polysaccharides, resins; increases rate of turnover of lymphatic tissues, improves body immunity, increases blood sugar metabolism. Hsu: (tu-szu-tzu). Tonic; pungent, sweet, neutral. For impotence, nocturnal emission, loin or knee pain, tinnitus, dizziness, enuresis, diarrhea. Cardiotonic, hypotensive, uterine-stim, decreases spleen size.


Grieve note--Thyme-grown is preferred generally; that which grows on nettles seems better as diuretic, according to Culpepper.

Convulvulaceae. Grieve: C. epithymum, the lesser dodder, used medicinally. The genus members are parasites, usually attaching to thyme, furze, flax, nettles. Decoction of threads (stems) with ginger used for urinary complaints, kidney, spleen and liver diseases, laxative and for hepatic action (jaundice). Brazilian species used for hoarseness and spitting of blood, while powder is applied to wounds. Various species are identified by the plants which they parasitize (e.g., C. trifolia on clover, C. epilinum on flax) which may affect benefits conferred.

Cuscuta japonica

Japanese dodder

Minor ingredient in F16. Thangka: Golden dodder (C. sinensis) alleviates fever of channels associated with the lungs, liver, and fever caused by poisoning-gser-skud; a/k/a silver dodder or litchem; Inferior dodder is Cuscula sp./ Parmelia saxatitis (same effect) dman-pa.

NS-see previous entry

NS-see previous entry


Convulvulaceae. Grieve: NS.

Sweet, pungent herb that acts mainly as a liver and kidney stimulant, the seed of Japanese dodder is aphrodisiac, demulcent, diaphoretic, enuresis, hepatic, tonic; decoction of seed for diarrhea, vaginal discharge, enuresis, backache, constipation and impotence; young shoots used for sore eyes.

Datura sp.


Subsides inflammation (e.g., throat, lungs, eyes), eases pain, controls spreading of fever, swelling of tongue, gums, palate (113)

Contains atropine, hyoscine, hyoscyamine. Most info. relates to D. alba (which Nad. refers to as thornapple)

Huang: D. tatula (yiang jin hua) listed as antiasthmatic with expectorant effects. Flower is part used.

See next entry.

Solanaceae. Grieve: see below.

Datura stramonium, Linn.

Thornapple (Jimson weed)

Pain in kidneys, lower regions of intestines; numbness of legs, inflammation of urethra, swelling testicles (164); Thangka: Datura [thornapple/jimson] from Yerpa is Datura metel / stramonium increases sexual drive-thang-phrom dkar-po yer-pa.

Lists this species but lengthiest description in D. alba Nees. (referred to as thornapple): Tinctures and poultices commonly used; overdose can cause severe narcotic poisoning. Narcotic, anodyne, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac. Leaves smoked for asthma. Juice of leaves for gonorrhea and hydrophobia (latter with lengthy, nasty treatment). Root boiled in milk for insanity but used as narcotic by thieves. Medicated ghee rubbed on genitals as aphrodisiac. seeds for skin diseases, lice. Various takes for cough, pneumonia, asthma.

Huang: man tu luo is dried leaf or seed or flower of D. metel L. Scopolamine. Cholinergic blocking agents. Spasmolytic, analgesic, antiasthmatic, antirheumatic. Hsu: D. albae flos is yang-chin-hua (described as either D. metal or D. starmonium); atropine, scop. both work on peripheral parasymp causing pupil dilation, preventing spasm. Used for pain, beriberi, snuff for asthmatic dyspnea, cough. Ext. for rheumatic pain.

Asthma, coughs, ext. applications using leaves. D. metel added to palm wine for narcotic effect, for nervous disorders, eye diseases (leaves). Also use D. fastuosa all of which are widely distributed in Africa. All yield atropine, hyoscine, and hyoscyamine.

Solanaceae. Grieve: dried leaves are not poisonous; notes there are 15 species of Datura. Found everywhere (except the Arctic regions), considered a weed many places. Antispasmodic, anodyne, narcotic. All parts are medicinal, but leaves are primarily used, sometimes seeds, to a lesser extent, roots. Similar action as belladonna, but more sedative to CNS; dilates pupils. Thus, helpful for spasmodic asthma, often smoked in cigarettes for this purpose, particularly using the leaves. Dry mouth, throat indicate too much has been used. Seed extracts (boiled in water, macerated in alcohol) for whooping cough, bladder spasm, asthma but remains a strong, risky poison. Poultice for rheumatism, neuralgia as well as hemorrhoids, fistula, abscesses, etc.

Delphinium brunonianum, Royle.


Lack of stomach heat, appetite, chest pains, emesis of sour, watery vomitus, halitosis, blurred vision, renal disorders, "cold" disorders, yellowing of sclera/skin (90); Thangka: relieves demonic possession by elemental spirits, as well as poisoning, contagious fever and external parasites-bya-rgod spos; D. kamaonense Huth is Himalayan variety of larkspur; stops diarrhea-bya-rkang rigs-lo-btsan; D. densiflorum is "red aconite" which cures poisoning-bong-nga dmar[-po].

Very poisonous; juice from leaves used to kill ticks. Leaves musky scented and offered to idols.



Ranunculaceae. Grieve: NS. D. consolida is larkspur; seed tinctures used for asthma, dropsy, to kill lice; expressed application of leaves to bleeding piles; juice of flowers for colic. Seeds can be too purgative, cause severe vomiting.

Delphinium viscosum

Indian larkspur

Minor ingredient in F138; Thangka: stops diarrhea; rgya gar bya-rkang or bya-rkang.

NS-see previous entry.



Ranunculaceae. Grieve: NS; D. staphisagria Linn. is lousewort (stavesacre); poisonous. Seeds as vermifuge, used as ointment; rarely int. use as it is violently emetic. Purge for dropsy. Int/ext as aconite for neuralgia; slows pulse respiration.

Dendrobium moniliforme


Minor ingredient in 6. (Chronic pulmonary disorders in F83.)

NS-D. macrael Lindl. Roots, stems used. Contains bitters and alkaloid. Cooling, mucilaginous, light; tonic for debility due to seminal discharges; whole plant in decoction with other drugs used similarly; also in snake bite.

Huang: NG. Hsu: Shih-hu, shi-hu is Dendrobii caulis; D. moniliforme (L.) Sw. is hi-ching-shih-hu; sweet flavor, mild, cold; impairment of body fluids due to fever, dry mouth, fidgets, thirst, deficiency fever after illness. Contains dendrobine, dendramine, N-methyl-dendrobium.


Hsu: other species D. hancockii, D. nobile, D. officinale, D. hercoglossum, D. pliactile, D. clavataum, D. monile each with Chinese designation and different constituents. Antipyretic, analgesic, stomachic.

Orchideae. Grieve: NG

Dracocephalum tanguticum


(dragon's head)

Minor ingredient in 14; transforms hot edema into cold (37); hot and cold bladder disorders, diuretic, clears urethra (43); controls emesis from bad-kan sMug-po, sets broken bones (48)

NS-D. moldavicum Linn seeds are demulcent; astringent, carminative, tonic; used as demulcent for fevers; plant is astringent, tonic, vulnerary.

Hsu: NG. Huang: NS-D. integrifolium (quao ye ging lan) yields essential oil as antitussive, expectorant, antiasthmatic.


Labiatae. Grieve: NS; notes under Balsam of Gilead (Commiphora opobalsamum) that D. canariense is somewhat similar, but only because of the fragrance of the leaves.

Drosera peltata, Sm.

Roundleaf sundew

Minor ingredient in F22, F43.

Leaves used. Bitter, acrid, caustic flavor; used as a blister; cold infusions used; used to powder gold as antiseptic, tonic.

NS-D. burmanni Vahl. is chin-ti-lo, jin-di-luo; sweet, bland, cool; dispels heat, for dysentery, cough due to lung heat, sore throat, malnutrition in infants, purulent otitis media. Decoction of 6-15 g.


Droseraceae. Grieve: NS-D. rotundifolia Linn, described as round-leaved sundew; leaves are used for whooping cough, bronchitis, asthma Bitter, acrid.

Drosera sp.


Minor ingredient in F43.

See previous entry.

See previous entry.

D. indica leaves used as anodyne, antiviral.

Droseraceae. Grieve: NS

Elettaria cardamomum, Maton.


Heals kidney disorders; kidney stones, urinary tract blockage, tumors/stones from urinary-bladder (143); constituent in 65 formulae!

Ela. Seeds used as spice and for stomach complaints; carminative after diarrhea; adjunct to stimulants, bitters and purgatives. Compound equal parts cardamom seeds, ginger, cloves and caraway used as stomachic (.5 drachm dose in atonic dyspepsia); other formulae for digestive, vomiting, demulcent

Hsu: Pai-tou-kou, bai-dou-kou is dried seeds of either A cardamomum L. (E. cardamomum (L.) Maton) or A. kravanh Pierre e. Gagnep (Cambodia, Thailand); pungent, warm. Used for stomachache, abdominal distension, nausea, vomiting, indigestion. Inhibits proliferation of Shigella dysenteriae.

NG. (See Zingiber officinale)

Grieve notes many varieties including Bengal cardamom (Amomum subulatum), Nepal cardamom (similar to Bengal), winged Java (A. maximum), Korarima (A. kararima), round or Siam, Madagascar (A. angustifolium) and bastard cardamoms (A. xanthioides)

Zingiberaceae (or Scitamineae). Grieve: Chiefly used as an additive or corrective, part of mixtures, often with cloves, orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, caraway. Good for flatulence, colic, disorders of the head, improved digestion. See also Amomum subulatum

Embelia ribes, Burm.

Viranga; birang-I-kabuli

Antihelmintic, hemorrhoids (34)

Vidanga. Berries (fruit, seeds) antihelmintic, carminative, stimulant; pulp is purgative, leaves, root-bark used. Contains embelic acid, tannins, alkaloid (christembine). Powdered seeds to expel worms (esp. tapeworms)


Nadkarni: various takes used ext. for skin diseases, ringworm; leaves with ginger as gargle; fruit int. for piles; other combinations for headache; also used for scorpion sting, snake-bite.

NS-Leaves, stems, fruits of E. kraussi for teniacide, carminative; E. schimperi Vatke. leaves, stem bark for antispasmodic, antihelmintic, stomach disorders. Leaves as food in Uganda.

Myrsinaceae. Grieve: Esp. to kill and expel tape worms; early morning with milk; seeds in infusion. E. robusta seeds cathartic.

Iwu: Nigerians-antispasmodic stem bark. Fruit by Massai and Chaga as antihelmintic; E. kraussi used similarly by Zulu. Processing important to prevent toxalbumin toxicity.

Emblica officinalis

Amla berry; Emblic myrobalan, Indian gooseberry

Ingredient in 67! Dries "bad" blood; decreases high bp, reduces pain in liver, gallbladder from bp, hoarseness, redness of eyes, dry mouth or tongue, brown urine, balances menses flow (92)

Amalaki. Dried fruit (refrigerant, laxative, diuretic, stomachic, carminative), nut or seed, leaves, root, bark (astringent), flowers (cooling, aperient). Used in many formulae with all parts of the plant used. decoction or infusions of leaves, seeds;


Nadkarni (cont.): essential oil, confections, powders, pastes and pickles. Astringent extract like catechu from root by decoction, evaporation. For eyes, skin, head, ext.


Nadkarni (cont.): In various herbal blends for phthisis, febrifuge, as collyrium for eye complaints, to stop nausea and vomiting, purgative

Euphorbiaceae. Synonym is Phyllanthus emblica. Grieve: NG.

Entada scandens, Benth.


Pangra in Nepal

Minor ingredient in F4.

Also E. pusaetha or Acacia scadens. Seeds are emetic, irritant and a fish poison. Paste of seeds applied to inflammatory glandular swellings. Also for painful loins, joints, swollen hands and feet; seeds used as soap for hair.

Huang: NS-E. phaseoloides (L.) Merr. or guo gan long (dried stem has entageric acid) as antirheummatic and to promote collateral flow and relieve blood stasis.

NS-E. abyssinica leaves as hypotensive & analgesic. Tree w/pods, seeds. For severe bronchitis, coughs in southern Africa; leaf for fever, abdominal pain; juice of bark under eyelid for ordeal poisons.

Mimosaceae. Grieve: NG

Iwu notes Pusaetha abyssinica (Steud. ex. A. Rich.) Kuntze. and Entadopsis abyssinica (Steud. ex. A. Rich.) Gilb. and Bout. are synonyms. 1:1000 concentration of leave infusion lethal to gold fish.

Nadkarni says NO Leguminosae.

Ephedra saxatilis

E. vulgaris is ephedra; ma huang

Vasoconstrictor, coagulant, hematemesis from bad-kan sMug-po, bursting of lung blood vessels, hematorrhea (79); see also F81.

Very long discourse in Nadkarni. E. vulgaris Rich. Variations in ephedrine and pseudoephedrine content by species, harvesting time (Oct best), altitude and rainfall. Effects like adrenaline but can take orallly; dangerous if overused; constipation can set in; opens bronchi, dilates pupils but constricts GI; good for asthma, some heart conditions; contraction of uterus

Huang: E. sinica Staph., E. equisetina Bge., E. intermedia Schrent et CA Myer are ma huang. Ephedrine is 80-90% of the alkaloid content; ephedrine mimics epinephrine; trad. use as diaphoretic, antiallergy; used in cold medication, to alleviate headache, body ache, cough. Hsu: pungent, mild, bitter, warm; for fever, anhidrosis, ostealgia, arthralgia, cough with dyspnea, edema; diuretic


Hsu (cont.): notes E. sinica Stapf is tsao-ma-huang; each species has its variant. Called ma huang because of effect on tongue (numbing, yellow color) Increases bp. (Injections may, however, decrease bp by dilating arteries; at least in animal models)

Ephedraceae. Grieve: E. vulgaris Rich. as ma huang, order Gnetaceae. Sympathetic nerve stimulant like adrenaline. Relieves swellings in mucous membranes rapidly; antispasmodic; asthma, hay fever; also for rheumatism, lowers bp in influenza, pneumonia. As injection or pill.

Acts very much like speed; overdose causes palpations, sweating, constipation, dermatitis and skin problems.

Overdosage can be fatal.

Eugenia caryophyllata Thunb.


Ingredient in 49; febrifuge, anti-inflammatory, eye-lung-throat inflammation with sx of burning sensation in eyes, lungs, pain in these areas, dry throat, coughing, hoarseness (94); antipyretic and antidote, inflammation and pain in lungs, throat and neck regions, hoarseness and cough (95)

Refs. Myrtus caryephyllus: Used as spice, condiment, to offset taste of unpleasant mixtures; to correct griping caused by purgatives; colic, dyspepsia, increase salivary flow, indigestion and vomiting. Various takes with ginger, saffron, sandalwood, pellitory, rock salt, mercuric chloride used for various ailments from syphilis to loss of appetite, convalescing after fevers; ext. oil used for sciatica, neuralgia, headaches.

Hsu: ting-hsiang, ding-xiang; pungent, warm; deficiency-cold of spleen, kidneys, hiccough, vomiting, diarrhea, cold pain in chest, abdomen. Various lab tests show stomachic, antiviral (flu), antifungal (white ringworm), antibacterial (alcohol extract), adrenalin-antagonizing actions (frog hearbeat inhibition); stimulates uterus and its contraction.

See Syzygium aromaticum (L) Merr. et Perry. Clove, oil as anodyne for tooth-ache; antiseptic for wound dressing; coughs, stomachache, stimulant, carminative. S. guineense in west Africa and by Swahili for dysentery. Central Africa, bark decoction for diarrhea. Bemba use leaf decoction of S. cordatum for stomach ache and diarrhea. Eugenol used in dentistry. Zulu for TB, as emetic.

Myrtaceae. Grieve: Most stimulating and carminative of aromatics; as powder, infusion for nausea, emesis, flatulence, languid indigestion, dyspepsia; to assist action of other medicines. Stimulates peristalsis.

Eugenia jambolana, Lam.

Jambul, black plum, "blackberry"

Minor ingredient in 11.

Bark, leaves, seeds astringent; bark decoction with cinnamon, cardamom for chronic diarrhea, dysentery; paste of bark on gums; as gargle. Fruit juice to relieve diabetic thirst; syrup or vinegar from ripe fruit for enlarged spleen.

NS- Huang: for hiccoughs, antiemetic. Alcohol extract for fungal infections, skin infections.

NS-see previous entry.

Myrtaceae. Grieve: NS

Euphorbia sp.


Minor ingredient in F161.

Snuhi Thohar is E. neriifolia Linn. or milk hedge; variety of species noted. Variously used as purgative, emetic, alterative, stomachic, rubefacient, vesicant. Juices from stems, branches, root, root-bark used. Liniment for rheumatism. "Drastic cathartic." Asthma. Depends on species.

Many species again, with as many different uses. Huo you jin, ze qi, di jin cao (Hsu notes wolf's milk, E. humifusa for dysentery, bleeding, hematuria, jaundice), gan sui (diuretic or laxative), qian jin zi, da ji. Mostly as diuretics. Many contain steroidal compounds.

Many species listed; often using leaves or latex from plant for conditions ranging from antihelmintic, vesicant, diuretic, eye tumors, skin diseases, sores, emetic, purgative, cough-asthma-bronchitis remedies.

Euphorbaceae. Grieve: also lists as various species, including white purslane (E. corollata) among many others with their uses; listed as poison. "The internal use of the drug (E. resinifera) has been abandoned, owing to the severity of its action." Vesicant; dropsy.

Ferula jaeschkeana, Vatke. or Foetidissima

Asafetida is F. asafetida.

Used in 10; all types of rLung disorders, specifically those afflicting Srog-rtza (life-channel) with sx of anxiety, stress, irritability, lack of concentration, dullness, various mental disorders (136); 'ext' rLung affecting muscles, skin, nerve and blood vessels; 'int' rLung affecting 6 vital, 6 hollow organs; 'secret' rLung affecting life channel and general rLung pervading body (137); increases stomach heat, digestant, promotes micturition, for stomach pains, flatulence, loss of appetite, emesis, swelling eyelids, feet, vertigo (138)

Gum resin applied to wounds; often from F. asafoetida which has the lengthier description: Gum-resin from roots; used as pills, powders, plaster, mixtures, emulsions and enemas. Hysteria, nervous disorders, flatulence and flatulent colic; whooping cough, pneumonia, bronchitis in kids. Fried before use (as raw form causes vomiting). Various takes may be used. Sometimes burnt and smoke inhaled for asthma. Used for round worms in children; anaesthetic for hemicrania and dental caries. Increases appetite and digestive powers. For wound healing. May also come in form of an oil for int and ext use (including rheumatism, etc.)

Huang: NS-F. asafoetida L., F. sinkiangensis, F. fukanensis is a-wei; resin has garlic-like fragrance; contains vanillin; listed as antihelmintic; used to treat also ascites, dysentery, malaria. Hsu: pungent, warm, putrid; for intestinal parasites, abdominal swelling, cold pain in heart and abdomen; distention and pain in chest, abdomen, dysentery; purges undigested meat from overeating; contains farnesiferol; sedative, expectorant (essential oil), antibacterial, anticoagulent, induces strong contractions in pig uteri.


Umbelliferae. Grieve: NS; F. foetida Regel. is described with its acrid, powerful taste; refers to Tibetan variety as Narthex asafetida as being closely allied and often used; in Persia and India, as stimulant for the brain; mucous membranes; carminative in flatulent colic and as a useful addition to laxative medicine. Also for asthma, whooping cough, bronchitis as volatile oil is thought to be eliminated through the lungs. Owing to vile taste, given as a pill or by rectum to infants.

Foeniculum vulgare, Gaertn. (or Anethum foeniculum)

Indian sweet fennel; fennel

Minor ingredient in 9; none of which it is the top 3; F130 and F138 relate to use as stomachic; lung troubles in F150, F171.

Various varieties have different concentrations of oil; root used as purgative by ancients: one of five which includes mix of fennel, parsley, wild celery, asparagus and butcher's broom. Fruit is stimulant, aromatic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, purgative. Juice of fruit for eyesight; hot infusion of fruit for amenorrheoa.

Hsu: hsiao-hui-hsiang, xiao-hui-xiang is pungent, warm; for abdominal distension, vomiting, diarrhea, hernia, abdominal pain; expectorant and stomachic (increasing gastric and salivary secretions) effects noted.

Huang: stomachic, wind-dispelling; restores stomach fx, dispel cold, normalize qi flow, relieve pain.


Umbelliferae. Grieve: Notes best varieties yield 4-5% oil (as does Nadkarni), including anethol (anise oil) and fenchone (camphoraceous odor and flavor). Ancient use in Europe to treat eye diseases and strengthen sight; Pliny used it in 22 different remedies. Fruit used to allay griping of purgatives; fennel water with syrup and sodium bicarbonate for infant flatulence, colic. Seeds, leaves, stems all used, often in soups, salads, etc.

Fragaria nilgeernsis

F. vesca is strawberry

Minor ingredient in 6; none of which it is the top 3; anticoagulant effects F78, F79; Thangka: Fragaria indica is strawberry which extracts pus, blood and serum-´bri-ta sa-´dzin.

NS-F. vesca or F. vilginiana is the strawberry, noting two varieties.

Hsu: NG

Huang: NG


Rosacae. Grieve: NS-F. vesca: leaves used as laxative, diuretic, astringent. Fruit contains malic and citric acids. Root astringent, used in diarrhea. Tea of leaves checks dysentery. Juice of fruit held in mouth for five minutes cleans stained teeth, followed by cleansing with warm water with a pinch of sodium bicarbonate. Rub juice on skin of a badly sunburned face left on for an hour; wash with warm water with few drops of tincture of benzoin; do not use soap.

Fritillaria delavayi

Crown Imperial Lily is F. imperialis

Minor ingredient in F83 (pulmonary disorders) an F115; Thangka: Species of fritillary or snake´s head lilies heals skull fractures, alleviates fever caused by poisoning-a-bhi-sha´i rigs or yar-stod or yer-pa; see Tuliya.

Listed on Bhutan's protected plants list; please see end of this document for others.

NS-F. imperialis Linn. states only this is a heart poison with alkaloid (imperialine)

NS-Hsu: pei-mu, bei-mu is F. thunbergii Miq; chuan-pei is f. cirrhosa D. Don.; bitter, mild cold property; cough due to heat in lungs, lung abcess; chuan pei for TB, hemoptysis; che-pei for cough due to eternal pernicious influence, incised wound toxin, carbuncle, scrofula; contains unusual steroidal compounds; antitussive, expectorant; inhibits CNS, stimulates heart muscles but decreases rate; lowers bp.


Huang: Bei mu, zhi bei mu or chuan bei mu; dried bulb of F. verticillata or F. cirrhosa; Chinese name depends where it is grown; contains several alkaloids; bronchodilator, inhibits mucosal secretions; for cough; stimulates uterine contraction; dyspnea

Liliaceae. Grieve: NS-bulbs are poisonous raw but sometimes used after cooking. No medicinal use is made of plant (heart poison); F. meleagris Linn. is the chequered daffodil or the common fritillary; bulb is also considered posionous.

PubMed note: Zhang SH, Xia MX. [Comparative investigation of the therapeutic efficacy of Anhui beimu (Fritillaria anhuiensis) and Sichuan beimu (Frit. delavayi)]. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 1986 Jul;6(7):416-418, 389.

Gentiana algida

White gentian

Gentians comprise 180 species (Grieve)

Anti-inflammatory, expectorant, relieves coughing, inflammation of lungs (115); anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator, expectorant, subsides cough, shortness of breath, hoarseness, blood in sputum (116); Thangka: alleviates diseases of the throat, fever caused by poisoning and contagious fever; spang-rgyan dkar po; also cures poisoning-spang-rgyan

NS-G. kurroo, Royle. (G. chirayita, Roxb.) is Indian Gentian or chiretta; root rhizome, entire dry plant used; bitter; many species with different properties; used for fevers, inactive liver, dyspepsia with fever; helps reduce enlarged spleen and liver after malaria; various formulae.

NS-Huang: Qin jiu is G. macrophylla, G. straminea, G. crassiaulisor, G. dahurica; antirheumatic; anitpyretic, analgesic, gentianine being twice as potent as aspirin; anti-inflammatory; anti-hypersensitivity, antihistamine effects, sedation, lowers heart rate and bp. Hsu: bitter, pungent, neutral; removes wind; for rheumatism, spasms, jaundice, malnutrition in young kids.

NG--although several other genera in the family are used for fevers, convulsion, as an analgesic, for skin infections, nervous disorders, stomachache, abdominal pains using leaves, juice.

Gentianaceae. Grieve: NS-G. lutea Linn is Yellow Gentian and is the European variety; all gentian roots intensely bitter. American varieties include G. puberula, G. saponaria, G. andrewsii. Contains several bitter glucosides, e.g., gentiopicrin. For lack of appetite, digestive disorders; excellent tonic with purgatives; for jaundice; also febrifuge, emmenagogue, antihelmintic, antiseptic properties. With equal parts Tormentil (galls) for fever; various alcoholic preparations; Swedish bitters; sometimes used instead of hops.

Gentiana filistyla

Blue gentian from Yerpa

Antipyretic, subsides cough, expectorant, inflammation of lungs (114); Thangka: alleviates diseases of the throat, fever caused by poisoning and contagious fever; spang-rgyan sngon-po yer-pa

NS-cont'd-often mixed with cloves, cinnamon, coriander, other herbs; tinctures made for torpid liver, etc.

NS- Long dan is G. manshurica, G. scatura, G. triflora or G. rigescens; stomachic, wind-dispelling herb, stimulates gastric secretions; inhibits TNF so good for hepatitis (and HIV?); anti-inflammatory, choleretic, lowers bp; for urinary infection; overdose may cause nausea, vomiting. Hsu: rhizome of G. scabra Bunge.; bitter, cold; for ocular irritation, sore throat, jaundice, epilepsy, swollen/sore scrotum, damp-itch in genital area.


Gentianaceae. Grieve: NS; note that centaury is a similarly used bitter (Erythraea centaurium Pers. of the same family; flower is red instead of blue/purple.) Other species include Japanese Gentian (G. scabrae), Autumn Gentian (bitterwort or felwort; G. amarella Linn), Field Gentian with somewhat smaller roots (G. campestris); Marsh Gentian (G. pneumonanthe Linn); Spring Gentian with its intense blue color (G. verna); cross-leaved gentian (G. cruciata) and five-flowered gentian (G. quinqueflora).

Gentiana grandiflora, Larm.

Superior large-flowered gentian

Thangka: cures different types of contagious diseases; de-ba mchog


A/k/a Swertia marginala Schrenk

Huang: NS; Hsu: NS


Gentianaceae. Grieve: NS

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong.

Gentiana straminea


Minor ingredient in F151.




Gentianaceae. Grieve: NS

The roots of gentian species contain some of the most bitter compounds known; excellent tonic for whole digestive system, esp. on stomach, liver, gall bladder; root is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antirheumatic, diuretic, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypotensive; int. for arthritis, allergic inflammations, low-grade fever in chronic diseases, jaundice, hepatitis; harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Gentiana tibetica


Minor ingredient in 4; excess of over-nutritious, greasy food manifesting w/sx such as headache, bitter taste, yellowish sclera (26)




Gentianaceae. Grieve: NS

Gentiana urnula

"Lesser" gentian

Minor ingredient in F151. Thangka: cures poisoning; gang-ga-chung; also a gentian from Ga[ru] in the uplands of Nyangdren cures diarrhea caused by poisoning and fever-gang-ga-chung nyang-bran phu-dga´-la or G. urnula /depressa




Gentianaceae. Grieve: NS

Geranium sp.


Minor ingredient in 20;

Species include G nepalense Sweet, G. ocellatum Camb., G. robertianum Linn, G. wallichianum, Sweet (Sheppard's needle). Astringent, diuretic properties; usually use rhizome, which contains tannin, gallic acid. Gargle for sore throat, mouth ulcerations; whole plant in some renal diseases; ext for eye.


NS-G. incanum roots and leaves used for bronchitis and as antihelmintic.

Geraniaceae. Grieve: G maculatum Linn. or American Cranesbill Root; dried rhizome, leaves used. Contains tannic acid; styptic, astringent and tonic. Used for piles and internal bleeding. Used as injection for flooding and leucorrhea; internally for diarrhea, children's cholera, chronic dysentery; a good gargle. Notes that English variety, G. dissectum has similar properties.

Glycyrrhiza glabra, Linn.


Minor ingredient in 26; diuretic and opens blocked channels (20); Thangka: Treatment of the lungs; shing mngar

Yashthimadhu. Peeled root; tonic, cooling, demulcent, expectorant, diuretic, emmenagogue, gentle laxative; scorpion sting. Used as adjunct in many preparations. Demulcent for inflammatory conditions from mouth to anus. Root mixed with lime and linseed for coughs, colds, feverishness, pain, breathing distress and to allay thirst. Other blends for TB, bilious fevers, leucorrhea, uterine complaints; lozenges for bronchii.

NS-Huang: G. uralensis (gan cao) or G. inflata, G. glabra under herbs affecting adrenal cortex. Glycyrrhetic acid, glycyrrhizin, glucosides, etc. Effective against IFN-resistant HCV. Hsu: sweet, neutral; sore throat, carbuncle, toxic swelling, toxicosis of fetus, children; diarrhea due to spleen deficiency; thirst due to stomach deficiency, cough due to dry lungs; detoxifying action on bacterial toxins, poisons; antispasmodic, gastric secretion-inhibition, anti-inflammatory (similar to adrenal hormones); anti-ulcer (carbenoxolone), antitussive, anti-allergic.

Roots used as demulcent, expectorant. In north Africa as cough remedy, to prevent extreme thirst; in southern/eastern Africa for TB and appendicitis; lotion for eye diseases; notes toxicities (high bp, low potassium level, pseudoaldosteronism) arise from overdose or in hypersensitive people; clin. use for prostaglandin, thromboxane inhibition, HIV, skin diseases; notes that glycyrrhizin is used in many Kampo formulae.

Papilionaceae. Grieve: Pretty much lists the same benefits; demulcent remedy for coughs, consumption, chest complaints; often used with infusion of linseed for catarrh of intestines, whooping cough, sore throat, laryngitis; sugar in licorice is safely used by diabetics. With senna and/or fennel, makes mild laxative. Indian licorice, wild licorice, prayer beads are Abrus percatorious Linn; can be used similarly (contains glycyrrhizzin) but contains acrid, toxic resins.

Gnaplium affine


(variants known as Life Everlasting, Eternal Flowers)

Minor ingredient in F107.

NS-Gnaphalium luteo-album Linn. listed as leaves being used. Balraksha in Punjab.

Huang: shu qu cao - whole plant used as antitussive, antiasthmatic, antirheumatic and expectorant


Compositae. Grieve: NS-G. arenarium formerly recommended for dysentery; preserves wool from moths; used by native American. Antennaria dioica is cats foot. G. cymosum leaves when rubbed smell like southernwood. G. plantaginifolia cures rattlesnake bite.

Gymnadenia crassinvervis


(variety of orchid)

Minor ingredient in F89.


NG-Gymnema sylvestris Brown for swelling, mastitis, furuncle, snakebite--but this is not the same!


Orchidaceae. Grieve: NG

Gymnadenia conopsea is Orchidaceae; demulcent, nutritive properties; salep derived from cooked bulb.

Halerpestes sarmentosa


Minor ingredient in F36 (which treats swollen, bruised legs due to 'bam); stem, leaves used in Tibetan medicine; sweet taste, neutral potency; anti-inflammatory, diuretic, febrifuge; for inflammation of the ureters, arthritic joint pain, gout, retention of body fluids


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Ranunculaceae or Zingiberaceae. Grieve: NG.

Hedychium spicatum, Ham.


Minor ingredient in 32; digestive, promotes stomach heat, disintegrates stomach tumors & mucous, removes bad-kan sKya-bab, dries up 'or and dMu-chu, acts like a nectar for colic, cold parasites (66); promotes stomach heat, digestion, anti-toxin (85); stomach tonic (126); similar in 134-136, 144; kidney (143)

Tuber has camphorous odor like zedoary; pungent, bitter taste; root-stalk as stomachic, carminative, bitter, stimulant; for dyspepsia. Used in Holi festival. Also used in snakebite.

Huang: NG; Hsu: shan-nai (which could also be Kaempferia galanga L. Pungent flavor, warm; used in cold pain of abdomen & chest, vomiting, diarrhea, toothache, parasitic infection due to wind, decayed tooth. Contains essential oils (e.g., methyl-p-cumaric acid ethylester)


Scitaminaceae. Grieve: NG

Heracleum candicans


(H. sphondylium is Cow Parsnip)

Minor ingredient in F138; H. wallichii used as aphrodisiac and tonic. Note some species have coumarin derivatives; some may cause photosensitivity reactions in some.


Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-H hemsleyanum Mich. dried root is tu-huo, du-huo, which may be many different species; bitter, warm; used for headache, damp-induced arthralgia; pruritis, pain in hands, feet.


Hsu notes that tu-huo may also be root of various Angelica species as well as Aralia cordata.

Umbelliferae. Grieve: NG

Herpetospermum caudgerum


Minor ingredient in 28; splenic disorders, enlarged spleen, flatulence, eructation, indigestion (18); excess greasy food (26); indigestion, stomach pain (146); inflammation of mKhris-pa with headache, fever, etc. (152); anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic (153)


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Cucurbitaceae; H. pedunculosum CB Clarke. has no family listed.

Grieve: NG

http://www.anet.com/~manytimes/page80.htm say Rampinia is an older name for Herpetospermum , Cucurbitaceae , dicot

Hippophae rhamnoides, Linn.

Common Sea Buckthorn

Minor ingredient in 33; Thangka: treatment of the lungs - star bu; also alleviates phlegm associated with heat; used for lung diseases with rhodiola.

Fruit is used for lung complaints. Also called dhurchuk (Hindi) or neichak (Punjab).

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Elaeagnaceae. Grieve: thorny shrub, also called sallow thorn; orange berry used in jelly. Decoction for cutaneous eruptions. Some plants in this order have narcotic properties.

Holarrhena antidysenterica, Wall.

Kurchi, Conessi, Tellicherry bark

Minor ingredient in 9; inflammation of large & small intestines (19); anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, specifically for inflammation of intestines with intense pain, diarrhea (62); Thangka: alleviates bile disorders-dug-mo yung;

Bark, seeds, leaves used. Bark has highest alkaloid content, which can be variable. Effects more powerful against amebic dysentery rather than bacterial; in combination with various other herbs for worms, dysentery, etc. Very lengthy section details experimental, clin. results

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG

NS-H. floribunda (G. Don) Dur. et Schinz. roots, stem bark as analgesic, antiparasitic, antimicrobial; H. wulfsbergii stem bark and leaves for fevers, dysentery, syphilis, rituals. Effects comparable to emetine against amebas. Bark macerated in palm-wine used for dysentery, fever.

Apocynaceae. Grieve: NG

Iwu: leaf, root, bark used widely in Africa for malaria; also for topical preparations for skin infections; used in steambaths; in eastern and southern Africa as febrifuge and tonic; for snake bite, venereal disease; root boiled in milk and used to wash boys entering puberty; further notes alkaloids may increase RBC count (rat study); diuretic activity and can cause sodium retention.

Hydrocotyle nepalensis

Indian pennywort (H. asiatica) or Marsh Pepperwort. Iwu notes that C. coriacea Nannfd., C. asiatica (L.) Urban and H. asiatica L., H. lunata Lam. are all synonyms

Minor ingredient in F67 (used as febrifuge, gout, arthritis, Me-bal, chronic fever).

NS-Nadkarni refers to Centella asiatica, Urban as a weed occuring in wet places.

H. asiatica referred to as gotu kola or brahmi; alterative, diuretic, febrifuge, nervine, rejuvenative actions; for blood purifying, mental disorders, hair loss, immune boost, liver, bowel disorders. Rejuvenation and brain improvement.

C. asiatica is chi-hsueh-tsao (zhi-xue-cao); Huang: luo de da, ji xue cao). Bitter, pungent flavor, cold property. Clears heat, promotes water metabolism; for eruptive diseases, abdominal pain, summer diarrhea, dysentery, jaundice from damp-heat, urinary cacluli, vomiting, wind rash, hematuria, etc. Pharmacol effects are sedative, antibacterial and asiaticoside treats dermal ulcer in obstinate wounds dermal TB and leprosy.

Uses either C. asiatica (skin diseases, wound dressing, diuretic, tonic) or H. mannii for headache, liver diseases, viral infections, anti-inflammatory

Used for leprosy and lupus. Fever remedy in west Africa and leaves used in steam treatment for malaria.

Umbelliferae; constituents include beta-caryophylline, beta-farnesine, germacrene D, beta-elemente and bicycloelemente along with saponins (like brahmoside and thankuniside) along with terpenoid aglycones like centellinic, brahmic, madecassic, betulic and asiatic acids.

Grieve: valuable as diuretc; notes use in India as aperient, tonic for fever, bowel complaints; remedy for leprosy, rheumatism, ichthyosis and poultice for syphilitic ulcers. Low doses, stimulant; large doses, narcotic. Eur. version is Common Pennywort (H. vulgaris).

Hyoscyamus niger, Linn.


Minor ingredient in F41, F167 (anti-inflammatory, for eyes, nose, ears, analgesic). Thangka: alleviates diseases caused by animalcules-lang-thang-tse

Notes that the second year of the biennial form is preferred; roots work best (highest hyoscyamine concentration); used for epileptic mania, chronic dementia with insomnia, paralysis, convulsions, neuralgia, couch, asthma, hiccup, irritation of the kidneys, uterus and blader, mecurial palsy. Sedative effects strong. Poultice of juice with barley used for pain, inflam swelling

Huang: NG; Hsu: tien-hsien-tzu, tian-xian-zi is dried seed; bitter flavor, warm property; controls pain, cough, asthma; use for insanity, epilepsy, stomachache, asthma, dysentery, rectal prolapse, ext for painful swelling; contains atropine which causes pupil dilaton; inhibits peripheral nerves (decreased perspiration, salivation and gastric secretion); analgesic effects.


Solanaceae. Grieve: H. niger is henbane, listed as a poison; fresh leaves, flowering tops, branches, seeds. Found everywhere; Dioscorides (c.100CE) for sleep, analgesic; leaves/roots may produce maniacal delirium, death; hyoscyamine most common alkaloid. Various species exist; annual, biennial forms have different levels of alkaloid content; extract given in cases of epilepsy (19th c.); sleep induced may be unpleasant. Unpleaseant taste.

Hypecoum leptocarpum or Hypecoum erectum

Horned cumin

Minor ingredient in 8; Thangka: alleviates blood diseases and contagious diseases and fevers cased by poisoning-Par-pa-ta

NS-H. procumbens Linn. uses similar to Fumaria officinalis.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Fumariaceae. Grieve: NG

Incarvillea younghusbandii

Red incarvillea

Deafness, exudation of pus/pain in ear, analgesic, anti-inflammatory (21); sudden deafness, tinnitus (22); Thangka: cures ear diseases and swelling-ug-chos dmar-po


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Bignoniaceae. Grieve: NG

Inula racemosa, Hook.

Elecampane is I. helenium Linn.; known as Rasan in Persian and Arabic

Used in 38; infectious febrile disorders with cold chills; opens bodily pores, induces sweat; early stages of flu with chills, headache, fevers that spread (96); increases bile flow and digestive enzymes; for cold mKhris-pa and stomach disorders of sedentary life-style (144); analgesic, disintegrates tumors, increases biliary secretions, digestant, relieves stomach, intestinal, hepatic pain, facilitates activity of digestive enzymes (174) Thangka: alleviates phlegm associated with heat, refs. ma-nu-pa-tra or Inula helenium

Used in veterinary medicine as tonic an stomachic; other uses similar to I. helenium which include chronic bronchitis and rheumatism. Essential oil contains a bitter and benzoic acid.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-tu-mi-hsiang is I. helenium L. which contains alantolactone (antihelmintic) but very bitter; can cause vomiting. Dried flower of I. britannica L. is hsuan-fu-hua, xuan-fu-hua with pungent bitter flavor, mild, warm property; for phlegm accumulation in chest, costal distention, asthmatic cough; vomiting, hiccough, eructation, water in abdomen; contains inusterol compounds; expectorant, antiemetic effects.

NS-I. glomerata leaves used for skin disease, yellow fever, measles.

Compositae. Grieve: NS-root is used; diuretic, tonic, diaphoretic, expectorant, alterative, antiseptic, astringent gently stimulant. Formerly used for phthisis, dropsy, skin affections ("scabwort"). Chiefly for coughs, bronchitis; lozenges for whooping cough; ext. for sciatica, neuralgia. Active bitter is helenin which is antiseptic, bactericide (Iincluding against TB). I. dysenterica is common fleabane; herb, root used; I. conyza is ploughman's spikenard; wounded herb in decoction for bruises, ruptures, inward wounds; emmenagogue; leaves sometimes substituted for digitalis.

Iris ensata, Thunb.

Iris; I. nepalensis Don. is known as Blue Lotus

Swelling of testicles from "hot" and "cold" disorder (163); pain in kidneys, lower regions of intestines/hips, leg numbness, urethra inflammation, testicle swelling (164); Thangka: Iris decora / nepalensis : "Male" iris anther kills animalcules and subdues abdominal spasms-dres-ma´i ge-sar pho; "Female" iris anther from Chubzang (same effect)--ma´i ge-sar mo chu-bzang; "Neuter" iris anther, Kotha (same effect)-dres-ma´i ge-sar ma-ning ko-iha zhes-pa but which is Iris aff. spuria

By name only; I. florentina Linn. is the Orris root, which is cathartic, diuretic, stimulant, alterative; dry root contains volatile oil, starch, resin, tannin; root chewed to improve breath; used in hair, tooth powders, perfume. Roasted seeds "approach coffee" in quality; root is powdered and used in poultice for sores, pimples; I. nepalensis noted to be widely used (aperient, diuretic) for bilious obstructions; used in many formulae and thus considered a panacea?

Huang: NS-I. pollasii - ma lan zi contains irisquinone which lab studies show have action against cervix carcinoma, mouse U-14 cancer, hepatoma, lyphatic sarcoma, Ehrlich carcinoma; Hsu: ma-lin-tzu is dried seed of I. pallasii Fischer var. chinensis Fisch. has sweet flavor, neutral property; clears heat, removes dampness, controls bleeding, removes toxin; used for jaundice, dysentery, hemoptysis, epistaxis, leukorrhea, pharyngitis, carbuncle. Contraceptive effects noted in mice, but only from skin of fruit, not the kernel.


Iridaceae. Grieve: NS-juice of fresh roots, bruised with wine act as powerful purgative in dropsy. Also sometimes used as cosmetic to remove freckles. dried from for lung complaints, cough, hoarseness. Rhizome is acrid tasting. Various species are used, but the effects are similar. She discusses these other varieties, e.g., the Orris root, the oil of which is referred to as Orris butter, sometimes rhizomes being used for violet scenting in perfumes; rarely used medicinally. Pieces of dried root used to improve breath odor.

Ixeris gracilis

I. chinensis member of sow thistle.

Minor ingredient in 4. Thangka: I. chinensis alleviates diseases of bile-rtsa-mkhris rigs-la gtogs-pa


Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-mu-tou-hoi is I. denticulata (Houttuyn) Stebbins; mild, sour, astringent flavor, mild cold; functional bleeding, reddish-white leukorrhea, uterine carcinoma, lung abscess, mastitis, hematuria, ext/int trauma


Compositae. Grieve: NG.

Juncus amplifolius

J. grisbachii is bullrush

Minor ingredient in F82 (cough, general pulmonary disorder; dyspnea); Thangka:NS-bullrush grows in abundance near swamps; alleviates fever of the lungs, liver, channels and bones-´dam-bu-ka- ra mchog chu rdzab ´gram-du mang


Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-unfortunately, the page referenced in the index (p. 292) discusses Lobelia.


Juncaceae. Grieve: NG.

Lamiophomis rotata


Minor ingredient in F109 (subsides inflammation of wounds, stops bleeding)


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


?. Grieve: NG.

Lancea tibetica, Hook. f. & Thompson


Minor ingredient in 3; Thangka: repairs the lungs, extract pus from the lungs and eliminates tumours of the womb-pa-yag


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Scrophulariaceae. Grieve: NG.

Flowers, leaves, fruit used in Tibetan medicine, sweet, bitter taste with a cooling potency; for pulmonary disorders; fruit to treat heart disorders, retention of menses; leaves for wound healing.

Lepidium apetalum, Willd.

L. sativum is garden cress

Swollen, bruised legs due to 'Bam; stiffness, contraction of tibial nerve, esp. behind hollow of knee making it painful to put weight on heel (36)

NS-L. sativum Linn. (water-cress); seeds (aperient, diuretic, alterative, tonic demulcent, aphrodisiac, carminative, galactagogue, emmenagogue), leaves (gently stimulant, diuretic), root, flowers used in decoctions, infusions, confections, powders, pastes, poultices; suggests herb/seeds used in spring time when scrofulous complaints common; seeds for dysentery, hiccup, diarrhea; seeds, ghee and sugar a common household remedy for indigestion, flatulence; increase milk secretion; bruised seeds as a liniment for skin infections; var. mixtures for sprains, etc.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-ting-li-tzu, ting-li-zi is seed of various cruciferous plants, including L. apetalum. Pungent, bitter, cold; purges lungs, relieves asthma due to retention of water; water distension in chest, ribs; cough due to retention of phlegm, fluid, pulmonary abscess; oil has expectorant effects; cardiotonic, diuretic.

NS-L. africanum leaves for cough remedy, embrocaton for sprains; L. sativum whole herb, seeds for bacterial, fungal infections, diarrhea, dysentery; soup as cough, poison antidote; soaked seeds are mucilaginous for diarrhea, dysentery; ext. liniment for dressing sores on horses, camels

Cruciferae. Grieve: Surprisingly, NG!

Malva verticillata

Mallow; among the three varieties of marsh mallow, there are two "male" varieties, white (superior) and red (inferior) in color

Minor ingredient in 9; diuretic, opens blocked channels (20); indigestion, seminuria, kidney trouble (129); Thangka: alleviates urine retention, fever of the kidneys and diarrhea-lcam-pa rigs-gsam-la pho-lcam dkar-dmar gnyis ha-lo / de-la mchog dman-'dis mtshon; seed demulcent, diuretic, emollient, galactogogue, laxative; seeds sweet, astringent taste; heating potency; for renal disorders, retention of fluids, frequent thirst, diarrhea"

NS-M. parviflora Linn. found in Himalayas; seeds as demulcent in cough, ulcers in bladder; M. rotundifolia Linn. leaves mucilaginous, emollient in poultice for scurvy, piles; seeds powdered for cough, bronchitis, ulcerations of bladder, hemorrhoids. M. sylvestris Linn. (vulgaris) fruit is also mucilaginous for pulmonary and urinary tract infections; seeds in decoction as cooling and demulcent; this is a substitute for the Marsh Mallow when it is not available.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG

NG-many in the family are used, such as hibiscus (fruits and leaves of different species used for various conditions, poison antidotes, digestve disorders, etc.) No Malva genus, however.

Malvaceae. Grieve: NS-the Marsh Mallow is Althaea officinalis Linn. used as demulcent, emollient. Others in the genus Malva have been "superceded" in their use by the Marsh Mallow, but still used where the marsh mallow is unavailable, e.g., the Blue Mallow (M. silvestris Linn.); leaves of the M. rotundifolia sometimes used medicinally in western Asia.

In general, the species have demulcent, digestive, diuretic, emollient, galactogogue, laxative properties.

Meconopsis grandis

Brown poppy; Note tho that F23 is aut-pal 8 but is referred to as "blue poppy 8"

Minor ingredient in 26; controls excess blood from liver into stomach linings (23); Thangka: M. sp. can heal fractured bones, alleviate fever of the bones and strengthen the cancellate bone-smug-chung mdan-yon rigs-gnyis

NS-merely note that the species they discuss are narcotics, esp. in the roots (including M. aculeata, M. nipalensis, M. robusta, M. simplicifolia, M. wallichii)

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Papaveraceae. Grieve: NG

Meconopsis horridula

Blue thorned poppy

Minor ingredient in 6; Thangka: Can heal fractured bones, alleviate fever of the bones and strengthen the cancellate bone-tsher-sngon rigs-gnyis

NS-see previous entry.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Papaveraceae. Grieve: NG

Melia composita

M. azederach is (Nadkarni) Chinese Lilac.

M. azadirachta Linn. is Neem or Margosa Tree, Indian Lilac, bead tree.

Minor ingredient in 16 (in all Aquilaria formulae?); pain in upper back, shoulder from accumulation of rLung in blood (2); pain in body from accumulation of rLung in blood, cough with frothy phlegm in the morning (3); subsides Srog-rLung, promotes mental well-being, increases concentration, promotes sleep, lessens anger, irritability, tension, anxiety, soother nerves, curbs tinnitus (63); accumulation of rLung in Heart, Srog-rtza causing dullness, pain in upper body, mental disorders (142)

NS-M. azadirachta (Nimba) all parts of plant are used; root bark (astringent, tonic, antiperiodic) exudes resin with alkaloid, margosine. Acts against various parasites, prophylaxis against malaria; Bark (bitter tonic, astringent, antiperiodic, vermifuge); fruit (purgative, emollient, antihelmintic); leaves (discutient); leaf juice (antihelmintic); flowers (stimulant, tonic, stomachic). Bark used in various formulae for malarial fevers; tincture of bark and decoction of root bark found useful in malarial fevers; used in smallpox, leprosy, scrofula. Used in various formula in decoction or as poultice for skin diseases (itch), lice, exudative lesions, leprosy.

Huang: NS-M. toosendan - chuan lian or ku lian pi, listed as antihelmintic, may also be root bark or dried stem of neem; causes parasites to contract, detaching from intestinal wall; purgation results; antibacterial effects; side effects include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain with occasional skin eruption or blurred vision; used for thousands of years as antihelmintics; clinically for ascaris, oxyuris, trichuris, hookworm; also ext for skin sarcoidosis, ringworm. Hsu: NS-M. toosendan Sieb. et Zucc. dried fruit (Chinaberry), chuan-lien-tzu is bitter, cold, qi regulating; with toosendanin, nimbinin; antihelmintic; also analgesic. Dried root-bark and bark of M. azedarach L., M. toosendan; M. azadirachta L. var. japonica Makino is ku-lien-ken-pie, ku-lian-gen-pi with sweet, astringent flavor, neutral; similar bitter triterpenoids; antihelmintic; paralyzes head of Ascaris suis.

NS- M. azederach stems, leave used for fevers, purgative, venereal diseases, malaria; M. volkesii leaves, stem bark for headache, cutaneous leishmania.

Nadkarni: M. azedarach, L. bark (cathartic, emetic); flowers, leaves (emmenagogue, resolvent); root-bark bitter, emetic, antihelmintic, in large doses, narcotic); leaves antihelmintic, antilithic, diuretic, emmenagogue, decocted as astringent and stomachic.

Meliaceae. Grieve: NS-M. azadirachta notes margosin, tannic acid; bark of root, trunk; seed used. Bark oil anihelmintic, emetic; ext for rheumatism. Tapped for stomachic toddy. Nut oil for cramps, obstinate ulcers; ointments used against lice from pulp and for "scald head" and other skin diseases.

anthelmintic (leaf juice, stembark); antirheumatic (seed, ext.); antiseptic (fruit); aphrodisiac; astringent (stembark); bitter (stembark); diuretic (leaf juice); emetic (root bark); emmenagogue (leaf juice, root bark); febrifuge (fruit); laxative; lithontripic (leaf juice); purgative (root bark); stomachic; vermifuge (pulp, root bark); tonic. Ext. for rheumatism; aqueous extract reduces the intensity of asthmatic attacks; flowers and leaves as poultice for neuralgia, nervous headache; used as a tonic in India; rootbark highly effective against ringworm, parasitic skin diseases; gum considered aphrodisiac; use with caution, preferably under supervision of a qualifed practitioner; excess causes diarrhea,vomiting and symptoms of narcotic poisoning

Mesua ferrea, Linn.

Cobra's saffron

Minor ingredient in 14; general splenic disorder, splenomegaly, rumbling in abdominal region from spleen; normalizes dark or reddish brown lips (10)

Nagkeshar. Flower buds (bitter, aromatic, sudorific), flowers, fruit (aromatic, acrid, purgative), seed, root (bitter, aromatic, sudorific), bark (bitter, aromatic, sudorific, mildly astrigent) and oil used. Stomachic, stimulant and carminative. Leaves as poultice for severe colds; bark, root in decoction for gastritis, bronchitis; fixed seed oil for sores, scabies, wounds; leaves, flowers for scorpion sting; dried flowers with ghee, butter, sugar as paste for bleeding piles, dysentery with mucous; used for thirst, stomach irritability, excessive perspiration, cough with expectoration; etc.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Guttiferae. Grieve: NG

Mirabilis himalaica

M. jalapa is Belle De Nui, Four O'Clock

Minor ingredient in 10; M. jalapa diuretic; purgative; vulnerary; root is aphrodisiac, diuretic, purgative; used in the treatment of dropsy; leaves to reduce inflammation; decoction for abscesses; leaf juice for wounds

NS-M. jalapa roots have alkaloid (trigonelline); tuber is purgative (like Jalap, Ipomoea turpethum, Br.); root is also mild purgative; leaves as poultice for boils, buboes, abscess; leaf-juice soothes skin heat, itching, wounds.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG

NS-M. japala fruits, roots for swellings, spleen enlargement, dropsy (West Africa, Ghana).

Nyctaginaceae. Grieve: NG

Mucuna prurita

Mucuna pruriens, Bak.

Cowhage, Cowitch

Minor ingredient in 14; used in a number of formulae related to kidney function; renal disorders (11-15), kidney tonic (76)

Kapikachhu, atmagupta. The itch (pruriens) come from the hairs on the pod, which cause skin irritation and which are used as a vermifuge in electuary of honey; seeds used as strong aphrodisiac, for spermatorrhea, leucorrhea, often with Tribulus terrestris, sugar, milk; also applied to scorpion sting; root for facial paralysis, hemiplegia, delirium in fevers; ext. for dropsy, elephantiasis

Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-chi-hsueh-teng, ji-xue-deng is M. birdwoodiana Tutcher or Millettia nitida Benth. with bitter, mild, sweet, astringent flavor, warm property. Used to numb pain in back and knees, for paralysis, numbness, metrorrhagia. Hypotensive, uterine stimulant.

Seeds, leaves used as antihelmintic, tonic (West Africa, Ghana).

Papilionaceae. Grieve: says it is in Leguminosae. Pod hair (vermifuge) and seeds (aphrodisiac) used. Legumes sometimes used as food. Pod hairs pierce the worms, causing them to pull away from intestinal wall; follow up with purgative; may also result in enteritis, not surprisingly. As ointment, acts like Croton oil to stimulate paralyzed areas. Decoction of root, legumes in dropsy as a diurectic; sometimes used for catarrh, cholera. 7-8 grains cowhage in lard rubbed in for 10-20 minutes makes white pimples which disappear.

Myricaria bracteata

Myricaria rosea / prostrata Benth et Hook is tamarisk

Minor ingredient in 2; M. squamosa entire plant used; astringent taste; cooling; antitussive, febrifuge, localizes poison, ripens pimples and dries up serous fluids; used for inflammation due to poisoning, the spreading of fever from various infections, pimples that do not ripen, coughing, accumulation of serous fluids in bone joints, and meat poisoning; Thangka: alleviates meat poisoning, compounded poisons and faver caused by bile, 'om-bu

NS-M. elegans Royle. is applied to bruises.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Tamaricaceae. Grieve: NG.

Myrsitica fragrans, Houtt. a/k/a M. officinalis Linn. & Mart.; M. aoschata, M. aromatica

nutmeg, mace

Ingredient in 47; rLung of the heart with sx. of discomfort in cardiac regions, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, pain in chest, upper body, despondency, fatigue, nervousness, shortness of breath from anger, cerebral ischemia (24); subsides Srog-rLung, promotes mental well-being, increases concentration, promotes sleep, lessens anger, irritability, tension, anxiety, soothes nerves, curbs tinnitus (63)

Dried seed, nutmeg (dried kernel of the seed-aromatic, stimulant, carminative), arillus surrounding the seed is mace (arillus-carminative, aphrodisiac) and wood (astringent) used; nutmegs sometimes used as substitutes to cloves, cinnamon; nutmeg, ginger, caraway act as good carminative; used for DTs, insomnia where opium has failed; various mixtures used as sedatives, anodynes, antispasmodic, for asthma, colic, neuralgia, dysmenorrhea, spasmodic cough, etc. Tasty hulva recipe fo heart, brain, sexual debility. Concrete oil used for mild cases of ringworm; in pomade for hair growth.

Huang: rou dau kou-expels gas, central depressant; antidiarrheal; containes alpha-pinen, d-camphene, myrisiticn; Hsu: jou-tou-kou, rou-dou-kou is pungent, warm; for abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stagnancy of undigested food; stomachic; large doses of myristicin can be hallucinogenic.

Whole plant, leaves used as carminative, postpartum medication, anti-inflammatory (southern, eastern Africa); essential oil used as carminative and ext for rheumatism; used in soups. Pharmacological studies show myristicin is mildly hypnotic; inhibits various prostaglandins; used clinically to treat various stomach disorders (nausea, flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea and particularly diarrhea secondary to thyroid medullary carcinoma).

Myristicaceae. Grieve: help digestion in stomachic weakness but used to excess may cause over-excitement; increases circulation, heat; used with other substances in pestilential and other fevers; nutmeg oil is myristicin, used to conceal taste of various drugs (or nausea or vomiting from them), as a local stimulant to the gatrointestinal tract; both are flavorings in food. Nutmeg and mace used similarly; also used also to allay flatulence. (Wonderful in French toast with cinnamon and genuine maple syrup …)

Nardostachys jatamansi, DC

Valerian from Yerpa; Jatamansi

N. chinensis is Chinese Spikenard

Minor ingredient in 7; for symptoms due to parturition (32) Thangka: chronic fever, fever caused by poisoning and demonic possession, spang spos yer-pa

Jatamanshi. Rhizome and oil of rhizome used; bitter, aromatic, antispasmodic, diuretic, emmenagogue, nerve sedative, nerve-stimulant, tonic, carminative, deobstruent; promotes appetite and digestion. Substitute for valerian. Used for hysteria, flatulence, colicy pains, epilepsy, as a tonic, for scorpion sting in various recipes.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-kan-sung-hsiang, gan-song-xiang rhizome of N. chinensis Batalin, sweet, warm; for distention and pain in chest, abdomen, toothache; animal studies show sedative effects like Valeriana officinalis L. but less toxicity.

Listed as one of the herbs used for psychiatric, psychosomatic diseases, also for those related to effects of gods, evil spirits, the magic of enemies; for rituals, sacrifices and other religious acts.

Valerianaceae. Grieve: NG- notes that jatamansi may refer to Ferula sumbul Hook, F., NO Umbelliferae); rhizomes are used for stimulant, antispasmodic actions, use in managing "hysteria" similar to valerian. Also used for dysmennorhea, mucous membrane stimulant, for chronic dysentery and diarrhea; also for bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia. Too much may cause narcotic-like effects.

Nigella sativa, Linn.; N. indica

Small fennel/black cumin, black caraway Nutmeg-Flower, Roman coriander

Minor ingredient in F14, F145.

Seeds used as condiment in curries; used with other herbs for hiccup, as purgative; bitter for indigestion, loss of appetite; fever, diarrhea, dropsy; worms, fevers, to arrest vomiting; also used in scorpion sting. Various recipes.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Ranunculaceae. Grieve: often used in French cooking; contains volatile and fixed oils; also an alkaloid (nigelline); notes use in India as stimulant, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, galactagogue; adjuvant for purgative or tonic medicines; place among linens to keep insects away. Carminative in indigestion and bowel complaints.

Onosma hookeri, Clarke


Minor ingredient in 9; inflammation of blood, when needing phlebotomy (87).

Used for coloring in medicinal oil; Notes O. bracteatum Wall. used as tonic, diuretic, demulcent, alterative; often in decoction for rheumatism, kidney troubles, febrile excitement, leprosy, syphilis; substitute for sarsaparilla.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Boraginaceae. Grieve: NG.

Bhutan: rare plant. O. bracteatum is alterative; demulcent; refrigerant; tonic; decoction used for rheumatism, syphilis, leprosy; relieving excessive thirst and restlessness in febrile excitement; relieving functional palpitation of the heart, irritation of the bladder and stomach, and strangury

Orchis latifolia Linn. (or Orchis incarnala)

"Ganapati" orchis, among the species of orchid; O. laxiflora; O. mascula; Salep orchid

Salep; O. latifolia is also the march Orchis

Minor ingredient in F41; Thangka: generates physical vigour and reproductive fluid, while gathering poisons for extraction; dbang-lag rigs-las tshogs-bdag dbang-lag; other varieties, same species effect but noted as Superior orchid, dbang-lags mchog; "Yaksa" gnod-sbyin lag-pa; "Gandhara" variety, dri-za'i lag-pa; "u rang" variety, theu-rang lag-pa

Salam-mishri. Says see O. laxiflora Lam.; tuber is expectorant, astringent, nutrient; uses similar to O. mascula: Boiling in 40 parts water yields thick, highly nutritious jelly; good for diet of weak, convalescing individuals; sometimes used in wasting diseases; restorative, used as aphrodisiac, impotency, nocturnal emissions; nervous debility; also for hemiplegia, paralytic infections; diabetes. Various recipes.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG



Used as astringent; demulcent; expectorant; nutritive; for cancer; the tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested after flowering and setting seed

NG; in the family, bark of aerangis thomsonii is use as anti-inflammatory, for abscesses, topical hernia treatment; Bonatea steudneri roots used as antihelmintic, carminative, colds.

Orchidaceae. Grieve: Salep is nutritive and demulcent; more starch found in young tubers than old; mucilage most important constituent; yields volatile oil (more when fresh); used similarly to arrowroot (Maranta arundinaceae); often used on ships for food in case of shortages; allays GI tract irritation (1 part salep to 10 parts cold water) until diffused; then add 90 parts boiling water and shake well.; used thus often for infants and invalids suffering chronic diarrhea and bilious fevers.

Oxytropis chiliophylla (or O. microphylla)


Minor ingredient in 9; subsides inflammation of wounds, stops bleeding (109); fever, infections (117); for contagious, febrile disorders, esp. lungs, influenza (161); Thangka: cures poisoning, stag-sha; white form heals wounds, stops diarrhea, erradicates plague and acts as an emetic: Stag-sha dkar-po; black variety, stag-sha nag-po


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Leguminosae. Grieve: NG

Oxytropis lambertii is toxic to cattle; horses that eat this plant become difficult to handle; also called locoweed; other possibly incorrect synonyms include Aragallus articulatus, O. lambertii ssp. bigelovii, O. patens

Pedicularis anas Maxim. var. tibetica


Minor ingredient in F20.

NS-P. comosa Linn. contains glucoside, rhinanthin; P. pectinata Wall. is astringent, hemostatic; P. siphonantha Don. used in Punjab.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Scrophulariaceae. Grieve: NS-P. sylvatica is dwarf or lesser red rattle; herb used similar to eyebright; wound herb and styptic; Culpepper notes its use to heal fistulas and hollow ulcers.

Pedicularis oliveriana, Prain.

White lousewort

Minor ingredient in F46; general hot and cold khris-pa disorders with headache, bitter taste, nausea (175); Thangka: conserves reproductive fluids; lug-ru dkar-po

See Pedicularis anas Maxim. var. tibetica

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Scrophulariaceae. Grieve: See Pedicularis anas Maxim. var. tibetica

Pedicularis pyramidata


For both "hot" and "cold" urinary bladder disorders; diuretic, clears the urethra (43); "entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine," sweet, astringent taste, heating potency; analgesic, diuretic; for retained/ accumulated fluids in the body, difficult micturation, breathlessness, inflammation of the bone/marrow, pain from inflammation and accumulation of serous fluids

See Pedicularis anas Maxim. var. tibetica

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Scrophulariaceae. Grieve: See Pedicularis anas Maxim. var. tibetica

Phlogacanthus pubinervius


Minor ingredient in F15, F154 is for hot and cold mKhris-pa; see Swertia.

NS. P. thyrsiflorus Nees. used like Adhatoda vasika.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Acanthaceae. Grieve: NG

Phlomis kawaguchii

Variety of wickweed

Minor ingredient in F115; Thangka: alleviates fever of chest, common colds; lug-mur chu-bzang; also P. rolata secures cancellate bone tissue and extracts serum; rta-lpags rigs gcig

NS-P. cephalotes = Leucus cephalotes (flowers contain alkaloid; stimulant, expectorant, aperient, diaphoretic; juice sniffed for colds, headaches, snake-bites); P. nepetafolia = Leonites nepetafolia (decoction of leaves for intermittent fever, convalescence): P. zelanica = Leucus zeylanica (bitter root, leaves, flowers for skin, scabies).

Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-P. maximowiczii L. in Korea is hsu-tuan, xu-duan; high grade drug used ext. for injuries like broken bones; contains alkaloids; has anti-inflammatory effects; dried rhizome; bitter, pungent, mild warm; for swelling carbuncle, foot debility, lumbago; stops bleeding; analgesic effects; promotes tissue regeneration.


Labiatae. Grieve: NS-P. fruticosa or Jerusalem sage; sometimes erroneously referred to as sage (Salvia verbenaca); the leaves are of a similar shape; synonyms of this are Pulmonaria officinalis and Common Lungwort. Whether it bears any resemblance to this species isn't clear.

Picrorrhiza kurroa, Benth.

(Katuki, Katki)

Ingredient in 31; chu-sman-ril-bu; epistaxis, pain in upper body or in hips, joionts (35); all minor disorders, bad-kan and blood disorders (77); blood disorders, abnormal discharge of blood, semen (105); anti-inflammatory, anitpyretic, analgesic (153); Thangka: P. scrophulariaefolia alleviates blood diseases; hon-len

Katuka. Dried rhizome is used; glucoside is picrorhizin; bitter almost as powerful as gentian; root is mild purgative. Don't confuse with kala kutki (black Helleborus niger); used for fever with constipation, scorpion sting, malarial fevers; with licorice, raisins, neem, used for fever; with A. calamus, C. myro-balans and plumbago root for dyspepsia

Huang: NG; Hsu: hu-huang-lien, hu-huang-lian, bitter, cold; disperses heat, dries dampness; for "bone-steaming" due to overexertion, hectic fever; fidgets, hyperemia, dysentery, jaundice, carbuncles, hemorrhoids, epilepsy in children, malnutrition in infants; bitter is kutkin; bitter stomachic effects; inhibits dermatophytes in vitro.


Scrophulariaceae. Grieve: NG

Piper longum Linn.

Long pepper, dried catkins

Ingredient in 46; subsides swellings, promotes micturition (42)

Pippali. Immature berries (dried unripe fruits or fruiting spikes) dried in the sun; stems (roots); stimulant, carminative, alterative tonic more powerful than black pepper; aphrodisiac, diuretic, vermifuge, emmenagogue; root is stimulant. Used with ginger, black pepper for hoarseness, cough as well as GI complaints; oil rubbed on sciatica, lumbago with other oils as rubifacient.

Huang: fruit spike is bi ba to dispel cold, relieve pain, stomachic, dispels wind and chi; Hsu: pi-po, pi-bo; dried fruit; pungent, hot; warms middle warmer, disperses cold; for cold pain in chest and abdomen, vomiting, acid regurgitation, borborygmus, diarrhea, headache, sinusitis, toothache; analgesic, stomachic effects; action against Staph. aureus, Bacillus subtilis, E. coli; piperine destroys flies

NS-P. capense leaves, fruits used in coughs, antihelmintic, fevers, insecticide; P. guineense fruits, leaves used as carminative, restorative soup after childbirth, embrocation for sprains

Piperaceae. Grieve: fruit is a dark gray; the younger is better than later; extremely hot; contains piperine; she avers that P. nigrum is superior.

Piper nigrum, Linn.

Black pepper

Minor ingredient in 11.

Maricha, gulmirch. Used in a variety of formulae; used as a gargle for hoarseness, toothache; similar uses as P. longum; compound for dyspepsia contains ginger, long pepper, the three myrobalans, saindhava, black salts, marking nut, cow's urine and other ingredients; with asafoetida and camphor for flatulence; for fevers; various skin diseases; also used with opium in cholera; used for descent of rectum in old/weak people; also used in scorpion sting; used in various snuffs for coma, fainting

Huang: hu jiao is dried fruit; anti-convulsive; piperine is main alkaloid; warms stomach, removes coldness; anticonvulsive, sedative; may take 2-3 days steady use to reduce convulsions; use after meals; prolonged administration may result in withdrawal syndrome; do not give with alcohol; Hsu: hu-chiao, hu-jiao, dry immature fruit; pungent, hot; same as P. longum; piperine, chavicine; essential oils; increases appetite in small doses; large doses tho cause inflammation, stimulates gastric mucosa

Fruits, leaves used as embrocation for sprains, for colds, asthma remedy (west Africa, Ghana)

Piperaceae. Grieve: aromatic, stimulant, carminative; said to be febrifuge. Stimulant particularly for mucous membrane of rectum; good for constipation; aids digestion; corrects flatulence, nausea; used in vertigo and paralytic and arthritic disorders; sometimes added to quinine; piperine shouldn't be used with other astringents as it renders them inert; sometimes used for diseases such as gonorrhea, cholera, scarlatina; in solution for Tinea capititis; as a gargle for paralysis of the tongue, to relax the uvula; ext. as rubefacient for prolapsed anus. Taken with aperients to facilitate their action and prevent griping.

Pisum sativum, Linn.

Green or Garden Pea

Bad-kan sMug-po bursting upward (causing vomiting) or downward (diarrhea); excessive bleeding from accidents; epistaxis; coagulant (78)

Contains alkaloid trigonelline as well as water, albuminoids, starch, oil, fiber, ash; seeds sweet, farinaceous; soup is light, refrigerant, astringent; good for diseases of blood, phlegm, "vitiated bile"

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Leguminosae. Grieve: NG

Pleurospermum, sp.

called Nyak in the southern valleys; also "inferior hog´s fennel"

Thangka: Superior pleurospermum fungus; relieves demonic possession and alleviates fever caused by poisoning; rtsad-mchog snyag-tu Iho-rong ´bod-rgu-drub dman-par yang-bzhed; "male" and "female" varieties alleviate effects of poisoning; rtsad rigs-gnyis-sam pho-mo; "Male" Pleurospermum from Yerpa subdues swellings, muscular spasms, internal nodes - 'bam-po pho yer-pa; "Female" (same) - 'bam-po mo; "Neuter" - 'bam-po ma-ning


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Umbelliferae. Grieve: NG

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong.

antidote; febrifuge; entire plant used in Tibetan medicine; bitter taste, cooling potency; antidote, febrifuge, for fevers from poisoning and spreading fever

Plumbago zeylanica, Linn.

Ceylon or White Leadwort

Minor ingredient in F138, F174.

Powerful poison! Chitra. Root, which contains acrid plumbagin; increases digestive power, promotes appetite; small doses of plumbagin stimulate CNS while larger doses paralyze it; causes abortions; root reduced to paste used in leprosy, abscesses, scabies, ulcers, other skin diseases; used as caustic; int. for dyspepsia, piles, anasarca, diarrhea, antiperiodic; flatulence, hemorrhoids, itching formulae; epilepsy, hysteria, mania uses brahmi, A. calamus and root; avoid if pregnant

Huang: NG; Hsu: hei-mien-ma, hei-mian-ma is dried entire plant; pungent, bitter, astringent, warm; removes wind, disperses stagnant blood; for rheumatism, intestinal parasites; anemia due to stagnant blood, ext/int trauma, toxic swelling, malignant furuncle, scabies; hypotensive effects on rabbits; CNS effects-excitative in low dose, paralyzing in large doses

Roots, leaves, stem used in parasitic skin diseases, piles, fevers, antihelmintic, vesicant, abortifacient, general anti-inflammatory in west Africa, Ghana; listed as one of the plants used as antihelmintics.

Plumbaginaceae. Grieve: notes that this species is a strong diaphoretic; P. europaea Linn. is acrid when chewed and increases salivary flow; used in France for toothache; decoction of root in olive oil used in treating itch (scabies?).

Podophyllum emodii, Wall.

Indian podophyllum

Balances rLung, blood, thins coagulated blood; promotes normal menses flow; headache from Bad-rlung, pain at the back of the neck, pain in hips, kidneys, lower intestines (111)

Amla-vetasa. Flattened rhizomes with narcotic odor and bitter, nauseous tate; active ingredient is podophyllin (extracted with alcohol) which consists of quercetin, podophyllotoxin, acids, resins; cholagogue, alterative, bitter tonic, emetic, drastic purgative. Resin is "sure purge" in torpid liver; used for bilious fevers; "vegetable calomel" with action similar to mercury; with hyoscyamous, acts as effective purgative.

Hsu: NS-pa-chiao-lien, ba-jiao-lian is rhizome of P. pleianthum (Hance) Woods; bitter, pungent, neutral; removes toxic heat, dissolves phlegm; used for carbuncle, furuncle, scrofula, acute tonsillitis, ext/int trauma; anticarcinomatous effect similar to convulin; extirpated animal organs excited


Huang: pa jiao lian is dried root, rhizome; podophyllotoxin for condyloma; cytotoxic, mutagenic; activity against HSV1

Podophylaceae but Grieve, Hsu, Nadkarni all say Berberidaceae.

Grieve: notes it is used as a substitute for P. peltatum Linn. (American Mandrake); roots are stouter, knottier and twice as strong as American form; contains twice as much podophyllotoxin and is different in other ways so is not a substitute; Mandrake acts as GI irritant, powerful hepatic, intestinal stimulant.

Polygonatum cirrhifolium

P. multiflorum, Allem. is Solomon's Seal

Minor ingredient in 8; sweet taste neutral as antitussive, carminative, tonic, promote bodily heat and dry up serous fluids; for loss of vigour, pain in kidneys and hips, swelling and fullness in the abdominal region, accumulation of fluids in bone joints, skin eruptions, coughs


Huang: NS; Hsu: NS-huang-ching, huang jing is dried rhizome of several species; sweet, mild, warm; dry cough, thirst, general debility; animal studies show hypoglycemic, hypotensive effects; antibacterial, anti-dermatophyte effects; Solomon's Seal or yu-chu, yu-zhu is similar (even same species); for fidgets

NS-P. humile listed as treatment for diabetes.

Convallariaceae. Grieve: NS-P. multiflorum root/rhizome used; rhizome contains convallarin (active constituent of lily-of-the-valley); astringent, demulcent, tonic; for pulmonary consumption and bleeding of lungs; used for dysentery, piles; poultice for bruises; used to help bones knit. Others note anti-tussive; cardiotonic; carminative; sialagogue; stimulant; tonic; roots: cardiotonic, sialagogue, stimulant and tonic

Polygonum periginatoris


Anti-inflammatory, controls diarrhea caused by inflamed intestines; antipyretic - snya-lo gsum-thang (110)

NS-various species noted as diuretic, carminative, antihelmintic; root for diarrhea, dysentery; P. flaccidum for insect, snake-bite; P. glabrum leaves to relieve colic pain; fever, "stitch in side"

Huang: NS; Hsu: NS-many species; P. bistorta L., quan-shen is snakeweed rhizome, bitter, mild, cold, poisonous (or Paris genus); for fever, epilepsy, tetanus; P. cymosum Trev. kai-jin-suo is root, rhizome with sweet, sour, bitter, cold; for swollen throat, hepatitis, tendon pain, bacillary dysentery, carbuncle, scrofula; P. chinense L. is Chinese smartweed, huo-tan-mu-cao, sour, cool; for diarrhea, febrifuge, headache; P. hydropiper L. smartweed, shui-liao, pungent, neutral, entire plant, for summer digestive disorders, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, dysentery, scabies; found in shen-gu mixture for promoting appetite; a/k/a liao-shi which is seed for tumor,scrofula, cholera, scalp lesions, abdominal mass, edema, toxic lesions.

NS-P. senegalensis leaves, whole plant used for rheumatic pains, syphilitic sores, inflammation; P. setosulum in list of psychosomatic diseases (curses, demons, etc.)

Polygonaceae. Grieve: NS-P. fagopyrum is buckwheat; Chinese variety is P. cymosum while P. tartaricum is an important source of flour. Called soba in Japan; cakes may cause reactions in some; by contrast, P. erecta is knotgrass, a variety of P. aviculare; whole herb is used, highly astrigent and as infusion or decoction for diarrhea; used as a gargle and remedy for inflammatory diseases of the tissues.

Polygonum polystachyum

Himalayan knotweed or [Superior] black lakeweed

Minor ingredient in F43; may cause photosensitivity in some; leaves, stems, seeds cooked as food. Thangka: cleanses serum and dropsy; chu-ma-tsi nag-po; white lakeweed is P. polystachyum / sibiricam Laxm.; cleanses serum and dropsy - chu-ma-tsi dkar-po.

NS-see previous entry.

Huang: NS; Hsu: NS- P. lapathifolium L. var. salicifolium Sibthrop water pepper, shui-hong-hua-zi for asthma or it is P. orientale L. (also hong-cao, pungent, cool, poisonous; for rheumatoid arthritis, bug stings, scrofula); P. multiflorum Thung. Chinese cornbind he-shou-wu stem, bitter, sweet, astringent, warm for prematurely white hair, liver/kidney yin deficiency, functional bleeding, malaria, intestinal wind, carbuncle, scrofula; anthraquinone; purgative, cholesterol lowering effect; may act against viruses; tranquilizing effects

See previous entry.

Polygonaceae. Grieve: NS-see previous entry.

Polygonum sp.


P. campanulatum/sibiricum Laxm. - alleviates fevers of hollow viscera, mostly small, large intestines; snya-lo; knotgrass is P. macrophyllum /viviyorum; stops diarrhea; skye-gnas-gyi dbang-gis tha-ram-du khag-cig bzhed / bod-mkhas 'di nus-pa logs-su-'dod

NS-see previous entry.

Huang: NS; Hsu: NS- P. aviculare L. knotweed or bian-xu (which may be other species) is dried herb, bitter, neutral for dysentery, jaundice, dermal eruption, puritis; has various antibacterial, antihelmintic (in vitro) diuretic, hypotensive effects; P. cuspidatum Seib. et. Zucc., P. reynoutria Mak., P. runcinnatum Buch.-Ham. is bushy knotweed, sour, bitter, cold; similar action to P. cuspidatum.

See previous entry.

Polygonaceae. Grieve: NS-see previous entry.

Prunus armeniaca, Linn.


Minor ingredient in F77.

Apricots are nutrient and tonic; may form an antidote to hill sickness; dried fruit for thirst, refrigerant, laxative; seeds used in some confections; kernels nearly half oil similar to almond oil. Pits may contain cyanide.

Huang: overdose can be very toxic; may be other species; Hsu: xing-ren; seed contains amygdalin, bitter, warm, slightly poisonous for cough due to exogenous pathogenic factor, dyspnea, constipation


Rosaceae. Grieve: Cheaper but similar quality to almond oil; often used in cosmetics to soften skin, in soaps, cold creams, perfumes.

Laetrile, a putative cancer treatment, derived from pits; efficacy in doubt.

Pterocarpus santalinus, Linn.

Red sandalwood

Minor ingredient in 30; note coagulant effects (78, 79); poisoning, excess blood enlarged liver/spleen (97); anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (157, 159). Thangka: alleviates blood diseases; tsan-dan dmar-po

Wood of tree is used; contains santalic acid; mildly astringent, cooling, tonic; heartwood is called Santalum rubrum; used in astringent remedies for bleeding piles, dysentery, hemorrhages; also as diuretic for fistulae (w/o fever); powdered and mixed with milk for bleeding piles; decoction of legume for dysentery; ext. for scorpion sting, piles; paste for eyes; with honey or oil for boils, abscesses.

Huang: NG; Hsu: P. indicus is Burmese Rosewood (zi-tan) febrifuge with salty flavor, neutral; used for toxic swelling, incised wound bleeding, chest/abdominal pain, cholera, diarrhea, dysentery; notes P. santalinus contains many chemicals; aqueous extract inhibits ascitic tumor, decreases ascites and mortality rate and prolongs life in the mouse.

NS-leaves, roots used against diarrhea, as an abortifacient; P. sayauxii for fevers, diarrhea, wound dressing; P. angolensis one of herbs listed as abortifacient; various other species used for similar effects.

Papilionaceae. Grieve: Notes NO is Leguminosae; astringent, tonic use in India; employed in pharamcy for coloring tinctures; chiefly noted for use as dye for silk, etc.

Pterocephalus hookeri


Minor ingredient in 3; for fever from inflammations, subsides severe infections spaang-rtzi (117)


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Dipsacaceae. Grieve: NG

Pulicaria insignis


a type of fleabane?

Minor ingredient in F7, F8. "The 'yellow' species of this plant (ming can nag po) has been identified as Pulicaria insignis, having a bitter taste, cooling potency and application in cases of infectious fever, diphtheria, wind-blood imbalances and as an analgesic. The black type is similar with additional application in cases of poison-fever, colds and influenza."

NS-P. crispa Benth. noted as antiseptic; burhna in Hindi.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG

NS-P. crispa leaves used for fevers, headache, inflammation, wound healing (in Ghana)

Compositae. Grieve: Common fleabane is noted as Inula dysenterica Linn., but now is referred to as in the genus Pulicaria. Placed in Asteraceae family by Dr. Duke's EthnoBot database: P. capensis - Tumor(Vagina) Hartwel; P. crispa - Bruise Uphof, Woi.Syria; Bruise(Veterinary) Broun; Fever Woi.Syria; Vulnerary Uphof, Woi.Syria; P. dysenterica as astringent Steinmetz, Woi.Syria; diarrhea Quer, Steinmetz, Woi.Syria; diuretic Steinmetz, Woi.Syria; dysentery Al-Rawi, Steinmetz; repellant(Insect) Al-Rawi; Tonic Steinmetz, Woi.Syria; P. scabra tumor(Vagina) Hartwell; P. undulata as Tea; P. vulgaris Cancer Hartwell

Punica granatum


Ingredient in 37; bad-kan; burning sensation in chest, emesis (sour, watery) (44); improving digestive heat, to increase bodily sustainers; promotes urine flow, tonic for kidney, bladder, stops diarrhea, effective against cold disorders such as diarrhea, cold parasites, serumal disorders, arthritis (104); bad-kan skya-bo, bad-kan smug-po, bad-mkhris, combination of "tridoshas", bad-kan ser-po (112); indigestion, flatulence, increase stomach heat, relieve kidney pain, polyurea, lack of sexual urge, etc. (127-134). Thangka: alleviates phlegm associated with heat; se-´bru

Flowers, rind of the fruit, fruit juice, dried bark of stem and root used; contains tannins, gallic acid and alkaloids (which are astringent, antihelmintic, taenifuge); fruit in convalescence after diarrhea; syrup anar from fruit as febrifuge; root bark used for tape worm, followed by castor oil; also useful for other worm infestations as well as consumption in kids; used when quinine fails as a malaria treatment; various recipes, e.g., juice with cloves, ginger, galls for piles; flowers for hemoptysis, hemorrhoids, hematuria; flower buds used in bronchitis; green leaves as paste for eyes; juice of flowers for epistaxis

Huang: shi liu pi is dried pericarp; excessive use of alkaloid may have curare-like effects (tremors, convlusion, coma; side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, visual difficulty); active against tape worms; antibacterial against E. coli, P. aeruginosa, Candida albicans; used for thousands of years to purge parasites using root bark, rhizome; used in dysentery, enteritis; Hsu: shi-liu-pi pomegranate rind, sour, astringent, arm; diarrhea, dysentery, hematochezia, rectal prolapse, morbid leukorrhea, abdominal pain from parasites.

Fruits used for diarrhea, vermifuge, ordeal poisons; limited traditional use but acclaimed as potent antihelmintic; mentioned in papyrus Ebers of Egypt from 1550 BC; ingredient for tx of dysentery and chronic diarrhea; fruit rind used in pospartum medication; noted as one of several herbs for expelling tapeworms.

Lythraceae. Grieve: Bark contains punicotannic (gallic) acid as well as four alkaloids (forms of pelletierine). Seeds demulcent; fruit mildly astringent, refrigerant; bark (macerated) used to remove tapeworm; may cause nausea, vomiting. Rind used for diarrhea, dysentery.

Iwu: Notes pharmacological studies show pelleterine is active against tapeworm but not other parasites (maybe other alkaloids work?); relaxes grip and then expelled using other cathartics; flower and rind extract active against various bacteria, fungi

Pyrus pashia, Fruit of, a/k/a Pyrus kumaoni Decne; Pyrus variolosa Wall.

Indian wild pear; P. malus is crabapple; Pyrus Pear

Minor ingredient in F35 (epistaxis, pain); " Fruit - raw or cooked. Up to 2.5cm in diameter. The fruit is usually bletted, but even then it is not sweet. Tasty when fully ripe, even when dried. Our experience is that the fully ripe fruit has a reasonable flavour and, when bletted, is sweet and very pleasant. …The fruit contains about 6.8% sugars, 3.7% protein, 1% ash, 0.4% pectin. Vitamin C is very low, about 1.2mg per 100g."

NS-P. cydonia is quince; leaves, bud, bark used as astringent; seeds for gonorrhea, dysentery (mucilage protects mucous membranes); ext. for scalds, burns; fruit (sweet, subacid varieties) used in jams; dried fruit as refrigerent. P. malus root is antihelmintic, refrigerant, hypnotic. Apple juice reduces stomach acidity; common use may prevent cacluli and often used for cleansing, digestion.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Rosaceae. Grieve: chief benefits derived from malic and tartaric acids; good for the liver, neutralizing products of gout and indigestion; quick energy source; unsweetened cider prevents kidney stone formation; better than whiskey!; good as a dentrifice as well; an apple a day, as they say…typhus bacilii don't last long in apple juice altho whether that translates into signfiicant clinical benefit isn't exactly clear!

Rheum emodi, Wall.

Himalayan rhubarb

Minor ingredient in 4; for indigestion, flatulence, anticolic, laxative, difficulty expelling fetus and placenta, clears normal pathway of rlung thur-sel (173).

Root used as purgative (in the west); stomachic, bitter, tonic, cathartic for simple diarrhea; not for those with tendency to gout, rheumatism, epilepsy or uric acid diseases-has oxalic acid

Huang: NS; Hsu: NS-see R. palmatum.


Polygonaceae. Grieve: see R. palmatum.

Rheum nobile, Hk. F&T.


Minor ingredient in F175; both hot and cold urinary bladder disorders, diuretic, clears urethra (43)

Says synonymous with R. emodii.

Huang: NS; Hsu: NS-see R. palmatum.


Polygonaceae. Grieve: see R. palmatum.

Rheum palmatum Linn. R. webbianum

East asian rhubarb

Minor in F. 18, F174; indigestion, acute and chronic rLung, mKhris-pa, Bad-kan; for irregular menstruation (56). Thangka: cleanses phlegm in addition to fevers caused by poisoning and fevers of the hollow viscera; Lcum-rtsa.

Merely notes that it contains chrysophanic acid, emodin.

Huang: Tai huang is laxative herb (also R. officinale Baill., R. tanguticum Maxim. ex. Balf.) containing rhein, emodin, other glycosides, tannic acids, etc.; potent laxative; long term use not advised; used for chronic renal failure; can suppress TNF, IL-1, IL-6; used to lower bp, cholesterol; antispasmodic effect 4x stronger than papverine (from opium); used as major remedy or adjuvant therapy; Hsu: see next entry.


Polygonaceae. Grieve: The root is used and may act effectively against bacterial dysentery, not through direct anti-bacterial action necessarily, but by it's initally powerful purgative action followed by the astringent effect that stops diarrhea and bleeding. Comes as a fluid extract, tincture, syrup, infusion or solution. Active constituents include tannoids and purgatives (rheopurgarin, which consists of four glucosides). Lower doses used as stomachic, for dyspepsia. This variety should not be confused with the R. rhaponticum that has similar but milder effects, and the stems of which are used to make delicious rhubarb betty and the like.

Rheum sp.


Thangka: R. speciforme is "Female" variety of rhubarb; cleanses phlegm in addition to fevers caused by poisoning and fevers of the hollow viscera; mo rdza-chu-ra; "Neuter" rhubarb or R. webbianum cleanses phlegm in addition to fevers caused by poisoning and fevers of the hollow viscera; ma-ning chu-chung

See R. emodi.

Huang: NS; Hsu: R. palmatum: da-huang rhizome; bitter, cold; constipation from excess heat, delirium and mania; sensation of fullness; edema, jaundice from damp heat; tenesmus, carbuncle, burns, scalds, amenorrhea; animal studies show it increases gall bladder production; purgative (anthraquinones, glycosides); astrigent (tannic), animal studies show inhibits malignant cancers in mice; stomachic effects. May be various species.


Polygonaceae. Grieve: see R. palmatum.

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong.

Rhodiola sp.

R. rosea a/k/a Sedum rosea (L) Scop. or Sedum rhodiola DC

Type of brown sedum or stonecrop

Minor ingredient in 8; anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, spec. for lungs (157). Thangka: R. algida is "Paw-like" brown sedum from Yerpa; alleviates fever of the lung; smug-po; or lung treatment: srol-lo sug-´dra


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Crassulaceae. Grieve: NG. See Sedum. Dharmananda notes Chinese name is hongjingtian; work done by Lazarus in Russia underscored effects as adaptogen meaning it can " safely assist the body in maintaining its homeostatic balance and recovering from the effects of adverse weather, emotions, and disease influences"; 10,000 tons produced each year.

Rhodiola saera

Type of stonecrop

Minor ingredient in 4.


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


aceae. Grieve: NG

Rhododendron aff. cephalanthum


Minor ingredient in 5; rLung and bad-kan skya-rbab; digestive, diuretic, relieves cough, swelling of the body, pain and swelling in chest, trachyphonia, vertigo disagreeable area and climate (58); vasodilator, disorder of the nerves, paralysis of extremity, Parkinsonism, distortion of eyes, mouth (59). Thangka: R. capitalum Marim is white rhodo-dendron; alleviates phlegm disorders, such as morbid pallor in which heat, cold are present; ba-lu dkar-po

NS-various species often used as fish poison; R. anthoopogon, D. Don found in Himalayas; leaves aromatic and stimulant; smoke used in some diseases and to produce sneezing; exacerbates headache, nausea of high elevations. Contains ericolin. R. campanulatum, D. Don. dried twigs, wood used in Nepal for phthisis, chronic fever; leaves smoked with tobacco for colds, hemicrania; leaves used in chronic rheumatism, sciatica, syphilis; contains toxic bitters.

Huang: NS-lie xiang du juan or xao yie pi pa is R. anthpogonoies Maxim leaf contains essential oils, saponoins with expectorant, antitussive,antiasthmatic properties; man shan hong is R. dahuricum dried leaf with germacrone, flavonoids, etc. used similarly; ba li ma or nao yang hua is dry fruit of R. molle G. Don., used to treat tachycardia, palpitations, hypertension; Hsu: NS-R. molle or yellow azalea (nao-yang-hua) flowers for rheumatism, headache, trauma, persistent tinea is pungent bitter, warm, poisonous; man-shan-hong leaf of R. dauricum L. or R. mariesii Hemsl. is bitter, cold; for cough, bronchitis, expectorant


Ericaceae. Grieve: R. chrysanthum or yellow rhododendron leaves are much used in Siberia as a remedy for rheumatism; they have a bitter, acrid, astringent taste; also used for gout, syphilis; leaves should be gathered directly after capsules have ripened.

Rosa sericea

Fruit of the wild rosehip

Minor ingredient in 2. Thangka: soothes fever caused by poisoning and fever of the liver; se-rgod ´bras-bu. Also wild "male" rose cures poisoning; se rgod

NS-R. centifolia Linn. is the cabbage rose; petals are mild laxative, carminative; rose water distilled from flowers; R. damascena Mill. R. gallica (Damask or Persian rose); flowers, buds, stamens and oil, attar of roses all used; mildly astringent, aperient, carminative, refrigerant, cardiac tonic. Petals used for rose water, attar (oil) of roses; perfume; to mask taste of bitters; lotions; gulkhand syrup for laxative, sore throat, tonsilitis; with anise for urticaria.

Huang: NS-R. laeigata jin ying zi used as astringent for diarrhea; Hsu: NS-R. rugosa Thunb. flower buds mei-gui-hua is sweet, mild, bitter, warm; costal pain due to stagnancy of liver chi; pain in upper abdomen; gastritis, hepatitis, acute mastitis, trauma; essential oils, citornellool, geraniol; Chinese tea rose is yue-ji-hua R. chinensis Jacq. is sweet, warm buds, petals for metrorrhagia, dysmennorhea; ext for swelling furuncle; terpenes.

NG-a variety of members of the Rosaceae family, including the South American Wuillaja saponaria, the dried inner bark of which is used as an emulsifying agent; used to treat inflammation of the mucous membrane.

Rosaceae. Grieve: NS-notes that five distinct rose varieties are known: R. canina (Dog Rose); R. arvensis (Field Rose); R. rubiginosa (Sweet Briar); R. spinosissima (Burnet Rose) and R. vilosa (Downy Rose). Take butter wrapped in wax paper and place on thick layer of rose (or violet, clover blossoms) in a jar; place another layer of petals on top and leave in a cool, dry place overnight for a tasty rose butter treat. Grieve provides a number of recipes and background information in the use of these varieties; effects medicinally in general appear to be mild.

Rosa roxburghii Tratt.

Sweet chestnut rose

Two species of wild rose flower; alleviates bile and suppresses wind; se-ba´i me-tog rigs-gnys

NS-see previous entry

Hsu (cont): Cherokee rose, jin-ying-zi is fruit of R. laevigata Michx, R. bella Rehd. et Wils. or R. taiwanensis Nakai, sour, astringent, netural; for nocturnal emission, enuresis, urinary frequency, morbid leukorrhea, persistent diarrhea; tannins, malic and citric acids; test tube effects against Eberthella typhosa, Shigella dysenteriae, Proteus vulgaris, some viruses.

NS-see previous entry

Hsu (cont): Wild Rose root is ye-qiang-wei-gen root of R. multiflora Thunb. with bitter, astringent flavor, cool to reduce heat, dampness, wind; for lung carbuncle, diabetes, dysentery, arthritis, paralysis, epistaxis, hematochezia, urinary frequency, int/ext trauma, metrorrhagia, furuncle, scabies, enuresis; contains tormentic acid, tannins.

Rosaceae. Grieve: NS-see previous entry.

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong; astringent; used for cancer; rich in tannins; "The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bioactive compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers"

Rubia cordifolia, Linn.

Indian madder

Minor ingredient in 16; kidney inflammation, pain in hip area (11-13, 15); bladder disorders, pain in kidney area, swelling knees, testicles (31); anti-inflammatory, diarrhea, antipyretic (110); balances, thins blood, bad-rLung headache; pain (111); testicle swelling (163). Thangka: dispels irritation/fevers of lungs, kidneys; btsod. Alleviates blood diseases.

Manjishtha, Manjit. Dried root considered emmenagogue; astringent, diuretic; a/k/a R. manijshta, R. secunda. roots contain resinous substance (gum extract), sugar, lime salts, various glucosides. Tritha: notes best for blood purification using the root; controls bleeds, for kidney, gall stones; skin problems, mending bones, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis; may cause severe chills, aggravate vayu.

Huang:qian cao is dried root or rhizome containing rubierythrinic acid, alizarin, purpurin, pseudopurpurin with hemostatic, (clotting time shortening), antibacterial, antitussive, expectorant actions; stimulates uterine contraction; Hsu: dried root is qian-cao-gen, bitter, cold, for hemoptysis, epistaxis, hematochezia, functional bleeding, menstrual disorders, hematuria, abdominal pain from amenorrhea; ext/int trauma; animal studies show antitussive; test tube show activity against S. aureus, Diplococcus lanceolatus capsulatus.

"Rhubia" cordifolia stem, leaves used for fevers, diarrhea, skin diseases.

Variety of genera of this family used including Amaralia, Cinchona, Corynanthe, Gardenia, Ixora, Morinda. M. lucida Benth is brimstone tree; leaves used for fever, analgesic; tannins, methylanthraquinones, heteroside.

Rubiaceae. Grieve: Notes only that it produces a dye inferior to R. tinctorum (Dyer's Madder); this latter species has only a reputed role in treating amenorrhea, dropsy and jaundice. Turns milk and urine red, the root being used.

Rubus ellipticus

Golden evergreen raspberry

Minor ingredient in F86. Thangka: tranquillizes fevers asociated with wind; kaida-ka-ri refers to R. niveus/saxatilis.

Used for kidney; other. "The inner bark is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a sweet and sour flavour plus a heating potency. A renal tonic and antidiuretic, it is used in the treatment of weakening of the senses, vaginal/seminal discharge, polyuria and micturation during sleep."

NS-R. tinctorum Linn. contains glucosides that act on nervous and uterine systems; R. lasiocarpus Smith is black raspberry; fruit for jam. (R. wallichii is red raspberry; leaves are gauriphal; astringent, sweet, vata in excess).

Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-dried fruit of R. chingii Hu or other species is fu-pen-zi, sweet, sour, mild, warm; for impotence, involuntary emission, enuresis, urinary frequency, dizziness; in vitro activity againt V. cholerae

NS-R. pinnatus roots for bleeding gums, diarrhea.

Rosaceae. Grieve: NS-Blackberry is R.. fructicosus (also bramble); bark of root and leaves heavy in tannnins thus as astringent and tonic for dysentery, diarrhea. She describes a variety of species, used to treat various disorders.

Rubus idaeopsis


Minor ingredient in 11; subsides inflammation of wounds, stops bleeding (109)

NS-R. moluccanus Linn is black cherry, bramble; bark, leaves contain tannin; fruit has malic, citric acids, pectin; young shoots used in salad to fasten loose teeth; leaves for diarrhea; powerful emmenagogue; astringent, abortifacient; fruit good for nocturnal micturition for children; powder used for dysentery

Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-dried root of R. parvifolious L. is rubus or ci-bo (tzu-po) with sweet, bitter flavor, neutral; for high fever due to common cold, tonsillitis, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, diarrhea, edema of nephritis, urinary infection; caclulus, hemoptysis, hematemesis, functional bleeding, int/ext trauma, furuncle, toxic swelling; contains tannins, sugars, flavonoids

NS-see previous entry.

Rosaceae. Grieve: see previous entry; R. idaeus Linn is the raspberry; a variety of recipes are provided for this delicious and (aside--high antioxidant concentration) fruit; leaves are astringent and stimulant, with 1 oz. of dried leaves in a pint of water for gargle for sore mouth, canker of the throat, wash for wounds and ulcers; leaves with Slippery Elm bark poultice for wounds, burns; infusion of leaves cold as astringent for extreme laxity of bowels.

Rumex sp.

Sorrel varieties

Thangka: R. nepalensis/acelosa is red-flowered rhubarb sorrel, among the three species of sorrel; remedy fever associated with wounds, contagious fevers; sho mang rigs-gsam-las klungs-sho me-tog dmar-po; R. japonicus Houtt is yellow-flowered rhubarb sorrel with same effects; klungs sho me-tog ser-po

Various species; R. acetosella Linn. leaves contain oxalates (see warning under Rheum emodi); used as antiscorbutic; R. crispus Linn (yellow dock) root has fluid extract used in decoction is astringent and sedative; for lymphatic and glandular disorders; good in scurvy as it has lots of oxalic acid (see warning under Rheum emodi); skin eruptions; root as dentifice and juice for toothache; seeds are astringent and used in chronic dysentery; various other species used as well; R. maritimus, R. nepalensis as purgatives

Huang: Root of R. patientia L. is tu tai huang which is hemostatic (for thrombopenia); laxative, for skin diseases; R. japonica or R.crispus roots contain emodin; for leukemia, malignant lymphoma; Hsu: dried root of R. japonicus Hutt. or R. nepalensis Spr. is yang-ti for bitter, sour, cold effects; alopecia, scabies, swelling toxin, constipation, sore throat, hemorrhage, edema, purpura, decreased platelets, int. hemorrhage; chrysophanol shortens clotting time; test tube effects against various bacteria.

NS-R. abyssinicus roots and leaves used for bilharzia and as a purgative; R. bequartii is listed as one of herbs used in helmintic infections; R. usambarensis is one on the list for treating coughs.

Polygonaceae. Grieve: NS-Sorrels include R. scutatus Linn., the herb of which is used in soups (French Sorrel); R. acetosa Linn. leaves are the garden sorrel; leaves also contain oxalic of potash, tartaric and tannic acids; cooling, refrigerent thus for febrifuges; corrective in scrofulous deposits, cutaneous tumors in a mixture with burnt alum, citric acid and juice of sorrel painted on; good in scurvy; fumitroy+sorrel juice for curing itch; decocted flowers for jaundice, as well as decoction, powder of roots; they come in many varieties.

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong.

Sabina recurva

Syn. : Juniperus recurva?

type of cedar?

Minor ingredient in 3.

NG…notes that J. recruva Ham. smoke of green wood is used as emetic.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Coniferae. Grieve: NS-Savine is S. cacumina; using fresh dried tops collected in spring; irritant; powerful emmenagogue in large doses; energetic poison, leading to gastroenteritis and death; abortifacient; rarely int; ext. ointment for blisters, syphilitic warts, etc. mixed with verdigris to destroy warts.

Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge/ Corydalis

Sage or turkey corn

(See also Corydalis)

Thangka: alleviates blood diseases; re-skon. Root is adaptogen, alterative, anticholesterolemic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, emmenagogue, hepatic, sedative, tonic, vulnerary. "It acts mainly on the heart energy, removing excess heat and clearing stagnation. Its use improves the microcirculation, increases blood flow to the coronary artery, improves myocardial contraction and adjusts the heart rate. It has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of pseudomanas, E. coli, Vibrio proteus, Bacillus typhi, Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella flexneri, Staph. aureus etc. It is used internally in the treatment of coronary heart disease, poor circulation, palpitations, irritability, insomnia, breast abscesses, mastitis, ulcers, boils, sores, bruises, menstrual problems and post-natal pains. 'Praised for its alleged medicinal qualities, including a cure for cancer'. The roots are harvested in the autumn and early winter and are dried for later use."

NS-S. officinalis Linn. procures immortality!, relieves fatigue, preserves teeth; greatly esteemed for a variety of ailments; relieves cough, diuretic, blood purifying, menses promotion; remedy of sequelae of catarrhs for throat, pharynx; for chronic liver, kidney diseases, cystitis, slowing mammary gland secretion

Huang: dried root or rhizome is tan seng, containing several ketone dervivatives; an antianginal herb; tanshinone exhibits broad-spectrum antibacterial activity in vitro; slows heart rate; protective effect against myocardial ischemia (animal studies); dilates peripheral blood vessels; pretty non-toxic; stabilizes nerves; lowers cholesterol, triglycerides; anticoagulant, fibrinolytic effects; Hsu: shi juan chuan; bitter, pungent, neutral; dysphagia, asthma from phlegm accumulation, hepatitis, pinkish-white leukorrhea, carbuncle, scrofula is Chinese sage (S. chinensis); Red Sage Root is dan-shen, bitter, mild, cold of S. miltiorrhiza; metrorrhagia, postmenstrual abdominal pain, amenorrhea, abdominal pain, arthralgia; tanshinones are principal ingredients; hypotensive effects (animals); test tube effects against E. coli, Bacillus tyhpi, B. dysenteriae, M. tuberculosis (and in mice)


Labiatae. Grieve: NS-discusses a variety of sagesS. officinalis Linn. is common sage; leaves, whole herb is used; highly valued; teas made for gargle, bleeding gums, sore throats; long used for epilepsy, nervousnes; volatile oil is a "violent epileptiform convulsant: smelling of which can cause intoxication and giddiness; used to remove respiratory mucous collection; many uses, recipes; S. sclarea or Clary herb, leaves, seeds used as antispasmodic, blasamic, carinative, tonic, aromatic, aperitive, astrigent and pectoral; S. verbenaca or wild English Clary leaves/seeds used to help improve eyesight.

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong.

Santalum album, Linn.

White sandalwood

Ingredient in 26; acute or chronic cough, pus in phlegm in glo-sMan bDud-rTzi (73), poisoning, bad-kan sMug-po, excess blood, enlarged liver/spleen, accumulation of bad blood in upper back; excess blood between liver/spleen, fever with bad-kan (97), inflammation or blood/pus in lungs (156), anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, inflammation of lungs and pus formation (157), kidney inflammation (158), anti-inflammatory, anitpyretic (159), dries up bad blood, lowers blood pressure, facilitates normal flow of rLung within various rLung sites (160). Thangka: suppresses fever in general; tsan-dan dkar-po

Oil of wood, usually heartwood, used; root produces even stronger oil; being a tree, then, longer to recover after harvesting; wood has bitter, cooling, sedative, astringent effects; oil is astringent, disinfectant to mucous membranes of genito-urinary, bronchial tracts; also diuretic, expectorant, stimulant. Viscid yellow oil should have an optical rotation of approx. 14o to distinguish it from S. preissianum/ Fusanus acuminatus, the Australian variant of this and O. tennifolia, the African variant. Int use for gonorrhea, morbid thirst, dysentery, chronic foetid bronchitis, cystitis, gleet, urethral hemorrhage, pyelitis, etc. take VERY carefully due to risk of kidney damage; ext pastes for scorpion stings, inflamed swellings, prickly skin eruptions, headaches, fevers, hemicrania, etc.

Huang: tan xiang is dried heartwood with several essential oils (variants of santalol); increases glutathione S-transferase activity; used as stomachic/wind dispelling, regulates qi flow; Hsu: tan xiang pungent, warm; disperses cold, controls pain; used in epigastric pain, chest/abdominal pain from qi stagnancy; for dysphagia, vomiting; oil paralyzes small animals; test tube effect on Staph. albus; diuretic; increases number of white blood cells; the pigments that give it the yellow color are the santalins which have a remarkable and lovely molecular structure.

NG-only Osyris abyssinica in family mentioned, leaves and roots used for wound dressing, galactogogue, menorrhea, infertility and VDs.

Santalaceae. Grieve: int. for chronic bronchitis, a few drops on sugar gives relief; gonorrhea, gleet; chronic cystitis when used with benzoic and boric acids; used in perfumery as well of course (and possibly incense). 20-30 foot high tree.

Saussurea lappa, Clarke.

A/k/a S. auriculata, Aplotaxis lappa or auriculata; Aucklandia costus; S. hypoleuca

Costus root

Ingredient in 67; clears up fever caused by inflammation of blood mixed with rLung causing imbalance of seven bodily sustainers or lus-zung; prevents common cold, promotes ripening of fever, controls minor fever from spreading nor-bu bDun-thang (102); anti-inflammatory, analgesic, emesis of sour/watery vomitus; ru-khung ril-bu (122); bad-kan sMug-po, colic, eructation, gastritis, stomach inflammation, emesis and nausea, flatulence (123); stomach pains from intestinal parasites, stomach inflammation (124); bad-kan sMug-po with sx of stomach pains, emesis of sour/water, sudden acute burning sensation to stomach, eructation, dry feces (125); bad-kan in stomach; sMug-po developing with emesis, diarrhea; colic, indigestion, vermifuge, for certain gynecologic disorders (169). Thangka: treatment of the lungs; tranquillizes wind-related fevers; ru-rta

Kushtha, Kut. Roots only used in medicine; contains two resins and an alkaloid, salt of valeric acid, oil with a variety of constituents. Alkaloid is fairly mild; glucoside is pharmacologically active component; essential oil is carminative, strong antiseptic, disinfectant (esp. against Staph and Strep). Injections sometimes used for bronchodilation. Oral administration results in oil released through urethra, causing irritation and "aphrodisiac" responses. Diuretic action. Large doses: giddiness, headache, drowsiness. Sometimes smoked as opium substitute. Powdered root is expectorant, used for bronchial asthma, reducing paroxysms (sometimes with a little cardamom); Ayurvedic tradition identifies it as bitter, acrid, stimulant, to alleviate wind, phlegm, fever, phthisis, cough, loss of appetite, pain in sides, dropsy, skin diseases and jaundice; used as carminative, anitseptic, prophylactic, antihelmintic, astringent, sedative, insecticidal, tonic, alterative, antispasmodic and aphrodisiac. Add musk for toothache cure (China). Pastes, like with mustard oil, for ext use (on head for prurigo). Rubbed on joints against chronic disease; various formulae provided. Found to be helpful taken at night to slow asthmatic paroxysms and help induce sleep (Col. Chopra).

Huang: NG; Hsu: mu-hsiang, mu-xiang uses roots of four different plants; (incl. Jurinea, Aristolochia debilis or contorta, as well as tu-mu-hsiang Inula helenium, L.). Kuang-mu-hsiang or tang-mu-hsiang is S. lappa. Bitter, pungent, warm; promotes qi circulation, relieves distention, controls pain and diarrhea, harmonizes the stomach; for stomach ache due to perverted flow of qi, vomiting, diarrhea, borborygmus, abdominal pain, dysentery, tenesmus. Various constituents found in essential oils. The S. lappa contains strongest antibacterial effects against Bacillus subtilis, E. coli, B. typhi. Acts on vagus nerve, stimulates large intestine, moderates pain and gas in GI tract; action on vagus as Nadkarni points out, is probably the effect it has on inhibiting the paroxysms of asthmatic attacks).


Compositae. Grieve: NG An endangered species.

Sometimes used as a condiment, root having scent reminiscent of violet, orris, vetiver.

"Costus is a commonly used medicinal herb in China and is considered to be one of their 50 fundamental herbs. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine where it is valued mainly for its tonic, stimulant and antiseptic properties. It is said to be aphrodisiac and to be able to prevent the hair turning grey." Root anodyne, antibacterial, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, skin, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, vermifuge; int. for abdominal distension and pain, chest pains due to liver problems and jaundice, gall bladder pain, constipation associated with energy stagnation, asthma; root harvested in autumn or spring, either dried for later use or decocted for the essential oil; normally used with other herbs. "The root is also used in Tibetan medicine where it is considered to have an acrid, sweet and bitter taste with a neutral potency…used in the treatment of swelling and fullness of the stomach, blockage and irregular menses, pulmonary disorders, difficulty in swallowing and rotting/wasting of muscle tissues…oil from the root is very beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism."

Saxifraga pasumensis


Minor ingredient in 4.

see Ribes? NS-S. ligulata Wall. (Pashana bheda) is rhizome, with tannic, gallic acids, metarbin, mucilage, calcium oxalate (see warning under Rheum emodi), etc. Root is diuretic, demulcent, astringent; dissolves gravel and stone in bladder; for diarrhea, cough, uric acid diathesis; opium antidote; with honey for gums of teething kids; tonic in fevers; antiscorbutic; bruised applied to boils, ophthalmia.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-leaves of S. stolonifera L. Meerb. is hu-erh-tsao, hu-er-cao; mild, bitter, pungent, cold; removes heat, toxin, dissolves swelling, controls pain, cools blood, controls bleeding; for acute or chronic otitis media, bleeding from ext. trauma, carbuncle, incised wound toxin, insect stings, hemorrhoids; contains potassium nitrate, KCl, arbutin, saxifragin (quercetin) and quercitrin. Fresh juice is bacteriostatic.


Saxifragaceae. Grieve: NG

Shorea robusta, Gaertn.

Sal Tree

Minor ingredient in 9; rLung of heart with symptoms of pain, forgetfulness, despondency, fatigue, etc. (24)

Bark contains tannins; extract from boiling similar to catechu; resin is mild astringent, aphrodisiac, stimulant; plasters and ointments used for chilblains, ulcers; paste with brandy and egg white for lumbago and rheumatism; various formulae provided to treat ulcers, piles, diarrhea, dysentery.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Dipterocarpaceae. Grieve: NG; large deciduous tree; see http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no10084.htm and http://www.panasia.org.sg/nepalnet/forestry/sal.htm.

Sinapsis alba Linn.

a/k/a Brassica alba, Boiss.

White mustard

Minor ingredient in F15.

Syn. Brassica alba Rabenh. Seeds, powder of seeds and oil used; mustard flour is nervine stimulant, emetic, diuretic; small doses promote digestion, remove flatus, large doses, stimulant, narcotic-poison given with hot water; often used in poultices to stop vomiting; medicated oil for epilepsy, hysteria is known as siddhartha ghrita or Brahmi ghrita

Huang: NG (Brassica alba Boiss seed is antitussive, antiasthmatic analgesic; bai jie zi); Hsu: NS-superior herb; pai-chieh-tzu, bai-jie-zi is seed of Brassica hirta Moench (syn. with B. alba); pungent warm; for pain due to swelling chest, ribs, cough due to excessive phlegm; regurgitation, vomiting; ext. for ulcerous swelling, rheumatic pain. Glucoside sinalbin; expectorant effects (slightly irritates gastric mucosa); causes local reddening to skin, sensation of heat, decreasing pain and reducing inflammation; inhibits dermatophyte


Cruciferae. Grieve: Seeds are used; black-seeded species (B. nigra) is most powerful. Used int and as poultice. Int for digestive disorders; formerly used as laxative; infusion of seeds for chronic bronchitis, confirmed rheumatis and as a gargle for sore throat. Contains mucilage, fixed oil consisting of glycerides of oleic, stearic, erucic, brassic acids; also contain the glucoside Sinalbin and enzyme, myrosin which together comprise the volatile Sinalbin Mustard Oil (again, less pungent than black mustard).

Solms-Laubachia, sp.


Minor ingredient in F7, F8.


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


?. Grieve: NG. Solms-Laubachia Muschler, Notes Bot. Gard. Edinb. 5: 205 (1912); Lan & Cheo, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 19: 472–480 (1981). "Perennial, herb…petals greenish blue, purplish, white, or yellowish; …seeds 2–12, mostly biseriate, nonmucilaginous; cotyledons accumbent. Ten spp., endemic to China."

Strychnos noxvomica, Linn.

Nux vomica; poison nut

Ingredient in 6; see F5; subsides rLung, analgesic, bad blood in lower part of body; pain in vertebrae, upper back; dyspnea, vertigo, tinnitus, bloodshot eyes, gum swelling, reddish-brown urine, epistaxis (86); Thangka: alleviates the effects of poisoning; Idum-stag-gam bya phur-leb Iho-rong

Stem-bark, dried ripe seeds (nux-vomica) of tree used; 2.5-3% alkaloids of which 1.5% is strychnine; also brucine, vomicine, igasurine; glucosides, proteids. Intensely bitter seeds nervine, stomachic, tonic, aphrodisiac, spinal stimulant; respiratory and cardiac stimulant but overdose could be fatal. Bark is tonic, febrifuge; can cause long-lasting tetanus-tonic contractions of skeletal muscles. Tiny doses for vasodilation; slows heartbeat; increases visual acuity There are a variety of species and the section is lengthy.

Huang: NG; Hsu: ma-chien-tzu, ma-qian-zi is dried ripe fruit; extremely bitter, cold, poisonous; arouses spirit, moves meridians, eliminates accumulated swelling, controls pain; for febrile diseases, sore/swollen throat, mass in abdomen, carbuncle, malignant furuncle; alkaloids, strychnine, vomicine, brucine; CNS stimulatory effect (small doses excite CNS, promote blood circulation; brucine is weaker than strychnine); muscular tetany; test tube antifungal efffects on several dermatophytes; bitter stomachic. Can be lethal.

Seeds, leaves used as stimulant, for sprains, general pains, colitis; mentions alkaloids including the aptly named "diaboline" as well as seeds having fatty acids, gum, phosphates; introduced species, mostly found in Sudan, north central Africa. Overdose, intentional or otherwise, results in the described tetany and a fixed hideous grin, risus sardonicus.

Loganiaceae. Grieve: Notes S. toxifera yields curare; various cultures use poison to tip arrows; antidote is a powerful emetic or stomach pump with tannin or potassium permanganate to render the strychnine inactive. Used in atonic dysepsia; tincture used in mixtures to stimulate GI tract, for chronic constipation, to increase appetite; increases flow of gastric juice (bitter property); vagal center excited, slowing heart, increasing respiration; smell, touch, hearing, vision rendered more acute; raises bp; tonic for heart failure if nitro is unavailable; overdose will most likely first manifest as convulsions; used to treat chronic lead poisoning, as well as an antidote to chloroform or chloral. Ext. for pruritis.

Swertia chirata, Buch. Ham.

Type of gentian; Chiretta

Ingredient in 26; mKhris-pa inflammation with sx of headache, high fever, nausea, bitter taste; yellow sclera, tongue, skin; lethargy and sleepiness in day time (152); anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, gall-bladder/liver inflammation (153); hot/cold mKhris-pa with sx of headache, bitter taste, lethargy, nausea, indigestion; (154); anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, inflammation of liver and gall bladder (155); Thangka: alleviates bile disorders; tig-ta

Chirayata. Tinnevelly "nilavembu" is best variety; contains ophelic acid (bitter), chiratin, a bitter glucoside, resins, gum, carbonates, phosphates of potash, lime, magnesia; no tannins. Bitter tonic, stomachic, febrifuge, antihelmintic (by Col. Chopra). Many preparations; essentially equivalent to gentians in actions; bitter principle similar to G. kurroo; there are also various "spurious" varieties on the market as well. Used in scorpion sting. Similar to Ophelia sp. and Andrographis paniculata as well.

Huang: NS-dong yao is S. pseduochinensis Hara or S. franchetiana; protective against CCl4 liver injury; hypoglycemic effects; used in acute icteric hepatitis; may cause diarrhea, dizziness, corrected with reduced dosage; S. mileensis (whole plant) used similarly. Hsu: NS-Japanese name is toyaku which is dried entire plant of S. japonica (Schult.) Makino or S. pseudochinensis Hara; bitter, chill; for indigestion and poor appetite; glycosides, acids, alkaloids (gentianine); increases mouth/stomach acidity, secretion of bile, pancreatic juice and saliva; increases peripheral blood flow in rabbit.


Gentianaceae. Grieve: Notes it contains two bitter principles, ophelic acid and chiratin; extremely bitter; overdose causes sickness, sense of oppression in the stomach; good for liver, promoting bile secretion; cures constipation, good for dyspepsia; restores tone after illness. Many species may be used as adulterants.

Swertia marginala


See Gentiana grandiflora, Larm.




See Gentiana grandiflora, Larm.

Swertia petiolata

See previous entry re F154.

NS-see S. chirata

Huang: NS; Hsu: NS: See previous entry


Gentianaceae. Grieve: NS-see S. chirata

Symplocos crataegoides / racemosa Roxb.

Lodar; also Superior lohd tree or sweetleaf

Minor ingredient in 7; for symptoms following parturition: fever, inflammation, chilly sensation, cough, headache, insomnia (32); testicle swelling (163); Thangka: dispel irritation-fevers of lungs, kidneys; zhu-mkhan mchog

Bark is used in ophthalmia. Notes S. racemosa Roxb. S. theofolia is the Lodh tree; contains alkaloids, ash, no tannin; bark is used in boweld complaints (diarrhea, dysentery); for dropsy, eye disease, liver complaints, fever, ulcers, scorpion-sting. A variety of combinations are suggested; gargle of decoction for bleeding gums and relaxed uvula; plaster against boils, malingnant growths

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Symplocaceae; Nadkarni says Styraceae. Grieve: NG

Bark astringent, cooling, tonic; useful for menorrhagia, bowel complaints, eye diseases, ulcers; used as a gargle "for giving firmness to spongy and bleeding gums."

Tanacetum sp.


See also Artemisia

Tansy [or wormwood] (Tanacetum nubigenum / Artemisia sieversiana) stops hemorrhages and suppress edema of limbs-mkhan-pa a-krong; white tansy (Tanacetum sp. / Artemisia sp.) mkhan-dkar; "red" or "brown" tansy-mkhan dmar-ram-smug-po (same use)




See Artemisia

Taraxacum tibeticum

Dandelion variant

Minor ingredient in 3; subsides wound inflammation, stops bleeding (109); leaves used as food (raw, cooked); anthelmintic; anti-inflammatory; febrifuge; bitter, cooling. "The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine…used …[to treat] stomach disorders and pain in the stomach/ intestines due to intestinal worms."

NS-T officinale Wigg. T. densleonis are noted. Powdered root as hepatic stimulant. Milky juice contains bitter taraxicin; dried root powder often mixed with coffee; decoction of root with podophyllum is a popular mixture for jaundice, hepatitis, indigestion; root also for dyspepsia, dropsy, chronic skin diseaes, cachectic disorders; decoction of root with cream of tartar taken 2-3 times per day (see book for recipe) for dyspepsia, jaundice, dropsy, chronic skin diseases, cachectic disorders; with podophyllum used for jaundice, hepatitis, indigestion.

Huang: NS-pu gong ying is dried aerial parts of T. mongolicum Hand-Mazz, T. sinicum or T. hetrolepis which has action against a variety of bacteria (gram-positive mostly), spirochetes and viruses; protects liver, choleretic; paste applied to parotid glands; int. for mastitis, hepatitis, laryngitis, tonsilitis; Hsu: NS- bitter, sweet, cold; spleen and sotmach fire, scrofula, furuncle, urinary disturbances from damp-heat; agalactia; high potassium salt content.


Compositae. Grieve: NS-T. officinale Weber is our delightful dandelion; leaves make great salad; roots for liver; flowers for wine--who says it's a weed?? Diuretic, tonic, slightly aperient. Very non-toxic. Many recipes provided in this very lengthy, excellent section on the herb. Others note it is anthelmintic; anti-inflammatory; febrifuge.

Terminalia arjuna, W&A; Pentaptera glabra, P. angustifolia

Arjuna myrobalan

Disorders of renal nerves, blood disorder affecting kidneys (14)

Bark, root contain tannins, calcium, magnesium, aluminum salts; coloring matter; bark is astringent, cardiac stimulant, tonic, lithontriptic; decoction for hemorrhages, diarrhea, dysentery, sprue, bilious afflictions, scorpion-sting, poison antidote; for heart disease, endocarditis, mix of arjuna, sugar, boiled cow's milk for up to a year; used for derangement of all three doshas; ext. leaves cover ulcers, sores; ointment for acne; often used with white or red sandalwood; bark with goat's milk for bloody dysentery; many species

Huang: NS; Hsu: NS see T. chebula

NS-see T. chebula

Combretaceae. Grieve: NG

Terminalia belerica, Roxb.

Beleric myrobalans tree

Ingredient in 37; impure blood in kidneys, stiff neck, tonifies kidneys (4, 7, 8); meat poisoning, difficulty swallowing (28); see T. chebula (38, 40, 41, 93, 98, 148, 151); antipyretic, improves eyesight, eyelid inflammation (55); dries up blood serum, joint inflammation, skin eruptions (118); dries up blood serum, anti-inflammatory, rheumatism/arthritis (141)

Bibhitaki. Fruit is used; astringent, tonic, expectorant, laxative; use for coughs, hoarseness, eye diseases, scorpion sting, sore throat, dyspepsia; various recipes; kernel is narcotic, astringent; taken with betel nut/leaf for dyspepsia; dried ripe fruit is astringent for dropsy, piles, diarrhea; electuaries, linctus made for sore throats; constituent of triphala; used to manage dysentery with black pepper and date-palm treacle followed by Bael water (bilwa, Aegle marmelos Corr.); may help to check bleeding, enhance wound healing using triphala; unripe fruit is purgative; fully ripe or dried fruit with honey as ophthalmic; gum is demulcent, purgative; one kernel of seed/day to enhance sexual appetite.

Huang: NS; Hsu: NS see T. chebula

NS- see T. chebula

Combretaceae. Grieve: NG

Terminalia chebula< Roxb.

Myrobalan or chebulic myrobalan; ink nut, gall nut; Harad

Ingredient in 104 or nearly 2/3 of all formulae!; general splenic disorders, subsides swollen spleen, swollen abdomen due to splenic disorder (10); kidney inflammation with pain in kidneys hips, thighs, feet (11); imbalanced kidney channels, inflammation of kidneys, pain in hip, waist, kidney disorder resulting in stooped posture (12); renal disorder, weaken, enlarged or shrunken kidneys (13); disorder affecting renal nerves, blood disorder affecting kidneys (14); inflammation and vitiation of kidney channels, pain in hip, wait, gout, arthritis, serumal disorders, pus in urine (15), pacifies both hot, cold disorders, alleviates common cold (16); splenic disorders, enlargement of spleen with pain, flatulence, eructation, indigestion (18); febrifuge, blood purifier, balances blood, rLung, hastens ripening of new fever from infections, chronic fever, fatigue (this is triphala) (38); tonifies body, promotes longevity (40); renal disorders, tonifies kidneys, polyurea, seminuria (41); for all minor disorders, specifically for bad-kan, blood disorders (77); severe stomach pain, inflammations of head, ears, nose, teeth, pain from intestinal parasites, tonsillitis, itching, skin eruptions, leprosy, serumal disorders (88); see NOTES column for continued discourse.

Benefit for HIV? See the website: http://www.vshiva.net/naturefacts/harad.htm

Haritaki. Lengthy discourse; dried, mature or immature fruits, galls, often just the outer skin; tannins, gallic acid, chebulinic acid (with heat, becomes tannic, gallic acid); safe, effective purgative (gentle laxative), astringent, alterative; 4 varieties of fruit: survari harade, large (2" long, oval shape), yellowish-brown; rangari harade, smaller, less wrinkled, yellow; bala harade, smaller still, brown or black, VERY wrinkled; java harade, smallest of all. Unripe fruit, most purgative; ripe, astringent. Rangari: alterative, stomachic, laxative, tonic; survari, purgative; bala, mild, safe aperient, antibilious tho astringent. Used in fevers, cough, asthma, urinary diseases, piles, worms, rheumatism, scorpion sting. Bala, java for chronic diarrhea, dysentery, flatulence, vomiting, hiccup, colic, enlarged spleen, liver; many recipes, esp. with triphala, cinnamon, cardamoms, black pepper, valerian, long pepper, nutmeg, cubeba, picrorrhiza, rhubarb; also ext for hemorrhoids, piles, skin problems. Smoked for asthma; mouth wash; other recipes for dyspepsia, indigestion, vaginal discharge, neuralgia, sexual debility, alterative, etc. Paste made rubbing fruit with a little water and carron oil for burns, scalds; finely powdered used as dentrifice. Triphala with catechu, finely powdered and rubbed into a thick paste with ghee (or other bland oil) as ointment for aphthous or chronic ulcerations. Other species include T. citrina Roxb., T. paniculata Roth., T. tomentosa Redd.

Huang: fruit is he zi containing chebulinic acid, corilagin, terchebin, chebulin, quinic acid for diarrhea, collapsed anus, antispasmodic; Hsu: ho-tzu, he-zi dried fruit with bitter, sour, neutral; astringes lungs, intestines, benefits throat; used for chronic diarrhea, dysentery, rectal prolapse, aphonia from longstanding cough, hematochezia, leukorrhea, involuntary emission, nocturnal diaphoresis; test tube effects against staph, typhi, influenza; chebulin like papaverine in inhibiting smooth muscle spasm

NS-T. catappa stem bark, leaves for diarrhea, vermifuge, hemorrhoids; T. ivorensis stem bark leaves for arthritis, diuretic, hemorrhoids; T. superba fruit, bark, leaves used for labor, hemorrhoids; T. kaiserana listed as antihelmintic

Combretaceae. Grieve: NG

Tsarong: (cont'd) spreading fever, chronic inflammation of blood mixed with rLung, chronic cough with phlegm expectoration, fever from influenza afflicting lungs (93); febrifuge, eye inflammation, improves eye sight, watery eyes (98); headache from inflammations, blood, mKhris-pa disorders (108); mKhris-pa, rLung, indigestion, stomach/intestine pain with rumbling, bitter taste, yellow sclera (146); clears sense of taste, descending mKhris-pa into vessels with sx of stomach/intestine pain, nausea, headache, tumor in gall bladder, indigestion, halitosis (147); bad blood in lower body, analgesic, beginning 'bam disorder with sx of swelling, reddish-brown gums, dyspnea, pain in upper back (148); gall bladder inflammation, promotes bile secretion, appetite, yellowish eye mKhris-pa disorder with sx of hepatic region pain, stomach pain, nausea, emesis, bitter taste (149); used primarily to facilitate proper recognition of various disorders (specially compounded poisons, bad-kan sMug-po, chronic fever) that have spread and need to be drawn back to original source, balances body temperature, increases appetite, controls epistaxis, heals bad-kan, mKhris-pa, for frequent lethargy, thirst, stomach/hepatic pain, inflammation of channels and ureter (151); for all types of inflammations (165); anti-inflammatory, analgesic, inflammation of eyes, nasal cavity, pus in auditory canal (167); indigestion, flatulence, anticolic, laxative, difficulty expelling fetus/ placenta, clears normal pathway of rLung Thur-sel (173).

Thalictrum foetidum

Meadow rue from the hill behind Drepung

Thangka: alleviates contagious diseases; sngo sprin ´bras-spungs rgyab-gri

NS-T. foliolosum DC is Gold Thread (see Coptis teetoides) is tonic, aperient, root like gentian, very bitter; contains alkaloid, berberine; used in jaundice, flatulence, visceral obstructions; collyrium to clear sight; cold infusion of root as lotion for ophthalmia; tonic for antiperiodic in fevers, atonic dyspepsia; also diuretic. Sometimes as snuff.

Huang: NS-ma wei lian, ma weihuang lian is T. glandulissimum, T. culturatum, T. foliolosum DC; there are 70 kinds; also contains baicalin for upper respiratory infections; also used in scarlet fever, viral hepatitis, nephritis, pelvitis; glycoside baicalin can be obtained separately for hepatitis; some test tube activity against HIV RT; IM injections may cause fever, muscle aches and too high a dose may cause fever and leucopenia; Hsu: NG

NS-T. rhynchocarpum roots used for fevers, hypertension, diarrhea (southern, eastern Africa)

Ranunculaceae. Grieve: NG

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong.

Thlaspi arvense, Linn.

Mustard mithridate, Pennycress


Urinary bladder disorders (reteritis); pain in pelvic region, kidneys, swelling of knees, testicles (31); Thangka: Relief from fevers of the lungs and kidneys, while curing isolated pale phlegm and serum disorders; bre-ga


Huang: NG; Hsu: pai-chiang-tsao, bai-jiang-cao is root or entire plant of T. arvensis L. or 3 other herbs; bitter, pungent, mild, cold; removes heat, eliminates furuncles; for intestinal abscess, erysipelas, hyperemia, pinkish leukorrhea, stagnant blood, appendicitis/abdominal pain, edema, drains pus; in vitro activity against staph, strep; seeds contain sinigrin, myrosin (enzyme).


Cruciferae. Grieve: Pennycress seeds formerly used as poison antidote in Mithridate confection (an elaborate preparation) but "no longer used in medicine." Hsu notes it may be called snow thistle as well.

Tinospora cordifolia, Miers.


Ingredient in 22; anti-inflammatory, analgesic, swelling/pain of joints, soles due to gout, rheumatoid arthritis; dreg-thang (61); gout- sle-tres gsum-thang (140); dries blood serum, anti-inflammatory, rheumatism, arthritis, sle-tres inga-thang (141). Thangka: alleviates phlegm associated with heat; sle-tres

Guduchi. When reviewing Nadkarni, see also Cocculus cordifolius, Miers. Stem and root used; contains berberine; antiperiodic, alterative, diuretic; stem, roots are bitter. Used in scorpion sting; watery extract of plant used as febrifuge ("Indian quinine"); infusion of stem and root for debilitating diseases, intermittent fever, dyspepsia; efficacy in leprosy, secondary syphilis deemed doubtful. C. cordifolius has lengthy section, noting use of stem,fecula (starchy extract of gulancha), leaves, root. Similar properties; entire plant used, preferably fresh. various extracts made. Referred to as guduchi; not clear if C. cordifolia and T. cordifolia are synonymous?

Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-chin-kuo-lan, jin-guo-lan is dried stem of T. capillipes Gagnepain or T. sagittata Gagnepain, bitter, mild, pungent, cold for sore throat, hyperemia, cough from heat, aphonia, vomiting, epistaxis, furuncle, toxic swelling, mosquito or insect bites; ext for carbuncle; contains diterpene columbin, 2 alkaloids; don't confuse with kuan-jin-teng, to called "Chinese tinospora" is really Cissus pteroclada Hayada of Vitaceae family.

Stem, root bark used for fevers, parasitic infections, urethritis; T. barkis roots leaves used in tonics, for fevers, diarrhea, which is found in dry regions, savanna, from Mauritania to Tanzania; bark, root used in Senegal for fevers; also as emmenagogue. Lab studies show hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, increased oxidative burst in macrophages; synergistic effects in inhibiting cancer in mice; other mouse study showed effect reversing neutropenia from cyclophosphamide.

Menispermaceae. Grieve: NG, although there are discussions regaring Cocculus palmatus (a/k/a Jateorhiza columba), Calumba, dried root of which is used as bitter tonic without astringency (so no nausea, headache, sickness, feverishness); best as cold infusion; used in Mozambique for dysentery; also used as dye. Yellow Parilla (Menispermum canadense) where she notes the narcotic properties of Cocculus indicus are used; also known as Canadian Moonseed or Texas Sarsaparilla; rhizome and roots used; effects vary dramatically depending on using low or high dose.

Trachyspermum ammi

a/k/a Ammi copticum L. , Carum copticum (L.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex C.B. Clarke., Trachyspermum copticum (L.)Link.;

Bishop's weed

Minor ingredient in F4, F138.


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Umbelliferae. Grieve: NG.

Seed, esp. the essential oil in the seed, is strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, bitter, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, tonic; int. for colds, coughs, influenza, asthma, diarrhea, cholera, colic, indigestion, wind, edema, arthritis, rheumatism; seed harvested fully ripe, distilled for essential oil or dried; "seed contains about 4-6% essential oil…45-55% is the strongly antiseptic essential oil 'thymol'/" essential oil used in cough medicines; root carminative, diuretic.

Tribulus terrestris, Linn.

Caltrop, Small Caltrops;

Grieve: Burra Gookeroo or burra gokhru

Minor ingredient in 11; antipyretic, diuretic, urethra inflammation (168).

Gokshura. Fruit, root used, but entire plant. Small amounts of an alkaloid in fruit, essential oil, unsaturated acids, resins and fair amount of nitrates; cooling, demulcent, diuretic (due to nitrates), tonic, aphrodisiac; stems astringent; used in S. Europe as aperient; a wide variety of recipes are provided to address gleet, gonorrhea, painful micturition, urinary tract disorders and discomfort, spermatorrhea and other signs and symptoms of genito-urinary diseases; formulae often include ingredients such as Mesua ferrea, cinnamon, pepper, cardamon, saffron, nutmeg, trikatu, triphala, etc. Also used in scorpion sting, jaundice, painful bladder and urethral diseases, dysuria, albuminuria, calculi and rheumatism. Electuaries often made for painful micturition, bloody urine, suppressed urine, etc.

Huang: dried fruit is ci ji li, containing glycosides (tribuloside, astragalin) and alkaloids (harmane, harmine); water based extract is hypotensive, diuretic; used as anticonvulsant, to promote visual acuity; terestriamide give as cardiotonic agent; use with caution in pregnancy; Hsu: pungent, bitter, warm; soothes liver, suppresses wind, disperses blood stagnation, stops leukorrhea, relieves depression, clears vision, controls itching; used in headache, swollen, red eyes, mass in abdomen, agalactica. Has hypotensive, sedative effects.

NS-T. maximus fruits, leaves used as a diuretic and for skin diseases.

Zygophyllaceae. Grieve: Notes it is also Pedalium murex and has it in the Pedaliaceae family; seeds used as diuretic, demulcent, aphrodisiac; for impotence in males, nocturnal emissions, gonorrhea, gleet, incontinence of urine.

Seed abortifacient, alterative, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, demulcent, diuretic, emmenagogue, lactogogue, pectoral, tonic; stimulates blood circulation; decoction for impotency in males, nocturnal emissions, gonorrhoea and incontinence of urine; efficacy for painful urination, gout and kidney diseases; may have anticancer activity; flowers for leprosy; stems for scabious skin diseases, psoriasis; dried, concocted fruits for congestion, gas, headache, liver, ophthalmia and stomatitis.

Trigonella pubescens


Thangka: "Female" variety of trefoil from Dzong-gyab heals wounds and alleviates lung diseases; ´bu-su-hang mo-rigs / dzong-rgyab

NS-see next entry.

Huang: NS-see next entry; Hsu: NS-see next entry

NS-see next entry

Leguminosae. Grieve: NS-see next entry.

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong.

Trigonellaforaum groeccam [sic]

Trigonella foenum-graecum, Linn.


Anticholesterolemic; anti-inflammatory; antiphlogistic; antitumor; cardiotonic; carminative; demulcent; deobstruent; diuretic; emollient; expectorant; febrifuge; galactogogue; hypoglycemic; hypotensive; laxative; parasiticide; restorative. Thangka: cures pus from the lungs and diarrhea; shu-mo-za ldum-rar skyes

Seeds, pods and leaves are used; young plants, tender shoots as food (sag), as vegetable; animal fodder. Seeds as condiment or in curry; for colic, flatulence, dysentery, diarrhea, dyspepsia, loss of appetite, chronic cough, dropsy, enlarged liver/spleen. Roasted, powdered and in infusion for dysentery. Methi modaka confections common for dyspepsia, diarrhea use triphala, ginger, pepper (long & black), cumin, many other herbs; application to head for hair growth; poultices as cosmetic; pessaries of Methi for uterus, vagina; poultices of leaves ext/int for swelling, burns.

Huang: woo lu bar is dried seed; helps reduce plasma cholesterol, supports liver, kidney function; used as demulcent to soothe chapped hands, lips, GI disorders; commony mixed with other spices to relieve pain; Hsu: hu-lu-pa, bitter, extremely warm is dried seed; warms kidney yang, dispels cold-damp; for hernia due to cold-qi, abdominal, costal distention, beriberi, cold pain in lower abdomen, impotence

Seeds, leaves as antidiabetic, indigestion, tonic, rhuematism, cough, liver/spleen disorders; north Africans use seeds as oral antidiabetic; as galactagogue in Sudan; leaves for indigestion, stomach disorders in various remedies; seeds also for rheumatism, chronic cough, for enlarged spleen/liver, general tonic

Leguminosae. Grieve: "Helba" in Cairo; said to equal quinine when seeds soaked in water til swollen into thick paste to quell fevers; also used in emollients, plasters, ointments for abscesses, boils, carbuncles, etc.; strong mucilage in decoction for stomach and intestines; for neurasthenia, gout, diabetes; can be combined with insulin; also used in food; trigonelline, choline two principle alkaloids; other substances.

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong.

Tulipa edulis, Baker

Species of fritillary or snake´s head lilies, i.e. edible tulip

Thangka: heals fractures of skull; alleviates fever caused by poisoning; stag-lung from Taklung or chags-pa from Chakpa.


Huang: NG; Hsu: shan-tzu-ku, shan-ci-gu is bulb of Tulipa edulis Bak. or possibly Remastra variabilis or Pleione bulbocodioides (Franch), the latter 2 in orchid family; sweet, mildly pungent, cold, slightly poisonous; reduces heat, removes toxin, disperses swelling; contains tulipine, colchicine; used for carbuncle, furuncle, scrofula, snake and insect toxin; some data re anticancer, antiviral (influenza), cardiotonic effects.


Liliaceae. Grieve: NG

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong.

Inner portion of bulb is antidote, antipyretic, depurative, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative; mainly as poultice for ulcers, abcesses; has been used in the treatment of cancer; ext. leaves for abscesses, buboes and breast diseases; flowers for dysuria.

Uncaria rhynchophylla, Jacq.

or Coleus amboinicus Lour

Gambier, Pale Catechu

Thangka: Cures poisoning; White gambier- ga-dur khyung-sder dkar-po; brown gambier - byi-tsher khyung-sde smug-po is a/k/a Xanthium strumarium.

NS-U. gambier Roxb. (Pale Catechu); bitter, astringent taste from leaves, young shoots; mostly tannins, catechin; quercetin; ext for syphilitic sores, aphthous ulcers; as gargle for sore throat, stomatitis; int. with chalk, kino (which is probably Pterocarpus marsupium, Roxb., juice obtained from incisions in trunk) and opium for diarrhea, cholera.

Huang: Dried, hooked stem gou teng is this and other Uncaria species; several alkaloids; primary use is as anticonvulsive, for childhood epilepsy; antispasmodic, sedative effects as well; removes heat; relieves dizziness, tremors, convulsions; lowers bp; rhynchophylline exerts negative ionotropic effect on heart; Hsu: diao-teng-gou; sweet, mildly cold; dizziness, epilepsy in kids; effects noted against A-type influenza virus.

Stem bark, leaves used as wound dressing, mouth wash, astringent lotion; notes further pale catechu leaves, twigs as antiseptic in wound dressing; popular mouthwash in N. Africa (dried extract); for diarrhea, mouth sores.

Rubiaceae. Grieve: notes that it is used as a dye "Cutch Brown." Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong. Antispasmodic; carminative; febrifuge; hepatic; curved thorns on stems antispasmodic, carminative, febrifuge and hepatic; decoction for infantile convulsions, headaches, dizziness, hypertension, apoplexy; don't overcook

Urginea indica, Kunth.

Indian Squill

U. maritima is sea squill; Thangka: heals fractures of skull, alleviates fever caused by poisoning; a-ba-sha´I

Antidandruff; cardiotonic; diuretic; emetic; expectorant; Sea squill contains cardiac glycosides which are strongly diuretic and relatively quick-acting; not as strong as foxglove (Digitalis); bulb used for heart, stimulating, expectorant, diuretic; fresh bulb slightly more active but contains a viscid acrid juice that can cause skin inflammations; very poisonous; used under the supervision of qualified practitioner; int. for bronchitis, bronchitic asthma, whooping cough, edema; substitute for foxglove in aiding a failing heart; ext. for dandruff, seborrhoea.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG

Bulbs used; noted as Drimia altissma, Scilla altissima, or the African squill; dried sliced bulbs from which membranous outer scales have been removed; ancient remedy; white and red varieties, the latter used as rat poison; used in folk medicine of Nigeria (not official pharmacopeia); mix of cardiotoxic glycosides (scillarens); used for mild to medium-severe heart failure po or iv; also used in expectorants; OD causes vomiting; pos. death.

Hyacinthaceae/Liliaceae. Grieve: Noted as substitue for U. scilla, bulbs being used similarly; only worthwhile when young; used for coughs, diuretic for dropsy; for bronchitis; expectorant properties; sometimes taken with opium; high doses can be very poisonous (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, convulsions and even death.

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong. German Commission E notes allergies and hypersensitivities may occur; by prescription only. Caution advised! May increase efficacy and side effects of quinidine, calcium, saluretics, laxatives and extended therapy with glucocorticoids.


(probably U. maydis)

Corn ergot or corn smut

Many species. Thangka: increases warmth of te stomach and heals wounds; sa-rdzi ka


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Grieve: many varieties of smut exist; U. maydis is corn smut; usually used as an emmenagogue, parturient and for hemorrhages of bowels and lungs.

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong. Don't use this or any ergot derivative if taking efavirenz (Sustiva)

Verbascum thapsus; Linn.

Verbascam sp/ Gynura pinnatifida

Great Mullein

Minor ingredient in 7. Thangka: relieves demonic possession and alleviates fever caused by poisoning; yu-gu shing nag-po

Flowers contain yellow volatile oil; malic, phosphoric acids; leaves have tannins, bitter principle, mucilage, saponins, among other ingredients. Demulcent, diuretic, anodyne, antiseptic, alterative. Root is used as febrifuge; seeds narcotic, aphrodisiac (used as fish poison); herb used to treat asthma, other pulmonary complaints; leaves warmed, rubbed with oil applied to inflamed parts; add handful of leaves to pint of cow's milk, boil down to half a pint, sweeten, strain, taken at bed time to allay cough, remove pain and irritability.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Scrophulariaceae. Grieve: Leaves, flowers, roots used; demulcent, emollient, astringent; seeds slightly narcotic; leaves sometimes smoked.

Commonly used, esp. for pectoral complaints; reduces mucous formation; stimulates phlegm expectoration; for tracheitis, bronchitis; leaves, flowers anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, vulnerary; infusion internally for chest complaints, diarrhea; combined with other expectorants coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), thyme (Thymus vulgaris); ext. poultice of leaves to heal wounds, for ulcers, tumors, piles. "Any preparation made from the leaves needs to be carefully strained in order to remove the small hairs which can be an irritant". Infusion of flowers in olive oil as earache drops, local application of piles, other mucous membrane inflammation; infusion is strongly bactericidal; decoction of roots may alleviate toothache, cramps, convulsions; juice of plant, powder of dried roots to remove rough warts when rubbed on them (but not for smooth warts); seeds slightly narcotic; poultice of seeds, leaves to draw out splinters; decoction of seeds to soothe chillblains and chapped skin.

Veronica ciliata, Fischer

Variety of Speedwell

Ingredient in 40; 'bam sMan for epistaxis, pain in upper body, pain in hips, waist, joints from excess blood turned into 'Bam disorder, descending to lower body region (35); blood disorders, abnormal discharge of blood, semen due to renal disorders; nyi-zla- gyen-lDog (105).

NS-V. arvesis Linn., V. hederaefolia Linn. contain glucoside, rhinanthin (aucubin); V. beccabunga Linn. same contents; diuretic, antiscorbutic.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NG


Scrophularaceae. Grieve: NS- V. officinalis Linn. is Common Speedwell; herb is used; leaves are very astringent, bitter; plant has diaphoretic, alterative, diuretic, expectorant, tonic properties; formerly used for pectoral, nephritic, complaints, hemorrhages, diseases of skin, wound treatment; still used in Grieve's time as infusion of dried plant for coughs, catarrh, and simple, effective remedy for other diseases. There are a number of other species; lengthy discussion of V. chamaedrys or Germander. V. beccabunga is Brooklime; alterative, diuretic. Young shoots eaten with watercress.

Viola biflora

Twoflower violet or Yellow wood violet

Thangka: repairs ruptures of the blood vessels; rta-rmig

NS-V. serpens, Wall. used in bilious, pulmonary infections; V. odorata flowers, root (trayman) contain emetic "violine" similar to emetine; flowers are astringent, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, aperient; flowers used in bilious affections, lung troubles, rectal/uterus prolapse; also for cough, kidney and liver troubles; in large doses, emetic. Syrup of petals for infants with coughs, chest tightness. With almond oil, syrup of senna excellent demulcent, aperient. Root is emetic; used to adulterate Ipecac.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-ti-ho-tao, di-he-tao is entire plant of V. collina Bess.; bitter, astringent, cool; febrifuge; for carbuncles, deep-rooted ulcer, lung abscess, int/ext trauma; incised wound bleeding, pyogenic lesion; V. yedoensis Making, V. japonica Langsd. are entire plants known as zi-hua-ti-tang (could be other species as well); with simiilar activity; test tube effects against various bacteria; contains cerotic acid, saponins.


Violaceae. Grieve: NS-various species; V. tricolor is the pansy; Sweet Violet (V. odorata) much used (dried leaves or flowers) or whole plant fresh; used in Syrup of Violets; mildly laxative; former uses for a wide range of ills; a lengthy section to be reviewed.

Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong. Flowers antispasmodic, diaphoretic, emollient and pectoral; leaves emollient, laxative

Vitis vinifera, Linn.

Grape or grapevine

Ingredient in 12; cough, general pulmonary disorder (82); chronic pulmonary disorder (83); rGun-'brum; Thangka: treatment of the lungs; rgun-´brum

Draksha. Various other species noted; fruits, ripe, partly unripe, dried (raisins), leaves used. Grapes are demulcent, laxative, refrigerant, stomachic, diuretic, cooling; raisins laxative, demulcent, expectorant; juice of unripe grapes, leaves are astringent. Highly esteemed; used in many formulae; eat a grape every five minutes for so many hours per day for anemia, wasting conditions; used in chronic bronchitis, dyspepsia, hemorrhage, dysuria, strangury, Bright's disease, gout; juice for thrush in kids; in severe colds, fevers; leaves, powdered seeds for diarrhea.

Huang: NG; Hsu: NS-V. thunbergii Sieb et. Zucc. is dried root, (wild grape) or yeh-pu-tao, ye-pu-tao; sweet, bitter, cool; expels heat, dispels wind-dampness; used for carbuncle, malignant furuncle; paralysis, rheumatoid arthritis due to wind-dampness, external injuries, painful swelling, beriberi, edema.

NS-V. hildebrandtii roots used for snake bite, skin infections.

Vitaceae. Grieve: Fruit, leaves, juice all used; helpful as nourishment in recovery, but not for inflammatory or gouty conditions; seeds, leaves are astringent; sap used as lotion for eyes, specs on cornea; ripe grapes for helping urinary flow, to offset anemia; also used for neuralgia, sleeplessness; 3-6 POUNDS per day as a grape cure for torpid liver, sluggish biliary function (not quite ripe) and eaten warm; "…nutrient content of grapes is close to that of blood plasma, grape fasts are recommended for detoxification"; analgesic; fresh fruit antilithic, constructive, cooling, diuretic, strengthening; fruit, red grape leaves used for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, capillary fragility; dried fruit demulcent, cooling, mildly expectorant, laxative, stomachic; slight effect in easing coughs; leaves (especially red leaves) anti-inflammatory, astringent; decoction for threatened abortion, internal and external bleeding, cholera, dropsy, diarrhea, nausea; wash for mouth ulcers; douche for vaginal discharge; leaves harvested in early summer and used fresh or dried; seed anti-inflammatory, astringent; sap of young branches diuretic; for skin diseases, excellent lotion for the eyes; tendrils astringent, decoction for diarrhea; used in Bach flower remedies: "the keywords for prescribing it are 'Dominating', 'Inflexible' and 'Ambitious"

Vladimiria souliei, Franch.

Aucklandia root?

Minor ingredient in F47, F151.

Is this a synonym for Sausurrea lappa?


Huang: NG; Hsu: NG -

Referred to as mu xiang: http://www.aaom.org/currentevents/coalition1.html Also http://www.healthlink.com.au/nat_lib/htm-data/htm-herb/bhp796.htm; that it is pungent, bitter and warm; roots dug in October; for "Qi stagnation in the spleen and stomach manifested as poor appetite, epigastric and abdominal distension and pain, borborygmus and diarrhea. Costus root (Muxiang) is used with Poria (Fuling), Bitter orange (Zhiqiao) and Tangerine peel (Chenpi). Damp-heat dysentery manifested as tenesmus and abdominal pain."


Compositae? Grieve: NG

US FDA warns that it may contain aristolochic acid which in high doses may be kidney damaging; the data are limited on this toxicity and it's hard to tell if this is FDA being overly protective or a genuine threat; in any event, err on the side of prudence and only take under supervision of a respected practitioner; others point out that this may be guilt by association and that this herb may merely have been substituted by a less expensive Aristolochia genus.

May also be referred to as costus root (see Sausurrea lappa).

Withania somnifera (Linn.) Dunal.

a/k/a Physalis flexuosa

Winter cherry

Not used in Tibetan medicine?

Ashwagandha; root used; astringent, bitter, sweet, hot; used as aphrodisiac, astringent, nervine, rejuvenative, sedative, tonic. An excellent herb; acts as tonic, adaptogen; contains bitter alkaloid somniferin; seeds coagulate milk but are poisonous; roots, leaves used as hypnotic in treating alcoholism, emphysematous dyspnea; leaves antihelmintic; root for obstinate or rheumatic swellings; for emaciated kids, senile or general debility, nervous exhaustion, loss of memory, muscular energy; spermatorrhea. Usually taken in the evening with milk or ghee; decoction of powder; also used for leucorrhea, bloody discharge; various formulae; enema for fistulas and dysentery; safe for kids. As poultice.

Huang: NS-except dried calyx of Physalis alkekengi franchetti (jin deng long) but not clear how similar this is; for sore throat; has some antibacterial effects; Hsu: NS-mentions same herb (suan-chiang, suan-jiang) with bitter flavor, cold property for cough, whooping cough, inadequate uterine contraction. Root, rhizome increase uterine contraction; used as an abortifacient in ancient China; fruit, calyx possess antipyretic, cardiotonic effects.

Leaves used for fever, convulsions, rheumatic pains; also in list of herbs used for skin diseases; notes both roots and leaves used for fever, chills, rheumatism; as antihelmintic in southern Africa; Zulu make an enema from root for hyperpyrexia in infants; Xhosa/Pedi use it to disinfect meat; contains alkaloids (withanine), withanolides; reverses neutropenia in cyclophosphamide fed mice; activates macrophages.

Solanaceae. Grieve: NS-again, Physalis alkekengi Linn but here she does refer to it as Winter Cherry; berrie aperient, diuretic for gravel, suppression of urine; leaves, stems to offset malaise following malaria; strong dose may cause constipation and "heaviness"; not as prompt in its action as sulfate of quinine but acts as febrifuge; leaves boiled act as good poultice. Notes P. viscosa (ground cherry or yellow henbane) used similarly; P. somnifera is a narcotic; leaves used warmed in castor oil in India applied to carbuncles, other inflammatory swellings; seeds used to coagulate milk; leaves found with Egyptian mummies; interestingly, she does not mention the use of the root at all.

Xanthium strumarium, Linn.

Burrweed; Cocklebur

Thangka: alleviates contagious poisoning and fever of the kidneys; byi-tsher; alleviates blood diseases-bye-tsher

A gregarious "weed" with prickly fruit containing fat, ash, sugar, resin, organic (oxalic) acids, glucoside similar to datiscin, cooling, demulcent; whole plant is diaphoretic, sedative, sudorific, diuretic, sialogogue; similar to Pilocarpus pennati-folius in action; decoction of whole plant for urinary, renal complints, gleet, leucorrhea, menorrhagia, long standing malarial fevers; root is bitter tonic used in cancer.

Huang: NS-cang er zi is dried fruit; glycosides, alcohol derivatives, some fats, alkaloids; antibacterial, antitussive, antirheumatic; respiratory stimulating, lowers bp, blood sugar; toxic if high doses: irregular respiration, dyspnea, coma, abnormal hepatic, kidney function; side effects may include malaise, headache, GI trouble; effective for hypersensitivity rhinitis, rheumatic arthritis, pain in extremities, sciatic neuralgia, eczema, pruritis, chronic sinus infections, otitis media, paroditis.


Hsu: tsang-erh-tzu, cang-er-zi is dried mature fruit, sweet, bitter; removes wind, dampness, opens nose; used for headache from wind and dampness, cramping, numbness of limbs, ulcer, sinusitis, pruritis; test tube effect against S. aureus; clinically treats rhinitis; decoction "cures" chronic arthritis, syphilitic neuralgia; contains xanthinin, xanthostrumarin.

Compositae. Grieve: whole plant used; X. spinosum valuable for hydrophobia (fluid extract of powdered plant). Listed at Dharmapala site; not in Tsarong. Leaves, root anodyne, antirheumatic, appetizer, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, laxative, sedative; used for long-standing cases of malaria; as adulterant for Datura stramonium; infusion for rheumatism, diseased kidneys, TB; linament on armpits to reduce perspiration; fruits anodyne, antibacterial, antifungal, antirheumatic, antispasmodic; int. for allergic rhinnitus, sinusitis, catarrh, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, constipation, diarrhea, lumbago, leprosy, pruritis; ext. for pruritis; root is bitter tonic, febrifuge; used for scrofulous tumors; decoction of root for high fevers, to help a woman expel afterbirth; decoction of seeds for bladder complaints; poultice of the powdered seed as salve on open sores

Zingiber officinale, Roscoe.

Ginger, or medicinal ginger

Minor ingredient in F75, F132, F174. Thangka: alleviates phlegm associated with wind; sman-sga

Ardrakam, Shuntha. Scraped, dried rhizomes used (green ones as well); sometimes used without scraping the root; oleo-resin gingerin is one active ingredient; aromatic, carminative, GI stimulant, sialagogue, digestive; ext, stimulant, rubifacient. Lengthy entry; condiment in curries, etc. Extremely valuable for dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, vomiting, spasms, painful affections of stomach, bowels (w/o fever). Dry ginger, black and long pepper are trikatu. Good for cold weather, biliousness, to relax sore throat by chewing a bit; strong diuretic. It did NOT work in 3 cases with cirrhosis with ascites and dropsy, Bright's disease, chronic heart disease; may help early liver disease. Plasters for headache, toothache also common. Used in scorpion sting.

Huang: contains various saponins, sheng jiang is essential oil; anti-inflammatory, stimulates gastric secretion (see Iwu stating suppresses it); Hsu: sheng-chiang is raw, fresh rhizome; pungent, mild, warm; induces diaphoresis, warms stomach, spleen, controls vomiting, removes toxin; used for common cold due to wind-cold, nausea, vomiting, swelling in chest, abdomen, retention of phlegm, dyspnea; antiemetic, stomachic (again, stimulates gastric secretion), sudorific, has effects on typhoid, cholera bacilli; lowers bp in rabbits; kan-chiang, gan-jiang is "white" ginger (highest quality), processed with lime; extremely pungent, extremely hot; warms middle warmer; for vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, coldlimbs, minute pulse, cough, rheumatic pain from cold/moisture; hyotensive, stomachic, antiemetic.

Rhizome used for indigestion, coughs, stimulant, antimicrobial; used as culinary plant extensively and as carminative, diuretic, antiemetic in African folk medicine. Volatile oil contains camphene, citral, cineol, linalool, zingiberene, bisbolene, zingiberol, zingiberenol, methylheptenone; phenolics like gingerols, shogaols. Methanol extracts cardiodepressant, antipyretic, analgesic, antitussive effects in animal studies; gingerols exert hypotensive effects in rats. Suppresses (?) gastric secretion, reduces vomiting; clinical study showed it works better than antihistamine dimenhydrinate for motion sickness.

Zingiberaceae. Grieve: white is the best, scraped clean, not scalded; black form is scalded; stimulant, carminative, for dyspepsia and flatulent colic; excellent addition to bitter infusions; good for alcoholic gastritis; for diarrhea from relaxed bowel where there is no inflammation; ginger tea to help stop menses due to cold; ext. use as rubifacient. Avoid "Essence of Ginger" as it is adulterated, sometimes with harmful ingredients; may not exist today.

Adulteration can be a problem with all herbs, which is why national programs to assure potency and purity of herbs should be a standard of consumer protection; the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has so far failed to pass Good Manufacturing Practices rulemaking for the "dietary supplements" category that includes herbs.

Zingiber sp.


Minor ingredient in F145.

See previous entry. Z. cassumunar Roxb. is wild ginger; similar to regular ginger. Z. zerumbet Smith. also similar; hot remedy for coughs, asthma, worms, leprosy, other skin diseases; other uses as Z. officinalis.

Huang: No other species; Hsu: NS - See Z. officinale.

See Z. officinale.

Zingiberaceae. Grieve: see Z. officinale.



Meat n minerals:

Tibetan Use/Formula, some notes, List of Formulae for each species by number

accumulated soil on rocks


aged snow


aged snow deposits



Nadkarni: A general name for double sulphates with aluminum, potassium, ammonium, iron and other minerals; often derived from shilajit; used in leucorrhe, hematuria, hemoptysis, menorrhagia, gastric or intestinal catarrh/hemorrhages, chronic diarrhea, repiratory fluxes with ropy phlegm; often used as a last resort remedy; ext for bleeding from nose, anus, vagina, gums; also used as a gargle; painted on bed sores, scorpion/insect stings, indolent ulcers, eczema; 100,163



ash of cowries

Nadkarni: Cowries are Cypraea moneta, Linn. shells; may be derived from almonds, tamarinds; white, red and yellow varieties are used; ash is pungently bitter, alterative, expectorant; for dyspepsia, jaundice, enlarged spleen/liver, asthma; 132,174

bear's bile

Gi-wang 13 or gallstone 13 for blood in feces, hematemesis, menorrhagia, blood oozing from 9 cavities (70); 29,30,46,68, 78,79,84,91,99,105,111

black salt


blood, dried



56; Nadkarni: diuretic, emmenagogue, astringent, antacid, local sedative, antiseptic. May cause GI disturbances during treatment. Used internally, externally for a variety of ills.




splenic disorders, ophthalmic tonic (17); emesis of sour/watery vomitus, stomach pain, drying feces from bad-kan sMug-po (45,46, 47-and hoarseness,48); all types of bad-kan, mixed with either rLung or MKhris-pa (64); inflammation of blood when needing phlebotomy (87); sMan-nag 15 provides bodily heat, digestive, destroys tumors, chronic disorders of stomach, intestines; promotes appetite, controls emesis, diarrhea (100); all types of sMug-po disorders with sour/watery vomitus (101); stomachal tonic, digestive, anti-colic, laxative, eructation, heartburn (126); also in 18,41,44, 56,77,90,97,114,144,174,175

camphor, black


Chinese ink



See mercury; 78,111. Cinnabar is the heavy mineral ore of mercury containing vermilion; sometimes artificially prepared by heating mercury with sulphur in a retort.

clarified butter


copper calcine

all types of lung inflammations, for difficulty in breathing, coughing zangs-thal 25 (172)



crab shell


deer antlers


donkey's blood


elephant's gallstone


gallstone of ox or elephant






iron powder

Antipyretic, improves eye-sight, controls lacrimal gland secretions, cloudy vision due to rLung, eyelid inflammation (55); 65,72,98

lac Rhus verniciflua

F154, F164; Nadkarni: various varieties from branches (laksha taru), stick (twigs), seed lac or shellac-latter in electuary with honey for hematemesis; for caries, diseased teeth;often used in chronic fever, consumption cough. Sitting under Rheus tree may result in fine resin on skin and subsequent poison-ivy-like delayed type hypersensitivity response; 154,164


source of calcium; 134, 174

mercury (detoxified and purified) how?

"bashma" of mercury - this is an ash of mercury; four types are known, including black, white, yellow and red (vermilion) varieties. The black variety is a sulphide, with mercury and sulphur rubbed together over a fire (krishna bhasma or rasaparpati). Rasakarpura is the white ash (sveta bhasma) which is a camphor of mercury. The yellow variety (pitta bhasma) is prepared with sulphur, mercury, Phyllanthus niruri and Heliotropium indicum. While the use of mercury may seem deranged from a western perspective that well understands the intense toxicity of the elemental substance, these forms appear to be much less toxic. What efficacy they may have is unknown to me as I have not had the opportunity to investigate whether clinical studies in humans have been conducted; anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-rheumatic, dries up serum, uric acid, relieves pain in joints, hands, feet, vertebrae, joint inflammation causing reddish-brown appearance, sinus disorders, clears up itching/small pimples scattered over body (106); epilepsy, leprosy, tumors, edema, lymphatic disorders, inflammation of throat epiglottis, feet swelling, gout, rheumatism, renal disorders (107); antitoxin, hematemesis or dysentery due to Bad-kan sMug-po, chronic fever, hidden fever, spreading fever, indigestion, actue stomach pain from colic, anti-parasitic, lymphatic disorders (175); also in F46.



mineral pitch (shilajit)

Pain in stomach from inflammation, passing blood in stool, febrifuge (29); inflammation of stomach, intestines (30); Nad: gold (red), copper (blue), silver (white) varieties rare; iron (blackish brown) most commonly used; contains various minerals, lots of urea (hence the urine-like odor), benzoic acid, benzoates; prepared in various ways; used for many diseases; small study showed no benefit for diabetics; various formulae; may help in dyspepsia, diarrhea; also in 11,12,13,14,15,17,26,42,45,46,47,61,65,69,70,71,72,75,76,77,89,92,98,101, 107,117,118,119,133,140,144,146,147,149,151,154,158,170,174,175



mountain goat horn

promotes proper flow of blood, regulates normal menses flow; for pai in kidneys, hips, lower intestines (84) rGya-ru 14; 150,172


8,13,15,16,21,29,30,34,46,57,74,75,76,80,88,91,94,97,99,106,107,108,113,117,119,122,131,143,145,147,158,161,165, 167,170,175

oyster shell




pearls or oyster shells


rabbit's heart




radish ash


rhino's horn

bSe-ru 25 for general pulmonary disorders, to remove pus, blood, serum from lungs (150)



rock sugar





Ammonium chloride, derived from clay found in Punjab; derived also from burnt animal feces mixed with coal; stimulates mucous membranes, relieves hepatic congestion, modifies hepatic secretions; for cirrhosis, jaundice; poultices also made; 111,132



snail's shell


snake eyes


snake meat



Lack of stomach heat, appetite, chest pains, sour/watery emesis, halitosis, blurred vision, renal disorders, cold isorder, yellowing of sclera, skin, rLung, mKhris-pa, Bad-kan (specially sKya and sMug) (90); also in 18,56,173,174

sodium chloride

rGyam-tsa bZhi-thang 4 for stomach heat, promotes digestion, anti-toxin (85); also in 64,65,68,72,100,111,113,130,132,134,137,138,173,174






gYu-rNying 25 old turquoise for hepatic disorders with sx of pain in ribs, upper back, pale skin, lack of blood, weight loss, reddish eyes/darkish complexion, flatulence, constipation, excessive sleep, thirst, headache, discomfort in cardiac region, blood in sputum, epistaxis (170)


See mercury; used in 11,12,13,15,56,59,74,79,80,84,92,111,160,161,170,172



yak, female's fat


yak, heart (wild)


Tibetan names:

The items below were listed in Tsarong's Handbook without further information


'bras is cervical lymphadenitis; used in 12,13,15,41,75,76,107,143,163,164





Chu-srin sDer-mo




Gya-tsod (a type of salt)






rKal-pa chu-thub










Sources/References (aside from footnoted items):

For Ayurvedic medicine, mostly Nadkarni's Indian Materia Medica, Popular Prakashan, Bombay, India:revised, 1976; Vasant Lad's Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies,Three Rivers Press, New York, NY:1998 as well as Tirtha, Swami Sada Shiva, The Ayurvedic EncyclopediaAyurveda Holistic Center Press, Bayville, NY:1998.
For Chinese medicine, Hong-Yen Hsu's Chinese Materia Medica, Oriental Healing Arts Institute, Taiwan, ROC:1986 and Huang's Pharmacology of Chinese Herbs, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL:1999.
For African medicine, from Iwu's Handbook of African Herbal Medicine, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL:1993.
For European medicine, Mrs. M. Grieve A Modern Herbal (orig. 1931), Dover Books, New York, NY:1982
For Tibetan Medicine, aside from the Handbook, information derived from the Dharmapala Centre : School of Thangka Painting, The 77 Medical Thangkas of the Blue Beryll; see
Physiological Terms-Derived from the German Commission E: Available in print version.

See also http://www.moa.gov.bt/protected_plant.htm

List of Totally Protected Plant Species (Bhutan)

mission | overview | purity/potency | side effects | links | contact
Nepal Project | clinical trial proposals
Special thanks to Joel Beard and http://www.aidsinfonyc.org for hosting this site!
© Copyright FIAR 2002