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English Name: pubescent angelica root
Literal Translation: “self-reliant existence”
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Angelicae Pubescentis
Medica Category: Wind Damp Dispelling Herbs – Pain Relieving Herbs
Properties: Du Huo enters the Liver, Kidney, and Urinary Bladder; it is acrid and bitter in nature and warm in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Du Huo is the dried roots of pubescent angelica (Angelica pubencens), a native of China and Japan commonly used to treat certain manifestations of bi pain, or “painful obstruction syndrome”, which is pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints that flares up when environmental conditions are cold and damp (i.e. roughly corresponding to what we call rheumatism).
Pubescent angelica has a two-year life cycle, flowering toward the end of the second year. The roots are harvested at the beginning of this second year when they are at their largest and then cleaned and dried slowly without heat before being used as medicine.
Du Huo dispels wind, cold, and dampness from the channels and collaterals to alleviate pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints (bi zheng). It is most effective at this function in the lower half of the body; for example, it treats lower back pain and sore knees in the formula Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan.
Du Huo releases wind-cold-damp pathenogenic influences from the exterior layer that presents with such symptoms as aversion to cold, low-grade fever, headaches, and muscle aches.
Du Huo is used to release Shaoyin level heat to treat headaches, toothaches, and swollen gums.
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