English Name: aristolochia fruit, dutchman’s pipe vine fruit
Literal Translation: “bell of a horse’s hat”
Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Aristolochiae
Medica Category: Cough- and Wheezing- Relieving Herbs
Properties: Ma Dou Ling enters the Lung and Large Intestine channels; it is bitter and slightly acrid in nature ans cold in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Ma Dou Ling is the dried fruit of the slender dutchman’s pipe plant (Aristolochia contorta Bge.; or Aristolochia debilis Sieb. et. Zucc.), a scrambling vine that grows native in the lower mountain elevations of Southern China. It produces fragrant, purple, trumpet-shaped flowers throughout the summer that eventually beget small fruits which are harvested and dried for use as medicine.
Ma Dou Ling clears the Lung and dissolves phlegm to treat all kinds of cough (w/wheezing) presentations characterized by heat (i.e. such signs as labored breathing and the production of profuse amounts of yellow sputum). This herb also addresses chronic cough that is characterized by scanty or blood-streaked sputum, and dry mouth and throat (i.e. heat signs).
Ma Dou Ling clears heat from the Large Intestine channel and can be added to the formulas Shao Yao Tang or Zhen Ren Huo Ming Yin to address hemorrhoids with swelling and bleeding.
Ma Dou Ling is used in China to treat early-stage primary hypertension characterized by dizziness and a red face (i.e Liver fire rising).
Ma Dou Ling contain aristolochic acid and in large doses can cause nausea and vomiting.
Ma Dou Ling is bitter and cold and should not be used for cough and wheezing caused by deficiency cold. It is also contraindicated for persons with loose stools due to Spleen deficiency.