English Name: aristolochia root, slender Dutchman’s piperoot
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Aristolochiae
Medica Category: Qi-Regulating Herbs
Properties: Qing Mu Xiang enters the Liver and Stomach channels; it is acrid and bitter in nature and cool in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Qing Mu Xiang is the dried roots of the slender dutchman’s pipe plant (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 become the Chinese herb Ma Dou Ling). Late in the season, the roots are dug up, cleaned, sliced and dried to become the Chinese Herb Qing Mu Xiang. This herb is considered toxic—see **safety notes at the bottom of the next section.
Qing Mu Xiang regulates qi, clears heat, and relieves pain to address Liver and Stomach qi stagnation characterized by abdominal bloating and cramping, hypochondriac/flank pain, and chest pain.
Qing Mu Xiang eliminates toxic-heat and reduces swelling and combines with Huang Lian and Bing Ling to address nausea and vomiting due to food poisoning. This herb also addresses the pain and swelling of snakebite (w/Bai Zhi), either topically or internally.
**safety note—This plant contains trace amounts of aristolochic acid; used prepared and administered properly it is effective for the uses described above—however, it is recommended that this herb only be used under the supervision of a trained TCM healthcare professional. In any event, it should be used carefully with people who have pre-existing Liver and Kidney conditions.
Overdose can also have the adverse effect of nausea and vomiting.