English Name: scorpion
Pharmaceutical Name: Scorpio
Medica Category: Liver-Calming and Wind-Extinguishing Herbs
Properties: Quan Xie enters the Liver channel; it is acrid in nature, warm in temperature, and considered toxic.
The Chinese Herb Quan Xie is the dried carcass of the Chinese scorpion (Buthus martensi Karsch.); the whole body of the scorpion is used—they are caught in the spring or autumn, boiled, and then dried in the sun for use as medicine.
Quan Xie penetrates deeply into the body and is a key herb in TCM to extinguish wind and stops tremors and spasms. Clinical applications of Quan Xie include: acute or chronic childhood convulsions, tetany, opisthotonos (muscle spasms causing backward arching of the head, neck, and spine), tics, spasms, cramps, and seizures.
Quan Xie eliminates fire toxins and can be used topically to treat toxic sores, mastitis, mumps, swellings, and scrofula. Made into an ointment with beeswax and sesame oil, it was traditionally used “when all else has failed” as a final treatment strategy (in accordance with the TCM theory “use toxins to attack toxins”).
Quan Xie unblocks the channels and collaterals and is used to relieve severe pain, numbness, and decreased joint mobility associated with bi zheng (“painful obstruction syndrome”) associated with wind-damp.
Dosage for Quan Xie is 2-5 grams in decoction, 0.6 – 1.0 grams as powder. For treating childhood convulsions, appropriate dosage falls in the range of 60 – 90 mg. When used at normal dosages, no apparent toxicity or side effects occur; that being said, this substance is toxic and should never be used long-term or at a high dose.
Contraindicated during pregnancy.
Contraindicated for internal wind due to deficiency.