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Tian Xian Teng

English Name: aristolochia herb, Dutchman’s pipe herb

Literal Translation: “heavenly vine from the sky”

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Aristolochiae

Medica Category: Qi-Regulating Herbs

Properties: Tian Xian Teng enters the Heart, Lung, Spleen, and Kidney channels; it is bitter in nature and warm in temperature.  

What is Tian Xian Teng?:

The Chinese Herb Tian Xian Teng is the dried stems and leaves of the slender Dutchman’s pipe plant (Aristolochia debilis Sieb. et. Zucc.; and 2 others), 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 a different Chinese herb– Ma Dou Ling). This herb contains trace amounts of aristolochic acid and is considered toxic—see **safety notes at the bottom of this entry.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Tian Xian Teng:

Tian Xian Teng regulates qi, invigorates blood, and relieves pain due to stagnation of qi and blood to include hernial pain, chest and abdominal pain, and neuralgia.

Tian Xian Teng clears toxic-heat and promotes urination to address snake bites, sexually transmitted diseases, and liver cancer.

–safety notes: 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.

Tian Xian Feng is contraindicated during pregnancy.

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