English Name: ark shell
Pharmaceutical Name: Concha Arcae
Medica Category: Substances for Topical Application
Properties: Wa Leng Zi enters the Liver, Stomach, and Lung channels; it is salty in nature and neutral in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Wa Leng Zi is derived from the shells of two species of saltwater clams (Arca subcrenata Lischke; Arca granosa L.) that live naturally in temperate shallows in the Pacific Ocean off of Japan, Korea, and China; They are cultivated for commercial use in these areas as well. For use as medicine, the shells are either crushed and then decocted for an extended period (to extract the active ingredients) or they are pounded into a powder. Fresh Wa Leng Zi is better for dispersing nodules and softening hard masses, and vinegar treated Wa Leng Zi is better at stopping the secretion of stomach acid (see section directly below).
Wa Leng Zi dissolves phlegm, softens hardness, and disperses nodules that are caused by accumulations of stagnated qi, blood, and/or phlegm (especially old accumulations). Clinical applications of this substance include scrofula, goiter, abdominal masses, and abnormal enlargement of the spleen and liver.
Wa Leng Zi (calcined and vinegar processed) controls the secretion of stomach acid and relieves pain in cases of acid reflux/regurgitation and peptic or duodenal ulcers.