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Tiān Nán Xīng (Zhì) (Dan Nan Xin) (製) 天南星

Pharmaceutical name Arisaematis Rhizoma preparatum prepared arisaema rhizome, jack-in-the-pulpit "star of the southern heavens"
Category Transform Phlegm-Cold
Key Properties Very acrid, dispersing, warm, and drying
Eliminates Wind-Phlegm in the Channels and Collaterals
Toxic in its raw (unprepared) form
Properties Bitter
Tropism LV, LU, SP
Actions & Indications 1) Dries Dampness & Expels Phlegm
2) Disperses Wind-Phlegm & Stops Spasms
3) Reduces Swelling & Alleviates Pain
Dosages 3-9g; only the processed form is for internal use
Contraindications (TCM) Caution with dry cough from Yin Deficiency or stirring of Wind from either intense Heat or Blood Def. Contraindicated during pregnancy and Dry Phlegm from Yin Def
Contraindications (Western) Allergic reactions may result when skin comes in contact with herb: swelling, itching, pain; may be alleviated by topical vinegar wash; may cause drowsiness and sedation
Chemical Composition ɣ-aminobutyric acid, ornithine, citrulline, arginine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, leucine, saponins, starch, alkaloids
Pharmacological Effects • Antiseizure and anticonvulsant: intraperitoneal injection of water extract in mice has preventative effects against seizures and convulsions induced by strychnine and caffeine; other studies indicated that while herb had questionable anti-seizure action, it did effectively control tremor
• Sedative: intraperitoneal injection of water extract associated with marked sedative effects in mice; clinical effects included decrease in spontaneous physical activities, delayed reflexes, and prolonged sleeping time induced by barbiturates
• Antineoplastic: water extract of unprocessed herb has inhibitory effect on growth of cancer cells in mice with sarcoma
Herb-Drug Interactions • Sedatives: associated with marked sedative and analgesic effects; also potentiates sedative effect of barbiturates
Classical Formula(s)

Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan (Clear the Qi and transform Phlegm Pill) 清氣化痰湯

Ding Xian Wan (delete Zhu Sha)(Arrest Seizures Pill) 定涎丸(減硃砂)


This information is a reference tool for Chinese herbal studies. It is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Please consult a primary health professional if you require health advisory.