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Shí Chāng Pú 石菖蒲

Pharmaceutical name Acori tatarinowii Rhizoma grassleaf sweetflag rhizome, acorus
Category Aromatic Herbs that Open the Orifices
Key Properties Transforms Dampness, Strengthens the
Spleen & Stomach, Dislodges Phlegm, Opens the Sensory Orifices
Shí Chāng Pú & Yuǎn Zhì = Dui Yao
Properties Acrid
Tropism HT, ST
Actions & Indications 1) Open Orifices, Dislodge Phlegm, Remove Filth, & Quiets Spirit
2) Transforms Turbid Dampness, Awakens Spleen, &
Promotes Movement of Qi
3) Promotes Blood Flow & Reduces Swelling
Dosages 3-9g
Contraindications (TCM) CI: Caution with Yin Def with Heat signs, or Irritability & Excess Sweat, vomiting blood, or spermatorrhea. Avoid OD/long-term use.
Contraindications (Western)
Chemical Composition α-asarone, β-asarone, caryophyllene, α-humulene, sekishone, asaronaldehyde
Pharmacological Effects • CNS suppressant: hypnotic influence observed with use of essential oil, antiseizure action observed with water extract, and sedative effects observed with both
• Effect on memory: associated with improvement in memory; in a laboratory study, 55 mice were divided into three groups, with group one receiving normal saline, group two receiving 0.1 g/kg of Shi Chang Pu and group three receiving 0.2 g/kg; mice were then timed in how long it took to exit a maze and the number of mistakes committed; same exercise was repeated daily for 6 days; it was concluded that Shi Chang Pu has a dose-dependent effect in mice in reducing time required and mistakes made to exit maze
• Gastrointestinal: decoction of herb stimulates secretion of gastric acid
Herb-Drug Interactions • Ethanol: in an in vitro study, preparation containing Yuan Zhi, Ren Shen, Shi Chang Pu and Fu Ling reduced ethanol-induced impairment of memory registration; also ameliorated the scopolamine-induced memory registration deficit; results suggest that the herbal preparation ameliorates impairment effect of ethanol on learning and memory processes
Classical Formula(s)

Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin (Dioscorea Hypoglauca Decoction to Separate the Clear) 萆薢分清飲

Di Huang Yin Zi (Rehmannia Drink) 地黃飲子

Di Tan Tang (Scour Out Phlegm Decoction) 滌痰湯

Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan (Sweet Dew Special Pill to Eliminate Toxin) 甘露消毒丹

Lian Po Yin (Coptis and Magnolia Bark Decoction) 蓮朴飲

Qi Li San (Seven-Thousandths of a Tael Powder) (zhu sha and she xiang replaced with shi chang pu) 七厘散 (朱砂和麝香用石菖蒲代替)

Sang Piao Xiao San (Mantis Egg-Case Powder) 桑螵蛸散

Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang (Arborvitae See Pill to Nourish the HT) 柏子養心湯

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

Ding Zhi Wan (Settle the Emotions Pill) 定志丸

Zhu Jing Wan (Preserve Vistas Pill) 駐景丸


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.