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Tiān Má 天麻

Pharmaceutical name Gastrodiae Rhizoma gastrodia rhizome "heavenly hemp"
Category Extinguish Wind and Stop Tremors
Key Properties Calms the Liver with Gentle Nourishment
Extinguishes Wind
Gōu Téng & Tiān Má = Dui Yao
Properties Sweet
Tropism LV
Actions & Indications 1) Calms LV, Exting Wind, Controls Spasms & Tremors
2) Exting Wind & Alleviates Pain (Wind Phlegm & stroke)
3) Disperses Painful Obstruction (Lower back)
Dosages 3-9g
Contraindications (TCM) CI: Has a very low toxicity, within normal dosage range no side effects are expected.
Contraindications (Western)
Chemical Composition Gastrodin, 4-hydroxybenzyl alcohol, daucosterol, succinic acid, vanillin, vanillyl alcohol, β-sitosterol
Pharmacological Effects • Sedative: decoction significantly reduced amount of spontaneous physical activity in mice; also prolonged sleeping time induced by barbiturates
• Antiseizure and anticonvulsant: intraperitoneal or intravenous injection has marked effectiveness in treating seizures and convulsions; studies have shown herb to have positive effect in treatment of seizures, cranial-cerebral injury, cervical spondylosis and cerebrovascular diseases; has been shown that combination of Tian Ma and Gou Teng (Ramulus Uncariae cum Uncis) has synergistic anticonvulsive and free-radical scavenging action, as demonstrated in laboratory studies in rats
• Cardiovascular: multiple studies reveal that Tian Ma has positive cardiovascular effects; increases volume of blood flow to cardiac muscle and increases resistance to hypoxia; additionally, by increasing blood flow to cardiac muscle, herb decreases risks of myocardial ischemia and myocardial infarct; it was demonstrated that the herb reduced the size of myocardial ischemia and myocardial infarct by 23.5% and 34.5%, respectively; in another study, injection of herb increased resistance to hypoxia in mice
Herb-Drug Interactions • Sedatives: potentiates sedative effect of barbiturates
Classical Formula(s)

Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin (Gastrodia and Uncaria Decoction) 天麻芶藤飲 (天麻勾藤饮)

Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang(Pinellia, White Atractylodes & Gastrodia Decoction) 半夏白朮天麻湯

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

Yu Zhen San (True Jade Powder) 玉真散


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.