Ma Huang


Ma Huang in TCM:

Explore the properties of Ma Huang according to Chinese
Nutrition and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):

English Name: ephedra
Pharmacuetical Name: Herba Ephedrae
Properties: acrid, bitter, warm

Temperature: warm

Channels: LU, UB

Flavors: bitter, pungent

Special Properties:
disperses cold, resolves water accumulations, disperses wind

    Alternate Forms:
  • sheng - exterior disorders or asthma
  • mi zhi (honey fried) - for asthma, reduces dispersing function

Actions / Indications:
  • Releases exterior cold (exterior wind cold excess, chills, aversion to cold, fever, no sweating, strongest diaphoretic, opens pores to induce sweating)
  • Disperses LU qi; controls wheezing and asthma (obstructed LU qi due to wind-cold causing wheezing, ventilates the LU, asthma)
  • Promotes urination; reduces edema (edema due to exterior pathogen)
  • Disperses cold; invigorates circulation (yin sores, carbuncles; bi syndrome, especially wind-damp)

    Special Notes:
  • Decoct first and remove the foam before adding other herbs to the decoction. Unprocessed Ma Huang is strongest to promote sweat and drive out pathogens.
  • For yin sores use Ma Huang with Shu di Huang, Bai Jie Zi, or Lu Jiao Jiao

  • (cc: pregnancy)
  • (cc: may raise BP and cause hypertension, restlessness, or tremors)
  • (cc: deficiency with sweating or wheezing)
  • (note: long time use may cause heavy sweating that weakens the body)