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Mu Xiang

What is Mu Xiang?

Radix Aucklandiae (mu xiang, 木香), also known as Common Aucklandia Root, refers to the root of Aucklandia lappa Decne, which belongs to the Compositae family.  

Found in high altitude areas in China such as Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet, Mu Xiang is considered one of the 50 essential TCM herbs due to its extraordinary medicinal uses in promoting the flow of qi.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Mu Xiang falls under the category of ‘Herbs that regulate qi’. Such herbs can treat qi stagnation, which is often manifested as symptoms such as depression, irritability, mood swings and associated with conditions such as premenstrual syndrome and breast swellings.

Warm in nature, Mu Xiang can help individuals with too much Heat in their body, such as those experiencing a yin excess or a yang deficiency, to restore a harmonious yin-yang balance. Bitter and pungent, Mu Xiang can cleanse the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. Also, Mu Xiang can promote circulations of qi and body fluids. In particular, Mu Xiang targets the gallbladder, the large intestines, the Liver, the Lungs, the Spleen and the stomach.

Functions and Benefits of Mu Xiang

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Mu Xiang has the following health benefits.

Mu Xiang can promote the flow of qi in the Spleen and stomach while alleviating pain. Hence, it is an important herb in the treatment of gastric and abdominal distending pain. To enhance its effects, Mu Xiang can be combined with other qi-moving and middle-energizer-regulating herbs. For syndromes of food retention manifested as nausea, vomiting, belching and foul stool, Mu Xiang can be combined with herbs with digestive properties to improve its treatment effects.

Great at promoting the flow of qi in the large intestines, Mu Xiang can be used to treat difficulty in defecation and tenesmus. For qi stagnation in the large intestines caused by Damp-Heat retention, which is usually manifested as diarrhoea and dysentery with tenesmus, Mu Xiang can be combined with Huang Lian to clear Heat, dry Dampness and stop dysentery. As for gastric and abdominal distention, constipation and defecation with difficulty, Mu Xiang can be combined with purgative herbs to enhance its effectiveness.

In addition, Mu Xiang can soothe one’s Liver and gallbladder. For symptoms such as hypochondriac distention, pain, bitter taste in one’s mouth and jaundice, Mu Xiang can be combined with other Liver-soothing, qi-regulating, Heat-clearing, Dampness-draining and bile-excreting herbs to enhance its effectiveness.

How to Use Mu Xiang

The recommended daily dosage of Mu Xiang is 3 – 10g, when used as a decoction. Unprocessed Mu Xiang is strong in promoting the movement of qi, while roasted Mu Xiang have milder properties in moving qi, which is why the latter is usually used to treat diarrhoea.

Mu Xiang and its supplements, such as pills and powder, can be found in herbal stores and Asian specialty markets.

Cautions and Side Effects of Mu Xiang

Mu Xiang should not be used by individuals experiencing yin deficiency or blood deficiency. Also, individuals experiencing swelling and pain involving fire, Lung deficiency and Heat and depleted fluids should avoid using this herb.

We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider before deciding to add Mu Xiang to your healthcare routine!

Summary

Here is a summary for Mu Xiang:

  • Herb name (Chinese): 木香
  • Herb name (Pin Yin): mù xiāng
  • Herb name (English): Common Aucklandia Root
  • Herb name (Botanical): Radix Aucklandiae
  • Origin of species: Aucklandia lappa Decne.
  • Part(s) of herb used: Root
  • Geo-specific habitat(s): Yunnan, Guangxi, , as well as India, Pakistan and Burma
  • Taste(s) & Properties: Pungent, bitter; Warm; Administrates the Spleen, Stomach, Large Intestine, Triple Burner and Gall Bladder Meridians
  • Actions: Eases stomach or other gastrointestinal discomforts; Helps to relieve sensation of chest tightness; Helps to relieve cramping rectal pain

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