Niu Bang Zi

Niu Bang Zi is also named Arctium Fructus Arctii, 牛蒡子, 鼠粘子, Shu Nian Zi
Niu Bang Zi
Niu Bang Zi

Naming

Niu Bang Zi (Arctium Fructus Arctii) ——Ming Yi Bie Lu (Miscellaneous Records of Famous physicians)

Origin

Ripe fruit of biennial herbaceous plant Arctium lappa L. of family Compositae.

Location

Mainly in the northeast region, and Zhejiang province in China.

Harvest

In autumn when the fruit is ripe.

The real smell and taste

Bitter taste with no foul, slightly pungent and benumbing.

Best quality

Full grain with the dust color.

Processing

The crude or stir-baked form can all be used. It need to be pounded to pieces when used.

Property

Pungent, bitter, cold; lung and stomach meridians entered.

Actions

Disperse wind-heat, clear the toxic heat, relieve sore throat, promote eruption.

Indications

A. Wind-heat exterior syndrome or warm diseases at the defense system

Niu Bang Zi has the action of dispersing inferior to some herbs, such as Bo He, Jing Jie, but it is good at clearing the throat. So it is usually used to treat the wind-heat exterior syndrome manifested as swollen and painful throat or coughing with phlegm. It is often combined with exterior-releasing and throat-clearing herbs, such as Bo He, Jie Geng, etc. It is especially suitable for the warm diseases at defense system, because it can both disperse the pathogen in the defense system, and clear the toxic heat. When treating this disease, it can be combined with wind-heat-dispersing and toxic-heat-clearing herbs, such as Bo He, Jin Yin Hua, etc.

B. Heat toxin syndromes such as swollen and painful throat, ulcer and carbuncle, mumps

This herb clears toxic heat without congealing, apart from treating warm diseases at the defense system, it also has the good effects of clearing the throat and subduing inflammation. The indications of this herb are heat toxin syndromes such as swollen and painful throat, ulcer and carbuncle, mumps. It also has the action of lubricating the intestines, so it can open the bowels by clearing the toxic heat. It is suitable to the above mentioned diseases with the obstructed stool due to accumulation of heat. It is usually used to treat the swollen and painful throat due to both wind-heat and toxic heat. For the former syndrome, it is usually combined with the wind-heat-dispersing herbs, such as Bo He. For the later syndrome, it is usually combined with toxicity-relieving and throat-clearing herbs, such as Xuan Shen, Ban Lan Gen. For treating the ulcer and carbuncle, mumps, it is often combined with toxic-heat-clearing and nodulation-dissipating herbs, such as Huang Lian, Huang Qin. For example, Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin in Dong Yuan Shi Xiao Fang ( Dongyuan's Effective Prescription).

C. Unsmooth eruption of measles at the early stage

It can treat unsmooth eruption of measles and can release the exterior wind-heat and clear the interior toxic heat. So it is the good herb for letting eruption out skin. For treating the unsmooth eruption of measles at the early stage, it is often combined with the pathogen-dispersing and eruption-promoting herbs, such as Bo He, Chan Tui.

Dosage and Administrations

Decoct 6~12g, Using the stir-baked one can reduce its cold and bitter properties and weaken the action of lubricating the intestines.

Cautions

It is not suitable for deficiency-cold loose stool because of its cold property and the action of lubricating the intestines.