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Abalone Shell (shi jue ming)
Abutilon Seed (dong kui zi)
Acanthopanax Bark (wu jia pi)
Achyranthes (niu xi)
Aconite (fu zi)
Acorus (shi chang pu)
Adenophora Root (nan sha shen)
Agkistrodon (bai hua she)
Agrimony (xian he cao)
Ailanthus Bark (chun pi)
Akebia Fruit (ba yue zha)
Albizzia Bark (he huan pi)
Albizzia Flower (he huan hua)
Alfalfa (medicago sativa)
Alisma (ze xie)
Aloe (lu hui)
Alum (bai fan)
Amber (hu po)
Ampelopsis (bai lian)
Andrographis (chuan xin lian)
Anemarrhena (zhi mu)
Antelope's Horn (ling yang jiao)
Apricot Seed (xing ren)
Areca Peel (da fu pi)
Areca Seed (bing lang)
Arisaema (tian nan xing)
Ark Shell (wa leng zi)
Arnebia (zi cao or ying zi cao)
Arnica (arnica montana)
Artichoke Leaves (Cynara scolymus)
Ash bark (qin pi)
Ashwagandha (withania somniferum)
Aster (zi wan)
Astragalus (huang qi)
Aurantium (zhi ke [qiao])
Bamboo Juice (zhu li)
Bamboo Shavings (zhu ru)
Belamcanda Rhizome (she gan)
Benincasa Peel (dong gua pi)
Benincasa Seed (dong gua xi/ren)
Benzoin (an xi xiang)
Bilberry (yue ju)
Biota Leaf (ce bai ye)
Biota Seed (bai zi ren)
Bitter Melon (ku gua)
Bitter Orange Peel (ju hong)
Black Cohosh (sheng ma)
Black Plum (wu mei)
Black Sesame Seed (hei zhi ma)
Bletilla (bai ji)
Boneset (ze lan)
Borax (peng sha)
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Bottle Brush (mu zei)
Buddleia (mi meng hua)
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Bupleurum (chai hu)
Burdock (niu bang zi)
Camphor (zhang nao)
Capillaris (yin chen hao)
Cardamon Seed (sha ren)
Carpesium (he shi)
Cassia Seed (jue ming zi)
Catechu (er cha)
Cat's Claw (uncaria tomentosa)
Cephalanoplos (xiao ji)
Celosia Seed (qing xiang zi)
Centipede (wu gong)
Chaenomeles Fruit(mu gua)
Chalcanthite (dan fan)
Chebula Fruit (he zi)
Chinese Gall (wu bei zi)
Chinese Raspberry (fu pen zi)
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Clam Shell (hai ge ke/qiao)
Clematis (wei ling xian)
Cloves (ding xiang)
Cnidium Seed (she chuang zi)
Codonopsis (dang shen)
Coix Seed (yi yi ren)
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Corn Silk (yu mi xu)
Cornus (shan zhu yu)
Corydalis (yan hu suo)
Costus (mu xiang)
Cranberry (vaccinium macrocarpon)
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Croton Seed (ba dou)
Curculigo (xian mao)
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Cuttlefish Bone (hai piao xiao)
Cymbopogon (xiang mao)
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Damiana (turnera diffusa)
Dandelion (pu gong ying)
Deer Antler (lu rong)
Dendrobium (shi hu)
Devil's Claw (harpagophytum procumbens)
Dianthus (qu mai)
Dichroa Root (chang shan)
Dittany Bark (bai xian pi)
Dong Quai (tang kuei)
Dragon Bone (long gu)
Dragon's Blood (xue jie)
Drynaria (gu sui bu)
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Elder (sambucus nigra or sambucus canadensis)
Elsholtzia (xiang ru)
Ephedra (ma huang)
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Erythrina Bark (hai tong pi)
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus)
Eucommia Bark (du zhong)
Eupatorium (pei lan)
Euphorbia Root (gan sui or kan sui)
Euryale Seed (qian shi)
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Fo Ti (he shou wu)
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Java Brucea (ya dan zi)
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Millettia (ji xue teng)
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Musk (she xiang)
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Oldenlandia (bai hua she she cao)
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Onion (yang cong)
Ophicalcite (hua rui shi)
Ophiopogon (mai dong)
Oroxylum Seed (mu hu die)
Oryza (gu ya)
Oyster Shell (mu li)
Passion Flower (passiflora incarnata)
Patrinia (bai jiang cao)
Pau D'Arco (tabebuia avellanedae)
Peach Seed (tao ren)
Pearl (zhen zhu [mu])
Perilla Leaf (su ye)
Perilla Seed (su zi)
Perilla Stem (su geng)
Persimmon (shi di)
Pharbitis Seed (qian niu zi)
Phaseolus (chi xiao dou)
Phellodendron (huang bai)
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Pinellia (ban xia)
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Pipe Fish (hai long)
Plantain Seed (che qian zi)
Platycodon (jie geng)
Polygala (yuan zhi)
Polygonatum (huang jing)
Polyporus (zhu ling)
Poppy Capsule (ying su qiao)
Poria (fu ling)
Prickly Ash Peel (hua jiao)
Prinsepia Seed (rui ren/zi)
Prunella (xia ku cao)
Prunus Seed (yu li ren)
Pseudostellaria (tai zi shen)
Psoralea (bu gu zhi)
Pueraria (ge gen)
Pulsatilla (bai tou weng)
Pumice (fu hai shi)
Pumpkin Seed (nan gua zi)
Purslane (ma chi xian)
Pyrite (zi ran tong)
Pyrrosia Leaf (shi wei)
Quisqualis (shi jun zi)
Radish (lai fu zi)
Realgar (xiong huang)
Red Atractylodes (cang zhu)
Red Clover (trifolium pratense)
Red Ochre (dai zhe shi)
Red Peony (chi shao)
Red Sage Root (dan shen)
Rehmannia (shu di huang)
Reishi (ling zhi)
Rhubarb (da huang)
Rice Paper Pith (tong cao)
Rose (mei gui hua)
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Safflower (hong hua)
Saffron (fan hong hua)
Sandalwood (tan xiang)
Sanguisorba Root (di yu)
Sappan Wood (su mu)
Sargent Gloryvine (hong teng)
Saw Palmetto (ju zong lu)
Schefflera (qi ye lian)
Schisandra (wu wei zi)
Schizonepeta (jing jie)
Scirpus (san leng)
Scopolia (S. carniolica Jacq.)
Scorpion (quan xie)
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Sea Cucumber (hai shen)
Sea Horse (hai ma)
Seaweed (hai zao)
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Senna (fan xie ye)
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Siler Root (fang feng)
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Smilax (tu fu ling)
Smithsonite (lu gan shi)
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Sophora Root (ku shen)
Spirodela (fu ping)
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Stemona (bai bu)
Stephania (fang ji [han])
Sweet Annie (qing hao)
Teasel Root (xu duan)
Tiger Bone (hu gu)
Torreya Seed (fei zi)
Tortoise Plastron (gui ban)
Tremella (bai mu er)
Trichosanthes Fruit (gua lou)
Trichosanthes Root (tian hua fen)
Trichosanthes Seed (gua lou ren)
Tsaoko Fruit (cao guo)
Turmeric (jiang huang)
Turtle Shell (bie jia)
Tussilago (kuan dong hua)
Urtica (xun ma)
Uva ursi (arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Vaccaria Seed (wang bu lui xing)
Valerian (jie cao)
Veratrum (li lu)
Viola (zi hua di ding)
Vitex (man jing zi)
Walnut (hu tao ren)
Watermelon (xi gua)
White Atractylodes (bai zhu)
White Mustard Seed (bai jie ze)
White Peony (bai shao)
Wild Asparagus (tian men dong)
Windmill Palm (zong lu pi/tan)
Xanthium (cang er zi)
Zedoary (e zhu)

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Dianthus (qu mai)

What is dianthus? What is it used for?

Dianthus is a type of annual flowering plant that belongs to the carnation family. There are two main types of dianthus: dianthus superbus and dianthus chinensis. For the purposes of herbal medicine, dianthus chinensis will be discussed in this article.

The typical dianthus plant grows to a height of 8-12 inches, with gray-green leaves and green stems. It usually blooms with either single or double flowers, which can be a variety of colors, including red, white, yellow and pink, and has a soft, pleasant odor. It grows best in cool zones, but is also known to grow in warm areas that have good amounts of sun and well-drained soils. In the United States, dianthus is often used as an ornamental plant to decorate gardens and landscapes. However, it has a wide range of medicinal uses as well. The stems are used in herbal remedies.

Dianthus contains a variety of chemical compounds, including anthochanin and several types of saponins. Research has shown that dianthus chinensis can act as a short-term diuretic. Extracts of dianthus can stimulate uterine contractions, and the effect is dose-dependent; that is, the more dianthus a person receives, the longer and more intense the uterine contractions will be. In traditional Chinese medicine, dianthus is considered bitter and cold, and is associated with the Bladder, Heart and Small Intestine meridians. It promotes urination, drains damp heat from the bladder, and dispels blood stasis.

How much dianthus should I take?

The typical dosage of dianthus is 3-10 grams per day, taken as a decoction, pill or powder. Some practitioners recommend a slightly higher dose (6-12 grams).

What forms of dianthust are available?

Dianthus is available as a pill, powder or decoction. Some herbal shops also sell concentrated dianthus extracts. Dianthus seeds can also be purchased at some nurseries and grown in a garden, but they should only be used for ornamental purposes.

What can happen if I take too much dianthus? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

Large doses of dianthus can cause long-term contractions of the uterus. Because dianthus can stimulate contraction of the uterus, it should not be taken by women who are pregnant or have recently given birth. As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions with dianthus. As always, however, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before taking dianthus or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.


References

  • Chen X, et al. The anti-lipid peroxidation effect of 19 herbs. Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Application of TCM 1995;11(4):27-28.
  • Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai Science and Technology Press, 1998.
  • Ewart LC. 1997 Flower Seed Trials. Michigan State University: Thompson and Morgan, 1997.
  • Li DG, et al. The diuretic effect of qu mai of Shandong origin. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material 1996;19(10):520-522.
  • Zhang ZR, et al. Chemical components of qu mai of Shandong origin. Journal of Shizhen Medicinal Material Research 1998;9(3):232-233.
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