Pharmaceutical Latin: Semen Pharbitidis
Common English: Morning Glory Seeds
Downward Draining Herbs: Harsh Cathartics
Taste Temperature Entering Meridians Dosage
Slightly Toxic
Large Intestine
Small Intestine
Pills and powders: not greater that 3g per day
Tincture: 0.5-2ml
Actions Indications/Syndromes

Drives out water through the urine and stool

Edema and ascites from Stagnation of pathogenic water or Dampness

Constipation due to Heat accumulation in the Stomach and Intestines

Can be used as a stand-alone herb

Descends Lung Qi and drives out Phlegm and thin mucus (Tan Yin)

Thin mucus obstructing the Lungs with cough, wheezing and a sensation of fullness in the chest and abdomen

Unblocks the bowels and removes Damp-Heat

Constipation due to accumulation and Stagnation of Damp-Heat or Food Stagnation in the Stomach and Intestines (reduce the dosage)

Expels intestinal parasites and reduces Stagnation

Tapeworm or roundworm infestation

Food Stagnation
  • Contraindicated during pregnancy.
  • Use caution for those with Qi Deficiency or a weak Stomach.
  • Do not use with Sm. Crotonis Ba Dou.

Rx. Kansui
Gan Sui

Cx. Magnoliae
Hou Po
Rx. Aucklandiae
Mu Xiang

Fr. Foeniculi
Xiao Hui Xiang
Rx. Aucklandiae
Mu Xiang


Increases the efficacy of Qian Niu Zi

Ascites and edema with Qi Stagnation

Swelling and fullness due to stoppage and accumulation of water or thin mucus

Lignum Aquilariae
Chen Xiang
Cx. Cinnamomi
Rou Gui

Sm. Descurainiae/Lepidii
Ting Li Zi
Sm. Armeniacae
Xing Ren

Sm. Persicae
Tao Ren

Edema and abdominal distention due to Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency

Wheezing, a sensation of fullness in the chest, edema and abdominal distention due to thin mucus obstructing the Lung Qi


Grind both ingredients into powder and make into pills with honey

Sm. Arecae
Bing Lang

Fr. Foeniculi
Xiao Hui Xiang

Per. Citri Reticulatae Viride
Qing Pi


Rx. Aucklandiae
Mu Xiang

Strongly moves Qi, resolve accumulations and breaks up Stagnation to promote the expulsion of parasite bodies and treats abdominal pain, bloating and constipation due to many types of intestinal parasites, but especially roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms

Drains pathogenic Yin to disperse Cold, reduce swelling, alleviate pain in the treatment of Cold-Damp bulging disorder with scrotal swelling and sensations of dragging pain, constipation,and urinary difficulty due to Deficiency Cold in the Lower Jiao with Qi Stagnation and Water Accumulation

Edema in children

Rz. Zingiberis Recens
Sheng Jiang
Fr. Jujube
Da Zao

Rx. et Rz. Rhei
Da Huang
Sm. Arecae
Bing Lang

Rx. et Rz. Rhei
Da Huang

Nephritis with edema

Liver cirrhosis with ascites

Cough and wheezing

Severe constipation

  1. This herb has a very potent purging effect.
  2. The effects of overdose include nausea, vomiting, hematuria and neurological symptoms.
  3. This herb is gentler than the others in this category and may be used for a longer period of time.
  4. This herb can be powdered and used alone for mild edema.
  5. Both Qian Niu Zi and Rx. Phytolaccae Shang Lu powerfully unblock and drain outward through the urethra and anus, to treat edema associated with severe constipation, urinary difficulty and thin mucus. Qian Niu Zi guides out Stagnation, reduces accumulation, and kills parasites. Its degree of toxicity is less than Shang Lu. and can be used in both adults and children for abdominal pain due to parasitic accumulation, Food Stagnation and anorexia. Shang Lu is more toxic internally. Externally, it can be used to resolve toxicity and reduce swelling.
  6. Morning Glory Kernels Qian Niu Ren are more toxic.
  7. Dry-fried Morning Glory Seeds Chao Qian Niu Zi are less acrid, less draining-diuretic and less toxic.