Ma Huang - Release Exterior: Wind Cold
(LU, UB) - (3-9g)


Ma Huang - Ephedra

Ephedra is great to expel exterior cold and is hands down the best for LU Qi problems like wheezing and asthma. But keep it away from the kids - who use it like coffee to make them run in circles.

But don't forget the scary story of the pregnant woman (cc: pregnancy) who had (cc: deficient sweating/wheezing) and almost lost her baby due to (cc: hypertension) caused by too much Ma Huang!!!.

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

  Explanation of Key Words in this story...
expel exterior cold release exterior cold
coffee promotes urination; reduces edema
LU qi problems like wheezing and asthma disperses LU qi; controls wheezing and asthma
run in circles invigorates circulation


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

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