TCM China

TCM China:

  Introduction ToCow Bezoare (niu huang) 









Cow Bezoare (niu huang) 

Calculus Bovis 

Properties: Bitter in flavour, cool in nature, it acts on heart and liver channels. Being bitter for resolving phlegm; aromatic, for resuscitation; and cool for clearing heat and toxins; it acts on the liver channel to calm the liver and stop the wind; and acts on the heart channel, for resuscitation and restoring mentalfunction, clearing away the heat and toxins. It is also indicated in sore throat (Pharyngitis) and oral ulcers due to excess of heat, pyogenic infection of skin due to toxic heat.

Effects: Checking endogenous wind to relieve convulsion, resolving phlegm to clear orifice and induce resuscitation and clearing away heat and toxins.


1. For infantile convulsion high fever, it is often used together with cinnabar (Cinnabaris), uncaria stem with hooks (Ramulus Uncariae cum uncis) and scorpion (Scorpio), as in Cow-Bezoare Powder; for high febrile coma due to exogenous heat, unconsciousness, apoplexia, aphonia and hemiplegia due to phlegm heat, the drug is used in combination with herbs for clearing heat and toxins, checking endogenous wind, inducing resuscitation, as in Cow-Bezoare Bolus, Cow-Bolus for Resurrection and Treasured Bolus.

2. For swelling and pain in the throat and oral canker sores (mouth and tongus), it is often used with pearls powder spraying in the mouth or applying on the diseased part with effects of detoxication and analgesia, as in Pearl Powder; for pyogenic infection of skin induced by toxic heat, it is used with rhubarb (Radix et Rhizoma Rhei), scutellaria root (Radix Scutellariae), realgar (Realgar), as in Cow-Bezoare Antitoxic Bolus: for mastitis, furuncle and carbuncle and scrofula, it is often used with olibanum (Resina Boswelliae carterii), common myrrh tree (Commiphora Myrrha) and musk (Moschus) to promote blood circulation and relieve pains and toxins, as in Pill of Phinoceros Horn and Cow-Bezoare.

Dosage and Administration: 0.15-0.3g, as in pills or powders, not to be decocted, proper amount for external use.

Precautions: Its should be cautious in pregnancy.

Agkistrodon Snake (bai hua she)

  Agkistrodon acutus

Properties: Sweet and salty in flavour, warm in nature, being poisonous, it acts on liver channel. The action may pass through exterior to interior, promoting the bone and expelling the wind, clearing the channels to arrest convulsion. It is suitable for rheumatic arthralgia, headache due to latent wind, tetanus, leprosy, intractable tinea, etc.

Effects: Expelling the wind and clearing channel, arresting the wind and convulsion.


1.  For rheumatic arthralgia, muscle spasm, it is used in combination with pubescent angelica root (Radix Angelicae pubescentis), Chinese angelica root (Radix Angelicae sinensis) and acanthopanax bark ( Cortex Acanthopanacis radicis), soaking in wine for drinking; for aphonia caused by apoplexy or hemiplagia, it is used together with astragalus root ( Radix Astragali seu Hedysari), and Chinese angelica root to tonify the Qi and blood, expel the wind and clear channels.

2.    For opisthotonus caused by tetanus, it is often used together with scorpion (Scorpio), gastrodia tuber ( Rhizoma Gastrodiae) and Arisaema consanguineum Schott; for infantile convulsion caused by high fever, it is used in combination with cow bezoare (Calculus Bovis) and Arisaema Bilis.

In addition, it is suitable for headache caused by latent wind, chronic infantile convulsion due to insufficiency of spleen, leprosy and intractable tinea.

Dosage and Administration: 3-10g in decoction; 0.5-1g in powder. One whole snake for decoction; 0.5-1g for powder.

Zaocys Dhumnades (Cantor)

It belongs to Calubridae (Family Zaocys). This drug is the whole snake after removal of its viscera. Sweet in flavour, neutral in nature, and nonpoisonous, its effects are similar to those of Agkistrodon snake but milder. The usual dosage is 5-10g, 2-3g in powder.