Other Common Names
Mai Men Dong
Sweet and bitter
Organ Meridian Systems
Lung, Heart and Stomach
Part Used and Form
Provide cooling Yin to the Heart, Lungs and Stomach, to promote production of body fluids, to clear heat in the heart and relieve irritability, to relieve dry cough, dry mouth and tongue, and to moisten the bowels
This herb is very similar in its actions to wild Asparagus root, a close relative. It is primarily used as a Yin tonic, and especially as a Yin tonic to the heart and lung. It is excellent for moistening any dryness in the body. Being a cold herb, it can cool down hot symptoms and relieve Yin deficiency conditions such as Yin-deficiency insomnia and irritability, especially when blended with herbs such as fresh Rehmannia, Asparagus root and Coptis.
It is a great herb for people who experience hot, dry lungs. Smokers and people exposed to smoke, smog, desert heat and dust will benefit from a daily dose of this herb. Singers and public speakers will find that Ophiopogon moistens the throat and vocal cords, improving vocal quality. It helps relieve sticky sputum For dry throat and lungs, Ophiopogon can be combined with herbs such as Fritillaria, Asparagus root, Glehnia and fresh Rehmannia.
When blended with Dong Gui and Cistanche, Ophiopogon is very useful for relieving dry-type constipation.
The Taoists perceived an even deeper level of purpose for consuming the this herb. They considered Ophiopogon a major Shen tonic herb. Like Asparagus root, it was considered extremely valuable for mastering one's own heart. It is found in a wide number of Taoist formulas. By cooling down the heat in the heart it helps to steady the emotions and control the mind. Combine with major Shen developing tonics such as wild Ginseng, Ganoderma, and Asparagus root, etc.
Ophiopogon root is an ingredient in an extremely popular tonic preparation called Formula for Restoring Pulse Beating, which consists of relatively equal parts of Panax Ginseng, Ophiopogon root and Schizandra fruit. This formula is famous for quickly rebuilding energy in those that have experienced trauma or surgery and for those recovering from illness.
1. Glehnia root, Asparagus root, Raw Rehmannia to tonify Lung yin
2. Glehnia root, Asparagus root, Raw Rehmannia and Fritillary bulb to treat dry cough due to Lung yin deficiency
3. Raw Rehmannia, Zizyphus seed and Coptis to treat irritability and insomnia due to pathogenic heat entering the heart
Varieties and Grading
Most Ophiopogon available in Asia is of similar quality. But fresher Ophiopogon, which is gummier and more pliable is better than stiff, hard, dry tubers.
Use moderately in cases of cold, deficient Spleen resulting in diarrhea.