Wu Jia Pi( 五加皮 ) ...Chinese Herb...

Wujiapi is the root-bark of the deciduous undershrub Acanthopanax gracilistylus W. W. Smith (slenderstyle acanthopanax), of the family Araliaceae. It is harvested in summer and autumn. The root-bark is peeled off, dried in the sun and cut into thick slices for use when raw.

Main ingredients
Wu Jia Pi contains volatile oils (including 4-methyl-salicylaldehyde), vitamins A and B, tannin, fatty acids and palmitic acid.

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Taste: Acrid and bitter; Nature: warm

Channels entered
Liver and Kidney

Functions and indications
Dispels wind and eliminates dampness, strengthens the sinews and bones, promotes urination and disperses swelling. It is indicated for wind-cold-damp Bi syndrome, Wei syndrome of the sinews and bones, oedema, leg Qi and pain in the lumbar region.

Common dosage
5-10g as a decotion or steeped in alcohol.

Precautions and contraindications
Wu Jia Pi is contraindicated in cases of effulgent Yin deficiency-fire.

Remarks In classical TCM texts, Wu Jia Pi is sub-divided into 2 species: 1. Nan Wu Jia (Acanthopanax giraldii Harms), which Is good for supplementing the Liver and kidneys and for strangle to use ithening the sinews and bones. 2. Bei Wu Jia (Periploca sepium Bge), which is good for strengthening the functions of the Heart and for promoting urination. As this herb is tozix, it is not advisable to use it in large dosages.

Comparison of functions Both Wu Jia Pi and Sang Ji Sheng can dispel wind and eliminate dampness, supplement the Liver and Kidneys, and strengthen the sinews and bones. They are used for wind-damp Bi syndrome pain, limpness and aching in the lumbar region and knees, and lack of strength in sinews and bones. However, Sang Ji Sheng can also nourish the Blood and quiet the foetus and is used for stirring foetus due to Liver and Kidney deficiency. Wu Jia Pi can promote urination and is used for oedema and difficult urination. Wu Jia Pi is more effective in freeing the channels to alleviate pain.

Modern Research

  1. Inhibits inflammation.
  2. An injection of the herb can inhibit the immune function.

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