Channels Entered: lung, large intestine, urinary bladder
Actions: diaphoretic, aromatic, decongestant
Functions & Indications: Courses wind, diffuses the lung, and unblocks the nasal passages. Ambrosia is used for sinus congestion due to external wind invasion inhibiting the lung’s ability to diffuse and downbear, causing an accumulation of snivel in the nasal passages. It courses wind with acridity, and downbears with bitterness. Although it is warm, it can be used for warm conditions with the appropriate herbs. Diffuses the lung, transforms phlegm and calms panting. Ambrosia is used for wheezing and panting with hasty breathing, difficulty taking full breaths, anxiety and even panic. This is mainly in the form of what we know today as “allergic asthma.” For a discussion on allergic asthma and how it fits into Chinese medicine please see the Commentary [at link]. The commentary in the following monograph on Blue Curls also relates to this discussion. Aromatically transforms dampness for damp accumulation due to kidney and spleen vacuity. This is a suggestion based on the scant literature available about this herb. I have no direct experience using this medicinal in this manner, but, based on my experience and the literature cited below, it seems probable that there is room for expanding its usage to this area. See the Commentary for further discussion on this matter.
Cautions: None noted, but it may be prudent to exercise caution with those known to have “ragweed” allergies.
Dosage and Preparation: Fresh plant tincture 0.5-3ml, light decoction 2-6g. The herb is best when prepared fresh as a tincture, however the dried plant is also very useful.
Major Combinations: Combine with Yerba Mansa, xīnyíhuā, and Yerba Santa for sinus congestion with clear or white phlegm. This can be administered for phlegm that is either copious and runny or difficult to discharge. For yellow or green phlegm, add Echinacea, huángqín, and Goldenseal. Use by itself for acute relief from seasonal allergies or hay fever. Combine with Tincture of Cāng Er Zǐ Sān for relief from seasonal allergies with clear or white discharge. Combine with Xiǎo Qīng Lóng Tāng for non-diffusion of lung qi with chronic cold phlegm or rheum congesting the lung channel, with symptoms of panting, cough, sinus congestion, and copious clear or white phlegm and snivel. This fits neatly into what we often refer to in the clinic as allergic asthma...
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