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Guang Fang Ji (Aristolochia Root, Stephania)

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Cold Guang Fang Ji (Radix Aristolochiae Fangchi)
Mixed with Han Fang Ji?
Channels:
BL, SP, KI
Properties:
Bitter, Spicy, Cold, Toxic
Latin:
Radix Aristolochiae Fangchi
Chinese:
广防己
Tone Marks:
guăng fáng jĭ
Alt Names:
Fang Ji, Mu Fang Ji

Actions

  • Expels Wind Damp Heat and Relieves Pain
    For diffuse painful joints and achinesss due to Wind Damp or Wind Damp Heat.
  • Promotes Urination, Reduces Swelling
    For dysuria, edema, and leg qi.

Contraindications and Cautions

  • Use with caution in cases with Yin Deficiency
  • Use with caution in cases with Spleen and Stomach Deficiency and Cold

Herb-Drug Interactions

  • This herb should not be used with other nephrotoxic or hepatotoxic compounds.

Toxicity and Overdose

  • This herb is considered toxic (while some Chinese herbs are toxic, it must be noted that many come prepared, or are combined, to mitigate their toxicity).

Dosage

  • 4.5-9 grams in decoction 12
  • 4.5-9 grams in decoction 13

Notes

  • Guang Fang Ji contains aristolochic acid, a known nephrotoxic compound. The traditional method of preparation (boiling in water) is believed to lower the toxicity since aristolochic acid has a low water solubility but extreme care should be taken.
  • In Belgium, a weight loss clinic used a large dose of the raw powder along with acetazolamide and several other compounds resulting in at least 53 cases of renal fibrosis.
  • See Eric Brand's blog post: Are You Using the Correct Fang Ji?

Clinical Studies and Research

  • Aristolochic acid has demonstrated anti-inflammatory actions by inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis.
    McGuffin M, Hobbs C., et al. Botanical Safaety Handbook, CRC. Press, 1997; 131-132.

This Herb Appears in the Following Formulas: