Ma Chi Xian – Portulaca – Herba Portulacae

Ma Chi Xian

English Name: portulaca, purslane

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Portulacae

Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Toxin-Eliminating Herbs

Properties: Ma Chi Xian enters the Large Intestine and Liver channels; it is sour in nature and cold in temperature.

What is Ma Chi Xian?:

The Chinese Herb Ma Chi Xian is the dried aerial parts of common purslane (Portucala oleracea L.). It grows as a weed in field crops and lawns; it is widely distributed around the globe and is popular as a potherb in many areas of Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean region. It is can be eaten as a regular food (it is both nutritious and delicious!) and has many medicinal uses in folk traditions across the world as well—its uses in Chinese Medicine are discussed below.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Ma Chi Xian:

Ma Chi Xian clears heat and eliminates toxins and is primarily used for bacillary dysentery (with mucus and blood) accompanied with incomplete bowel movements/tenesmus (although it has other applications in treating heat-toxins in the lower jiao).

Ma Chi Xian cools the blood and treats various forms of bleeding the lower jiao, such as dysuria with blood in the urine and profuse menstrual bleeding.