Mai Men Dong – Ophiopogon – Radix Ophiopogonis

Mai Men Dong

English Name: ophiopogon

Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Ophiopogonis

Medica Category: Yin-Tonifying Herbs

Properties: Mai Men Dong enters the Spleen, Stomach, and Heart channels; it is sweet and slightly bitter in nature and cool in temperature.

What is Mai Men Dong?:

The Chinese Herb Mai Men Dong is dried ophiopogon root (Ophiopogon japonicus Ker-Gawl). Ophiopogon (also known as “mondo grass”) is a small, ornamental herb in the lily family (Asparagaceae) commonly used as ground cover. It is native to woodland areas in Japan and Korea; its tuberous roots are harvested in the summer and dried for use as medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of MaI Men Dong:

Mai Men Dong moistens the Lung and clears heat to address febrile disorders where the heat from the fever damages Lung Yin (such as in bronchitis, tuberculosis, and pertussis) as well as cough and dyspnea that are caused my more chronic dryness/Lung yin deficiency.

Mai Men Dong nourishes Stomach yin and is used to generate fluids when a person presents with thirst and dry mouth due to Stomach yin deficiency. Secondary symptoms may include hiccups, nausea, and vomiting. It should be noted, though, that Mai Men Dong is cool in temperature and not suitable if there is cold in the middle (i.e. if the person has loose stools, diarrhea, and poor appetite).

Mei Men Dong is also used to treat xiao ke (wasting and thirsting) syndrome.

Mai Men Dong clears Heart heat and tonifies yin to address mild shen (spirit) disturbances that present as insomnia, palpitations, restlessness, and irritability.

Mei Men Dong moistens the bowels and addresses deficiencies of yin and fluids that lead to dry stools and constipation.

–safety/clinical notes:

Mai Men Dong is cooling in nature and thus contraindicated for use cough caused by wind-cold or damp-cold; along these lines, it is also not suitable for persons experiencing diarrhea from cold in the middle jiao.

Mai Men Dong may be associated with drowsiness and sedation and persons ingesting it should use caution if operating heavy machinery.