Shi Hu – Dendrobium – Herba Dendrobii

Shi Hu

English Name: dendrobium stem

Literal Translation: “bushel of stone”

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Dendrobii

Medica Category: Yin-Tonifying Herbs

Properties: Shi Hu enters the Kidney and Stomach channels; it is sweet in nature and cool in temperature.

What is Shi Hu?:

The Chinese Herb Shi Hu is the dried stems of five different species of dendrobium (orchids– Dendrobium loddigesii Rolfe.; and four other species) that grow naturally in East Asia and are cultivated for commercial sale for ornamental and medicinal use in Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces in China. The dendrobium stems are simply harvested and dried for use as medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Shi Hu:

Shi Hu enters the Stomach channel to nourish the Stomach and generate fluids and address Stomach yin deficiency syndromes (with heat) that are characterized by low fever, thirst, dryness in mouth and throat, discomfort, and slight or burning pain in stomach and abdomen.

Shi Hu tonifies Kidney yin and clears heat to address Kidney yin deficiency with rising fire that manifests chiefly in tidal fever or a low-grade, unremitting fever.

Shi Hu also benefits the eyes when Kidney yin deficiency leads to blurred vision, spots in front of the eyes, diminished visual acuity, and platycoria (undue dilation of the pupil).

Shi Hu also addresses a lack of nourishment to the Kidneys which often manifests in a dull, aching pain/soreness in the lower back and knees.

–safety/clinical notes:

Contraindicated for those with without yin deficiency heat.

Contraindicated for those with excess heat.

Contraindicated during the early stage of warm febrile disease and with damp-phlegm accumulations.

Contraindicated for those with loose stools due to Spleen deficiency.

Contraindicated for those with abdominal distention with a thick, greasy tongue coat.