Xiong Dan – Bear Gallbladder – Fel Ursi

Xiong Dan

English Name: bear gallbladder

Pharmaceutical Name: Fel Ursi

Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Toxin-Eliminating Herbs

Properties: Xiong Dan enters the Gallbladder, Heart, and Liver channels; it is bitter in nature and cold in temperature.

What is Xiong Dan?:

The Chinese Herb Xiong Dan is the gallbladder from (usually) Himalayan Black Bears that are held in captivity and milked for their bile. When their usefulness in the regard has ended, the bears are killed and the gallbladders are removed for use as medicine.  

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Xiong Dan:

Xiong Dan clears heat and eliminates toxins and was used traditionally in TCM to treat skin lesions and abscesses, jaundice, hemorrhoids, and sore throat.

Xiong Dan clears Liver heat so as to brighten the eyes (treating redness and dryness of the eyes, floaters, and photophobia).

Xiong Dan relieves Liver wind (i.e. has anticonvulsive and antispasmodic effects).

**Xiong Dan is listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Farms and Flora (CITES). Trade in Xiong Dan (and consequently its use in any form) is strictly prohibited. This means that the information in this herb glossary is provided for the student of Chinese Medicine who wishes to understand the classical properties and uses of this herb so that proper substitutions can be chosen and used in its place. It also means that if you are a non-practitioner/consumer who comes across a product that lists this herb as a component, either the claim is fraudulent or the manufacturers are breaking international law.