Zhen Zhu Mu – Mother of Pearl – Concha Margaritaferae

Zhen Zhu Mu

English Name: mother of pearl, nacre

Literal Translation: “mother of pearl”

Pharmaceutical Name: Concha Margaritaferae

Medica Category: Liver-Calming and Wind-Extinguishing Herbs


What is Zhen Zhu Mu?:

The Chinese Herb Zhen Zhu Mu is the iridescent layer of the mollusk shell—otherwise known as mother of pearl or nacre. The shells are traditionally harvested in the coastal areas of the Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan provinces for the use in Chinese medicine.  Once harvested, the shell is cleaned of impurities and ground up for use as medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Zhen Zhu Mu:

Zhen Zhu Mu has a sinking nature and calms the Liver to anchor rising Liver yang. This presents clinically with dizziness, headaches, vertigo, tinnitus, irritability, insomnia (w/frequent/intense dreaming), and palpitations.

Zhen Zhu Mu clears the Liver and brightens the eyes to address visual impairment due to Liver yin deficiency and/or Liver yang rising. This may present clinically as dizziness, blurred vision, might blindness, photophobia, redness, swelling, burning, and pain in the eyes.

Zhen Zhu Mu pacifies Heart fire secondary to phlegm misting the orifices (from Liver yang rising).

Zhen Zhu Mu can be used topically to promote healing of skin conditions such as eczema and itchy rashes.

Zhen Zhu Mu neutralizes stomach acid and can be used to stop acid regurgitation and relieve pain from peptic ulcers.

–safety/clinical notes:

Zhen Zhu (pearls) and Zhen Zhu Mu (mother of pearl) have similar actions: Zhen Zhu has a better action to sedate the Heart/calm shen, and Zhen Zhu Mu more effectively calms the Liver to brighten the eyes.