What I made today – Zhi Xie San – anti-diarrhea formula
If you have had a dog you have probably had to deal with diarrhea at least once. Dogs love to find things on the side of the road and eat them quickly before we can take them away. Just last night I was fighting Alli over an old hot dog bun she had found in the bushes across from the 7-11. To her it was the greatest delight ever, to me it was a night with an itchy dog.
While Alli tends to get itchy from finding random things to eat, a lot of dogs will get diarrhea. This is not always a bad thing if it only lasts for a day. Diarrhea is the body’s way of getting rid of bad things fast. I always say better out than in. However sometimes the diarrhea continues. This can be a great formula for getting it under control fast. Also see my article Natural solutions to treat acute diarrhea.
So on to one of my favorite herbals, Zhi Xie San is a great anti-diarrhea formula. I learned this one from my wonderful acupuncture teacher, Richard Panzer, and it works like magic in many dogs.
It contains six simple yet effective ingredients
Shan Yao (chinese yam)
Yi Yi Ren (job’s tears)
Ge Gen (kudzu root)
Fu Ling (poria rhizome)
Bai Zhu (atractylodes rhizome)
Mu Xiang (costus root)
Lian Zi (lotus seeds)
Shan Yao is a great anti-diarrhea herb. In addition to this formula I often add a little of this to any formula that is moving if I am using it in a dog prone to diarrhea. Shan Yao is a tonic which helps with digestion, in addition it is a qi tonic and one of the herbs that makes this formula safe to use in older and sicker animals. Bai Zhu is also a qi tonic which helps support digestion and pairs well with chinese yam.
Yi Yi Ren has so many uses, it is good at draining dampness and often used for arthritis and cancer in addition to diarrhea. Ge Gen also has actions to help stop diarrhea and adds in the ability to expel pathogens. Fu Ling is also a great drainer of dampness, in addition its sweet nature helps with digestion.
Mu Xiang helps with food stagnation and treats pain in the gut. It helps relieve straining in the intestine and helps to regulate the other herbs in this formula. It makes sure that the other herbs which drain dampness do not hurt digestion of lead to stagnation in the gut.
Last is lotus seeds, these are often used in malas but they also have uses in herbal medicine. Lotus seeds help to support the digestion of the body and stop diarrhea. They also can help with anxiety and calm the spirit of the heart. They are said to lighten the body and slow aging. Not a bad addition.
This formula has a wonderful almost white color and it is light and soft to the touch. It feels to me like it could work as a sponge to soak up liquid and in fact that is what it does in the body. It is a great alternative to kaopectate or peptobismol.
I have used this formula in a number of animals however I do not use it if there is a lot of blood in the diarrhea or if there are know parasites. In many chronic inflammatory bowel disease cases this formula can help but often I use different formulas depending on how animals present.
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