Complementary and Alternative Healing University  Home  

Search this site

List of Health Problems

Chinese Herb Dictionary


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)


Prescribed Drug Dictionary

Biochemistry Dictionary

Lecture Slides

Research Librarian

General Online Library

Research Sites




Tell us what you want

Notify Changes & New Information



ma dou ling 馬兜玲qing mu xiang 青木香,tian xian teng 天仙藤

by Joe Hing Kwok Chu     (in English and Chinese 中英文)

Click here to see picture of herb. 按此看圖。

Pharmaceutical name:


Fructus aristolochia

Biological name:

拉丁文學名 ﹕

Aristolochia debilis Sieb et Zucc;

Aristolochia sinarum Linde.;

Aristolochia contorta Bge

Pron. in Japanese:


ba to rei

Pron. in Korean:


ma du ryong

Pron. in Cantonese:


maa4 dau1 ling4

Other Names:


  1. Qing mu xiang 青木香 is the root of the plant ma dou ling.

  2. Tian xian teng 天仙藤 is the vine of ma dou ling.

  3. Ma dou ling is the fruit of the plant

  4. Guang fang ji  belongs to the aristolochiae family. [note]

These herbs  contain aristolochic acid and are all toxic to the kidneys like ma dou ling.


Common Name:


birthwort fruit (closest species)



Hao Zhou of Anhui, northeastern and northern provinces, and Hubei, Henan, Hebei, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Shandong, Jiangxi, Jiangxi, Shanxi,  Jiangsu and Zhejiang and south of Yangtse river valley areas.






Bitter in taste. A little spicy. Ma dou ling fruit are cold, but the roots, which are called tu qing mu xiang, are warm. Usually normal dosage is not toxic but long term usage with larger amount can be toxic, and in some highly sensitive individuals, a small amount can be very toxic to the kidneys.

Medical functions:

  1. Bronchodilatory effect

  2. Counter bronchospastic effect of pilocarpine, acetylcholine, and histamine.

  3. Inhibitory effect (in culture) against Staphylococcus aureus.

  4. Mild counter- hypertension effect.





Channels (meridians) entered:


 lung and large intestine channels.


Actions & Indications:


  1. in coughs, phlegm, wheezing, blood in phlegm, with lung heat;

  2. hypertension, dizziness, with red face due to yinxu and liver yang ascending (gan yang ascending) condition;

  3. bleeding hemorrhoids and swelling in the anus.


  1. 用於肺熱咳嗽﹐痰壅氣促﹐肺虛久咳﹐痰中帶血﹐

  2. 用於因陰虛﹐ 肝陽上亢高血壓病,頭暈面赤者,

  3. 痔瘡腫痛或出血﹐肛門周圍腫痛等。

Chemical ingredients:化學成份﹕

aristolochic acid, aristolochine C32H32N2O18 , magnoflorine


Normal Dosage:


3 to 10 g in decoction. Use appropriate amount for external use: boil with water and use for washing affected parts.

內服入煎劑,常用量3~10克。外用 適量:煎汁熏洗。

Samples of formulae:



Modern Research:





  1. Do not use in cough due to cold and deficiency or weakness.

  2. Do not use in diarrhea due to pixu (spleen deficiency).

  3. Large dosage and long term usage can cause damage to kidneys and can be lethal.

  4. Do not use in cases of pregnancy.


Guang fang ji is produced in Guangdong.  It is also called Guangdong mu fang ji. It belongs to the aristolochiae family and is toxic for the kidneys. 30 g is the toxic dosage.

According to a study in California, the herbs labeled as Akebia trifoliata Koiz. var. australis Rehd. (bai mu tong白木通)-- all of them are actually Aristolochia debilis (Aristolochia  manshuriensis) which contain aristolochia acid.

  1. 虛寒咳喘﹐

  2. 脾虚便 泄者慎服,

  3. 大劑量或久服可致腎臟衰竭或死亡。

  4. 孕婦忌服。

廣防己屬馬兜苓科﹐全株有 毒。人畜 誤食新鮮的莖葉或花,會造成頭痛﹐頭暈﹐噁心﹐嘔吐﹐腹痛﹐呼吸困難﹐四肢麻木等症狀。廣防己對 腎 臟有毒。30克的劑量即為有毒劑量。

[note]: Before the Qing dynasty mu tong was derived from the plant of Akebia guinata or Akebia lobata, but now ninety-five percent of mu tong (guan mu tong 關木通) used in China is the stem of Aristolochia debilis, usually obtained from the northeastern province, formally called Manchuria.

These are different varieties of ma duo ling: [1]

  1. 北馬兜鈴(Aristolchia contorta
  2. 瓜葉馬兜鈴(Aristolchia cucurbitilolia
  3. 馬兜鈴(Aristolchia debilis
  4. 廣防己(Aristolchia fangchi
  5. 採花馬兜鈴(Aristolchia elegans
  6. 大葉馬兜鈴(Aristolchia kaemferi
  7. 台灣馬兜鈴(Aristolchia shimadai
  8. 綿毛馬兜鈴(Aristolchia mollissima
  9. 穆坪馬兜鈴(Aristolchia moupinensis
  10. 銳葉馬兜鈴(Aristolchia tagala
  11. 港口馬兜鈴(Aristolchia kankauensis Sasaki
  12. 琉球馬兜鈴(Aristolchia liukiuensis hatus
  13. 南木香            (Aristolochia yunnanensis Franch.)

The following herbs that contain Aristolochic acid have been ban by the health office of Taiwan government: ma dou ling, guan mu tong, tian xian teng, qing mu xiang, and guang fang ji.

All manufactured herb containing Aristolochic acid has been banned in mainland China.

Other herbs that belong to the Aristolochia family include:

  1. zhu sha lian 硃砂蓮(Aristolochia cinnabarina CY Cheng et JL.Wu),

  2. xun gu feng 尋骨風 ﹐(Aristolochia mollissima Hance), 

  3. qing xiang teng 青香藤, 柔毛馬兜鈴, 青木香 (Aristolochia mollis Dunn),

  4. nan mu xiang 南木香,   (Aristolochia yunnanensis Franch.)

  5. tong cheng fu 通城虎, (Aristolochia fordiana Hemsley)

  6. jia da shu 假大薯,

  7. guan nan xiang 管南香,

  8. Guang fang ji 廣防己 (Aristolochia westlandi, Hemsl.)

  9. bi xue lei 鼻血雷,

  10. bai jin gu lan 白金古欖.

Check your local health regulation before using them.

臺湾衛生署中醫藥委員會已宣布禁用含馬兜鈴酸的馬兜鈴﹐關木通﹐天仙藤﹐青木香﹐廣防己等五種 藥 材及其製劑.



Search this site

Sponsors' Ads by Google 以下為谷歌 所提供之廣告



Problems with website? Please Click here for comment. (Not for inquiry )     

Click here for inquiry 


Copyright Notice 按此看關於 版權問題

List of Health Problems

Chinese Herb Dictionary

Toxicity of Some Herbs

Side Effect of Some Herbs

Herbs that can be toxic to kidneys

Traditional Chinese Medicine

TCM Diagnosis

Samples of Formulae

Terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine


copy right



Qigong (chi kung)

Prescribed Drug Dictionary

Email our web master for  your suggestion (not for inquiry)

Biochemistry Dictionary

General Online Library

Qigong classes

Fake Email Warning

Research Librarian


Qigong classes


Weather Report


Last update: Sept 8, 2013; 12:38 a.m. LAH