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mu tong, 木通       (in English and Chinese 中英文)

guan mu tong, chuan mu tong,

huai tong, bai mu tong

by: Joe Hing Kwok Chu

Pharmaceutical name:


Caulis Mutong

Biological name:


  1. Aristolochiae Manshuriensis; Aristolochia debilis (guan mu tong 關木通:)

  2. Clematidis Armandii Franch (chuan mu tong 川木通)

  3. Clematidis Armandii Franch (huai tong 淮通)

  4. Akebia trifoliata Koiz. var. australis Rehd. (bai mu tong

  5. 白木通)

  6. Akebia guinata (五葉木通)

  7. Akebia trifoliata (Thunb.) Koidz. (三葉木通)


    Akebia clematifolia Siebold et Zucc. (synonym)
    Akebia lobata Decne. (synonym)
    Akebia lobata var. Decne. var. clematifolia (Siebold et Zucc.) Ito (synonym)
    Akebia quercifolia Siebold et Zucc. (synonym)
    Akebia sempervirens Nakai (synonym)
    Akebia trifoliata var. var. clematifolia (Siebold et Zucc.) Nakai (synonym)
    Akebia trifoliata var. var. honanensis T. Shimizu (synonym)
    Clematis trifoliata Thunb. (synonym)

Pron. in Japanese:



Pron. in Korean:



Pron. in Cantonese:


muk6 tung1

Common Name:


akebia caulis



Shichuan, Hubei, Guangxi, Yunnan, Jiangxi, Guizhou, Jiangsu :

(Caulis Akebiae Trifoliatae).

Jilin, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Shaanxi, Gansu, Shanxi : (Caulis

Aristolochiae Manshuriensis; Aristolochia debilis).

Sichuan, Hunan, Shaanxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Yunnan, Guangdong,

Guangxi: (Caulis Clematidis Armandii)

 白木通:四川,湖北, 廣西,雲南,江西,貴州,江蘇。
關木通:吉林,遼寧, 黑龍江,陝西,甘肅,貴州,山西。
川木通:四川,湖南, 陝西,貴州,湖北,雲南,廣東,廣西。

Properties (characteristics)﹕性味﹕


bitter, cool.


Channels (meridians) entered:


bladder, heart, small intestine.


Actions & Indications:

Promotes urinate, promotes lactation, for treatment of urinary tract infection, edema. pain in the joints, low grade fever with achiness, cold feet but with mild fever.

小 便 不 利 , 五 淋 , 水 腫 浮 大 , 咽 喉 痛 , 婦 女 經 閉 ,

乳 汁 不 通 身 隱 熱 疼 痛 拘 急 , 足 冷 伏 熱 。 傷 血 , 宜 木 通 以

通 心 竅 。

Medical Function:


Medical Function:

Diuretic effect: rabbits under the tight control of the amount of water daily were orally administered tincture of mu tong (with evaporated alcohol plus water dilution filter) 0.5g/kg for five days. There was a very significant diuretic effect. The ash of mu tong had no diuretic effect. This shows that the diuretic effect is caused by the potassium salt, but by other active ingredients. The administering mu tong decoction either by  oral or intravenous feeding produced diuretic effect. The saponins of the same plant Akebia longeracemosa Matsum (production in Taiwan Province of China and Japan) also possesses the diuretic effect on mice and rats.

Antibacterial effect: According to preliminary in vitro studies, either extract by soaking or by decocting, it can inhibit a variety of pathogenic fungi to different degrees.

Anti-inflammatory effect: rats with experimental arthritis showed some inhibition;

Hypnotic effect: it can prolong the sleeping time in mice caused by pentobarbital sodium cyclohexyl

The analgesic effect.

Cardiovascular effects: low concentration had no obvious effect on the isolated rabbit intestine and atrial high concentration of intestinal contraction, atrial inhibition. Isolated rabbit ear vascular contraction

Toxicity: The oral toxicity is very small, certain toxic injection.




  1. 利尿作用:家兔在嚴密控制進水量的情況下,每日灌服酊劑(用時蒸去酒精加水稀釋過濾)0.5g/kg,連服五天,有非常顯著的利尿作用,灰分則無利尿作用,說明其利尿主要不是由於鉀鹽,而是其他的有效成分。家兔口服或靜脈注射煎劑,亦出現利尿作用。同屬植物, 台灣木通 (Akebia longeracemosa Matsum)(產我國台灣省及日本)中提得的皂甙,對大鼠、小鼠有利尿作用

  2. 抗菌作用:據初步體外試驗結果,木通水浸劑或煎劑對多種致病真菌有不同程度的抑制作用。;

  3. 抗炎作用:對大鼠的實驗性關節炎也有某些抑制作用;

  4. 安眠作用:它能延長環己巴比妥鈉引起的小鼠睡眠時間,

  5. 鎮痛中用:有一定的鎮痛作用。

  6. 心血管作用: 低濃度對家兔離體腸管和心房無明顯作用,高濃度則使腸管收縮,心房抑制。對離體兔耳血管有收縮作用,

  7. 毒性: 口服毒性很小,注射給藥則有一定毒性。

Chemical ingredients:


to be loaded



3 to 9 g

Samples of formulae:


long dan xie gan tang 龍膽瀉肝湯,

ba zhen san 八正散,

ba wei dai xia fang 八味帶下方

Modern Research:


to be loaded



Today, ninety five percent of mu tong  used in China is from the stem of Aristolochia debilis, (Aristolochiae Manshuriensis), called guan mu tong 關木通. These plants are usually grown in the northeastern provinces of China, formerly called Manchuria. Only rarely in a few localities in China, mu tong is obtained from Akebia guinata or Akebia lobata being used. Today in China, all manufactured formulae that contain guan mu tong (Aristolochia debilis) are being banned because of the toxicity to the kidneys.

In America, the herb mu tong labeled as Akebia contained aristolochic acid when tested. This shows that the herb were mislabeled.

See picture from another site.


木通有幾種。現在市場上賣的 95% 是關木通, 屬于馬兜鈴科﹐對腎臟有毒。凡含有關木通的成藥被禁賣。




do not use on those without internal damp heat, fluid deficient, qi deficient, spermatorrhea, frequent urination, or during pregnancy.



Guan mu tong (Aristolochiae Manshuriensis or Aristolochia debilis)  is toxic to kidneys.




Warning: According to a report that the herb labeled as "Akebia" being sold in America were all tested containing aristolochic acid which is toxic to the kidneys.

The fruit is called ba yue za

果 實 稱 為 八月紮﹐預知子

按此看另一 木通中文網站 (a Chinese site on mu tong)

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Last update: May 19, 2015; 3 p.m. LAH