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Shui Zhi
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Shui Zhi (Hirudo)——Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nong’s Herbal)

  1. Shui Zhi
  2. Hirudo
  3. Leech

The Processing of 水蛭


The dry body of Whitemania Pigra Whitman or Hirudo nipponica Whitman and W. acranulata Whitman of family Hirudinidae.


Everywhere in China.


Collected in summer and autumn.

The actual smell and taste

Lightly stinky smell.

Best quality

Small, regular, black and brown, purified.


Unprocessed or blanched by Hua Shi powder.

The Effect of 水蛭


Salty, bitter, neutral, lightly toxic; liver meridian entered.


Break blood and dispel stasis.


Amenorrhea due to stasis, mass, traumatic injuries.

Being salty this herb enters blood system and being bitter it can purge and descend. It enters blood system of liver meridian and can break blood stasis and dispel blood stasis, attack mass, resolve stagnation and accumulation, induce menstruation and alleviate pain, It is indicated for mass, amenorrhea due to stasis and traumatic injuries. It is mutually reinforced by the combination with Meng Chong. For amenorrhea and mass, it is usually combined with blood-breaking and stasis-eliminating herbs. For instance it is combined with Tao Ren and Meng Chong in Di Dang Tang from Shang Han Lun. For weak body association, it is combined with qi and blood tonics such as Ren Shen and Dang Gui. For traumatic injuries, it is combined with blood-activating and trauma-curing herbs such as Su Mu and Zi Ran Tong.

Dosage and Administrations

Decoct l.5~3 g. Grind into powder and take 0.3~0.5 g. More appropriate in pill and powder or take powder because the hirudin it contains will be easily broken when heating or exposure to dilute hydrochloric acid.


Prohibited for pregnant women and patients with excessive menstruation.