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Ma Bo
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Ma Bo (Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia)——Ming Yi Bie Lu (Miscellaneous Records of Famous physicians)

  1. Ma Bo
  2. Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia
  3. 马勃
  4. 馬勃

The Processing of Puff-ball


The sporocarp of Lasiosphaera fenzlii Reich., Calvatia gigantean (Batsch ex Pers.) Lloyd. or Calvatia lilacina (Mont. et Berk.) Lloyd. of family Lycoperdaceae.


The Lasiosphaera fenzlii Reich. is mainly produced in Liaoning, Gansu, Hubei, Jiangsu, Hunan, Guangxi and Anhui provinces; the Calvatia gigantean (Batsch ex Pers.) Lloyd. is chiefly produced in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and Hebei, Qinghai, Jilin and Hubei provinces; and the Calvatia lilacina (Mont. et Berk.) Lloyd. is in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hubei, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces.

Collected in summer and autumn when sporocarp is ripe.

The actual smell and taste

Dust-like odor, tasteless.

Best quality

Big, thin peel, complete, full, grayish brown and loose fruit with elasticity.


Cut into square cube after getting rid of exterior hard peel, or pounded into powder, and unprocessed.

The Effect of Puff-ball


Pungent, neutral; lung meridian entered.


Clear heat and remove toxicity, clear lung heat and alleviate sore throat, stop bleeding.


A. Swollen and sore throat, cough and hoarse voice

It can both remove heat-toxicity and clear lung-heat, and excels at alleviating sore throat; it can be used in treating sore throat caused by wind-heat, heat-toxicity, or up-flaming of deficiency-fire because it is mild in properties and effects, so it is regarded as the commonly used herb for swollen and sore throat. For sore throat due to assault of wind-heat on lung, it is often combined with wind-heat-dispersing and sore-throat-alleviating herbs. For example, Jin Yin Hua, Lian Qiao, and Niu Bang Zi, etc. are combined, as in Yin Qiao Ma Bo San from Wen Bing Tiao Bian. For swollen and sore throat due to heat-toxicity, it is usually combined with herbs excelling in clearing heat, removing toxicity and alleviating sore throat, such as Niu Bang Zi, Xuan Shen and Ban Lan Gen, as in Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin from Dong Yuan Shi Xiao Fang. For dry and sore throat due to yin-deficiency of lung and kidney, it can be combined with yin-nourishing and fire-lowering herbs, such as Sheng Di Huang, Xuan Shen and Zhi Mu ,etc. , as in Qing Yan Dian Yin Cheng Qi Tang from Yi Hou Qian Lun (Simple Treatise on Epidemic Laryngopoathy). It can also clear heat, relieve cough, alleviate sore throat and restore voice, and also be indicated for cough due to lung-heat, and hoarse voice. It can be used alone in pills to treat mild condition; while it should be combined with herbs for clearing lung, relieving cough and alleviating sore throat to treat severe lung heat condition, such as Huang Qin, Chan Tui and She Gan, etc. It is much suitable for treating throat disease with bleeding and ulcer because it can stop bleeding and healing sores; it can be pounded into powder and kept in the mouth singly, or made into extract or powder for orally taking.

Since the action of clearing heat and removing toxicity, it can also treat sores and abscess with swollen pain or difficulty in healing of sores; it can be mixed with rice vinegar for topical application, or combined with toxicity-removing and abscess-curing herbs.

B. Hemorrhage syndrome

It can stop bleeding by means of orally or topically administrating, but it is much effective when being used topically. Because of being slightly cold and cool in property, it is suitable for treating hemorrhage syndrome caused by blood heat such as hematemesis, hemoptysis, and epistaxis, etc. , and often combined with blood-cooling hemostatic herbs.

For traumatic bleeding, its powder can be applied on wounds. It is also effective in treating traumatic bleeding due to knife wound or stab wound, operative wound bleeding, socket bleeding and nasal bleeding when its sterile powder, or bacterial filament sponge that is Ma Bo being cut into cubes after removing coating, or bandage or gauze soaked in suspension of Ma Bo powder is applied and pressed on wounds.

Dosage and Administrations

Decoct 3~6g. Proper dosage is for topical application.