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Radix Ephedrae

Ma Huang Gen
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Ma Huang Gen (Radix Ephedrae)——Ben Cao Jing Ji Zhu (Explanation Collection of Materia Medica)

  1. Ma Huang Gen
  2. 麻黄根
  3. 麻黃根

The Processing of Radix Ephedrae


The roots or rhizomes of perennial push plant Ephedra sinica Stapf or E. intermedia Schrenk etc. A. Mey. of family Ephedra sinica.


Hebei, Shanxi provinces, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China.


Collected after the beginning of autumn; cut the root hair, dried and cut into segments.

The actual smell and taste

Not stink, and slightly bitter in flavor.

Best quality

Firm, reddish brown peel with white-yellow cross section.



The Effect of Radix Ephedrae


Sweet, slightly astringent, neutral; lung meridian entered.


Strengthen superficies to check sweating.


Spontaneous sweating and night sweat

It is an important herb for astringing lung and strengthening superficies to check sweating, due to its sweet, astringent, neutral properties and lung meridian entered. It can act on superficial and interstice. For spontaneous sweating due to qi deficiency, it is combined with qi tonics, superficial-strengthening and sweat-stopping herbs. For instance, it is used with Huang Qi, Mu Li, and Fu Xiao Mai in Mu Li San from He Ji Ju Fang. For night sweat due to yin deficiency, it is combined with sweating-stopping and yin-tonifying herbs; for instance, it is used with Wu Wei Zi, Bai Shao and Shan Zhu Yu, etc. For deficient sweating without stopping due to deficiency of both qi and blood after delivery, it is combined with qi-tonifying and blood-nourishing herbs, or instance, it is used with Dang Gui and Huang Qi in the formula Ma Huang Gen San from Sheng Hui Fang.

Besides, it could be ground into powder singly or with Mu Li powder and applied on the superficial to treat all kind of sweating syndromes due to deficiency.

Dosage and Administrations

Decoct 3~9 g. Appropriate dosage for external use.