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Hai Zao
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Hai Zao (Sargassum)——Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nong’s Herbal)

  1. Hai Zao
  2. 海藻
  3. Seaweed

The Processing of Sargassum


The dry algae of plant Sargassum pallidum (Turn.) C. Ag. or S. fusiforme. (Harv.) Setch. of family Sargassaceae.


Littoral areas in China.


Collected in summer and autumn.

The actual smell and taste

Fishy smell, lightly salty taste.

Best quality

Dry, black and brown, less salt efflorescence, tender twig, without sand.



The Effect of Sargassum


Salty, cold; liver, stomach and kidney meridians entered.


Dissolve phlegm and soften hardness, induce diuresis and alleviate edema.


A. Scrofula, goiter, swollen and painful testis

This herb can remove phlegm, soften hardness and dissipate nodulation mainly indicated for scrofula, goiter, swollen arid painful testis resulted from phlegm and qi accumulation together and congealing transforming into mass. For scrofula and goiter, it is usually combined with other hardness-softening and phlegm-resolving herbs. For instance it is combined with Kun Bu and Bei Mu in Hai Zao Yu Hu Tang from Yi Zong Jin Jian. For swollen, distending and painful testis caused by phlegm congealing and qi stagnation, it is combined with liver-soothing, qi-regulating and phlegm-resolving herbs. For instance it is combined with Ju He, Kun Bu and Chuan Lian Zi in Ju He Wan from Ji Sheng Fang.

B. Edema, downward flow of damp turbidity to the foot

This herb has the action of inducing diuresis and resolving swelling but the action is not strong enough. It is usually combined with diuresis-inducing and damp-draining herbs to enhance the action such as Fu Ling, Zhu Ling and Ze Xie, etc.

Dosage and Administrations

Decoct 10~15 g. Proper dose in wine, or pill and powder.


Contradicated to Gan Cao.