Reduce Dampness in the Body

When dampness accumulates in the body, it can cause various ailments, including abdominal swelling, stomach swelling, limb puffiness, diarrhea, jaundice, and some skin diseases. This class is divided into two subclasses: herbs that transform or absorb dampness (namely, buyuryo, grey atractylodes, and Korean mint) and herbs that promote urination (namely, Asiatic plantain, coin grass, and evergreen artemisia).

Transforming dampness means stimulating the spleen's action to speed up water excretion from the body. The Chinese believe that dampness continues to accumulate because the spleen is not strong enough to make water flow. The herbs that can transform dampness correct the conditions of the spleen. Promoting urination is another way of eliminating dampness inside the body. Herbs for promoting urination are often used to treat various urination disturbances and related symptoms, such as edema, urinary system stones, and acute nephritis. Additionally, this class of herbs is often used for weight reduction in many obese people who have accumulated excess water in the body.

While reducing dampness inside the body, this class of herbs can also decrease yin energy. Therefore, people with dry conditions and those who are thin and weak should not use this class of herbs.

From the perspective of modern medicine, this class of herbs has proven effective for cardiac-renal edema, nutritional edema, prostato-megaly urinary retention, and other symptoms associated with gastroenteric disturbances, such as nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, and diarrhea. These usages are attributed to three functions performed by this class of herbs: First, they can enhance the functions of the heart, lungs, and kidneys; second, they can regulate the functions of the stomach and intestines to stop many digestive disturbances; and third, they can adjust the neurohumoral regulation, which contributes to the excretion of excessive water in the body.