Rhizoma gastrodiae is a Chinese herb.
Gastrodia elata, also known as Tian Ma in Pinyin, can be traditionally used as a Chinese herb for the treatment of headaches, dizziness, numbness, convulsions in children, epilepsy, tetanus, hemiplegia, neurasthenia, angioneurotic headache, cerebral arteriosclerosis, senile dementia, sudden deafness, central retinitis, cervical spondylosis, Meniere’s syndrome, and so on. The main medicinal part is its root.
The medicinal uses of gastrodia elata are characterized by calming liver wind agitation by suppressing hyperactive liver and calming hyperactivity of liver-yang by tranquilizing liver and yang. However, other herbs like Cat’s Claw (Gou Teng) and Antelope Horns (Ling Yang Jiao) are also capable of what it does. So, what are the distinct health benefits of gastrodia? Actually, Cat’s Claw is of cool, light, and penetrating nature, which makes more sense in treating mild convulsions and fever in children since it is good at clearing heat for calming endogenous wind; Antelope Horns have a more powerful heat-clearing properties since it is of cold nature. In addition to be used in treating extreme heat causing wind, it cures also coma due to high fever, spots caused by heat toxicity, etc. since it is able to clear away the heart-fire and detoxify; gastrodia is of sweet, neutral, and moist nature. It has less ability on clearing heat than Cat’s Claw and Antelope Horns. Its strength is the versatility of any types of up-stirring of the liver and epileptic seizures, regardless of the patterns are of cold, heat, deficiency or excess nature. What’s more, it can relieve mind to bring headache relief.
Now it is time to talk about luminous fungi called Armillaria mellea Fr., which is the nutrient source of gastrodia seeds and tubers. Studies have shown that the solid culture of Armillaria has similar pharmacological effects and clinical efficacy of gastrodia. For the reason, now the medicinal preparations of Armillaria mellea Fr. are mostly replaced Tianma to treat dizziness, headache, insomnia, hemiplegia, numbness, and so on.
Modern pharmacological actions of gastrodia
1) Its extracts of water and alcohol and different preparations can significantly reduce the spontaneous activity in mice, prolong pentobarbital sodium or hexobarbital sodium induced sleep time in mice, and inhibit or reduce the onset time of experimental epilepsy;
2) It can reduce the resistance of peripheral vessels, cerebral vessels and coronary artery, lower blood pressure, slow down heart rate, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation;
3) Its polysaccharide has immune activity.
Gastrodia elata and its preparations could occasionally lead to poisoning and allergic reactions. Its oral powder may cause urticarial allergic eruption; its pills may cause allergic purpura; its intramuscular injection may lead to anaphylactic shock; large dose of its stew may induce acute renal failure and coma. The remedies for gastrodia poisoning are emesis in the beginning, gastric lavage, or symptomatic treatment in occurring allergic reaction occurs and renal failure.
None are recorded.
Tian Ma, Tall Gastrodia Tuber
Source: OldTCM, http://old.tcmwiki.com/wiki/rhizoma-gastrodiae