What Is Sang Zhi
Sang Zhi commonly known as Ramulus Mori or Mulberry Twig is the twig of Morus alba L., which is a deciduous tree belonging to the family Moraceae. It is a commonly used Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Tu Jing Ben Cao> (Illustrated Classic of Materia Medica) in 1,061 AD.
Morus alba L. likes light and a warm and humid climate. It is native to central and northern China and is now distributed in China, North Korea, Japan, Mongolia, India, Vietnam, Russia, Central Asia, and Europe.
They have high medicinal value. Their leaves, twigs, root bark, and fruits can be made into medicine.
In late spring and early summer, people gather the twigs of Morus alba L., remove the leaves from the branches, dry them in the sun, cut them into thick slices, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.
Sang Zhi contains isoquercitrin, morindone, mulberrin, cyclomulberrin, cyclomulberrochromene, mulberrochydrochromene, cudranin, tetrahydroxystilbene, moracin A-H, betulinic acid, reseratrol, dihydrokaempferol, oxyresveratrol, dihydrooxyresveratrol, 1-deoxynojirimycin, polysaccharides, coumarins, amino acids, organic acids, volatile oils, and vitamins.
Generally, Sang Zhi with thin bark and yellowish-white wood heart is preferred.
According to <Ben Cao Tu Jing>, the medicinal property of Sang Zhi is relatively neutral, with a slightly bitter taste. It has a therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the liver meridian.
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to expel wind and dampness, ease joint movement, and treat rheumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, pain and numbness in shoulders, arms, and joints, edema, diarrhea, rash, rubella, vitiligo, hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes, and diabetic nephropathy.
There are about 50 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Tian Ma Zhui Feng Gao, Sang Zhi Gao, and Du Zhong Zhuang Gu Wan.
- Anti-inflammation, inhibiting croton oil-induced ear swelling in mice and egg white-induced feet swelling in mice.
- Improving superoxide dismutase activity, reducing malondialdehyde content, and inhibiting lipid peroxidation.
- Relaxing vascular smooth muscle, dilating blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.
- Inhibiting α-glucosidase activity and reducing blood glucose levels after polysaccharide loading in normal and diabetic mice.
- Improving pre-diabetic glucose and lipid metabolism disorders and insulin resistance in obese mice, and enhancing glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.
- Reducing the plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein content of hyperlipidemia rats, and increasing the high-density lipoprotein content.
- Expelling wind and dampness, easing joint movement, treating rheumatic arthralgia, pain and numbness in shoulders, arms, and joints.
- Inducing diuresis and treating edema.
- Dispelling wind and relieving itching, treating vitiligo and rashes.
- Promoting the production of body fluid and treating polydipsia, hyperdiuresis, overeating with marasmus, fatigue, high blood sugar, and urine sugar.
- Its polysaccharides can increase the spleen index and thymus index of mice, enhance the phagocytic ability of macrophages, and improve immunity.
- It can be used in combination with Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi), Wei Ling Xian (Radix Clematidis), and Xu Chang Qing (Radix et Rhizoma Cynanchi Paniculati) to treat arthralgia caused by wind-cold-damp.
- It can be used in combination with Luo Shi Teng (Caulis Trachelospermi), Ren Dong Teng (Caulis Lonicerae Japonicae), and Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae) to treat arthralgia caused by wind-damp-heat.
- It can be used in combination with Fu Ling (Poria), Da Fu Pi (Pericarpium Arecae), and Zhu Ling (Polyporus) to treat edema.
- It can be used in combination with Gou Ji (Rhizoma Cibotii), Du Zhong (Eucommia Bark), Chuan Niu Xi (Radix Cyathulae), Mu Gua (Fructus Chaenomelis), Xu Duan (Radix Dipsaci), Qin Jiao (Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae), Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi), You Song Jie (Lignum Pini Nodi), and Hai Feng Teng (Caulis Piperis Kadsurae) to treat numbness of limbs, unfavorable movement, and swollen and painful joints.
- It can be used in combination with Huai Jiao (Fructus Sophorae), Sheng Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens), Cong Bai (Scallion), Rou Gui (Cinnamomi Cortex), Ding Xiang (Flos Caryophylli), Xu Chang Qing (Radix et Rhizoma Cynanchi Paniculati), Cao Wu (Radix Aconiti Agrestis), Bing Pian (Borneol), and Zhang Nao (Camphor) to treat numbness of tendons and bones, painful swelling of joints and muscles, activity limitation, and aggravation with cold.
At present, there are no reports in the literature that Sang Zhi has toxic effects, and there are no reports of serious adverse reactions when it is taken according to the prescribed dose.
If you need to take it for a long time, please consult a professional doctor and formulate a reasonable medication plan.
Precautions and Warnings
- The dosage of Sang Zhi should be controlled at 9-15g.
- It can be made into decoctions or pounded for external use.
- People who are allergic to Sang Zhi should not take it.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take it under the guidance of a doctor.
- Children and the elderly should take it under the guidance of a doctor.