Shui Niu Jiao (Cornu Bubali or Water Buffalo Horn)

What Is Shui Niu Jiao

Shui Niu Jiao commonly known as Cornu Bubali or Water Buffalo Horn is the horn of Bubalus bubalis, which is a vertebrate belonging to the family Bovidae. It is animal medicine, which first appeared in <Mingyi Bie Lu> around 420-589 AD.

Bubalus bubalis is also called domestic water buffalo or Asian water buffalo and is a large bovid. It originated in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and China. Now, it can also be found in Europe, Australia, North America, South America, and some African countries.

Around 3000 BC, Buffaloes were domesticated in the Indian subcontinent. Now, 95.8% of buffaloes are raised globally. In some Asian countries, it is used to cultivate rice fields. Around 26 million water buffaloes are slaughtered each year for meat worldwide. They contribute 72 million tonnes of milk and three million tonnes of meat annually to world food.

water buffalo

Generally, medicine farmers gather the horns of Bubalus bubalis, boil them in water, remove the horn plugs, dry them, cut them into thin slices or file them into coarse powders, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Shui Niu Jiao contains cholesterol, protein, peptides, keratin fibers, cardiotonics, guanidine derivatives, serine, glycine, alanine, lysine, histidine, aspartic acid, arginine, glutamic acid, Proline, cystine, methionine, isoleucine, leucine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and some inorganic elements.

According to <Ri Hua Zi Zhu Jia Ben Cao>, the medicinal nature of Shui Niu Jiao is relatively cold, with a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the heart and liver meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Shui Niu Jiao is often used to clear heat and cool blood, remove toxins and convulsions, treat seasonal febrile diseases, blood heat, high fever in children, allergic purpura, thromboangiitis obliterans, acute cerebral infarction, Japanese encephalitis, viral Hepatitis, rheumatism, and rheumatoid arthritis.

There are about 50 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Niuhuang Jiangya Wan, Angong Niuhuang wan, Xiong Dan Jiu Xin Wan, and Ju Fang Zhi Bao San.


  • Anti-inflammation, anti-virus, anti-endotoxin.
  • Increasing the number of platelets and shortening the clotting time.
  • It can cooperate with pentobarbital sodium to extend the sleep time of experimental mice.
  • Exciting the pituitary-adrenal cortex system and lowering total cholesterol.
  • Reducing capillary permeability and preventing capillary rupture and bleeding.
  • Reducing the proliferation of alveolar epithelial cells and protecting the liver and lungs.
  • Antagonizing mouse infection caused by E. coli or beta-hemolytic streptococcus.
  • Clearing heat, treat high fever, unconsciousness, delirium, convulsions caused by the invasion of the Xue system by heat.
  • Relieving stroke hemiplegia and obnubilation.
  • Cooling blood, treating hematemesis, and epistaxis caused by blood heat.
  • Removing heat toxins, relieving swelling and pain of the throat, and treating sores and carbuncles caused by heat toxins.
  • Studies have found that its extracts and decoction can enhance the contractility of the toad’s heart in vitro.


Side Effects

  • At present, no data is showing that it has toxic effects.
  • Overdose of it may cause upper abdominal discomfort, nausea, bloating, or loss of appetite.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Shui Niu Jiao should be controlled at 15-30g.
  • It can be made into decoctions, concentrated powders, or injections.
  • When making its decoction, it is recommended to cook for at least 3 hours.
  • The dosage of concentrated powders of Shui Niu Jiao should be controlled at 1.5-3g.
  • People who are allergic to Shui Niu Jiao should not take it.
  • Patients with no syndromes of excess heat should not take it.
  • Patients with deficiency cold in the spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it.