What Is Ze Xie
Ze Xie commonly known as Rhizoma Alismatis is the rhizome of Alisma orientale (Sam.) Juzep. or Alisma plantago-aquatica Linn., which is a perennial aquatic herb belonging to the family Alismataceae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Shennong Ben Cao Jing> in the late Western Han Dynasty (around 100 BCE).
There are about 11 species of Alisma, which are mainly distributed in the temperate and subtropical regions of the northern hemisphere, and Oceania. Some of these species are often used as water feature plants in shallow water areas. Among them, Alisma orientale (Sam.) Juzep. and Alisma plantago-aquatica Linn. can be used for medicinal purposes.
Alisma orientale (Sam.) Juzep. likes light and a warm environment. They often grow in lakes, streams, ponds, ditches, or swamps below 2,500 meters above sea level. They are distributed in China, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, and other countries.
Alisma plantago-aquatica Linn. is also known as European water-plantain or common water-plantain. They grow well in slightly sticky soil near water, rich in humus, and good water retention. They often grow in lakes, streams, shallow waters of ponds, swamps, ditches, or low-lying wetlands. They are widely distributed in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Currently, they can also be found in some parts of North America.
In the winter of each year, when the stems and leaves of Alisma orientale (Sam.) Juzep. or Alisma plantago-aquatica Linn. wither, people gather their rhizomes, wash them with water, dry them in the sun, remove their fibrous roots and thick skin, cut them into thick slices, dry them in the sun, use them directly, or stir-fry them with salt water, and make them into Chinese herbal medicine.
Ze Xie contains alisol A~X, alisol A 24-acetate, alismaketone A 23-acetate, alismaketone B 23-acetate, alismaketone C 23-acetate, alismanol A~G, alismanol M~Q, neoalisol, neoalisol 11,24-acetate, alismanin A~C, ursolic acid, alismoxide, alismorientols A, alismorientols B, alismol, ligucyperonol, orientalol A~G, orientalol L, sulfoorientalols a~d, orientanone, clovandiol, germacrene C, germacrene D, gibberodione, oplopanone, orientalol O, orientalol P, zingibertriol, litseachromolaevane B, oriediterpenone, oriediterpenol, oriediterpenoside, 12-de-oxyphorbol-13α-pentadecanoate, uracil, adenine, uridine, nicotinamide,neoechinulin A, magnolamide, pinoresinol, syringaresinol, isoeucommin A, β-sitosterol, daucosterol, carbohydrates, flavonoids, phenolic acids, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and derivatives.
Generally, Ze Xie with a yellow-white cross-section and high starch content is preferred.
According to <Compendium of Materia Medica>, the medicinal nature of Ze Xie is relatively cold, with a sweet and bland taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the kidney and bladder meridians.
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to increase secretion of urine and remove dampness, purge heat, melt turbidity and reduce lipid, and treat edema, dysuria, diarrhea with oliguria, gonorrhea with turbid urine, leukorrhea, dizziness, spermatorrhea, night sweat, hot flashes, acute nephritis, kidney stones, urethritis, chronic prostatitis, chronic pelvic inflammatory disease, Meniere’s disease, atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, liver cirrhosis, secretory otitis media, bloody urine, erysipelas, beriberi, and tumors.
There are about 200 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Fu Ling Ze Xie Tang, Mu Li Ze Xie San, Wu Ling San, and Liu Wei Di Huang Wan.
- Anti-inflammation, inhibiting LPS-induced NO and PGE2 production in RAW264.7 cells.
- Anti-oxidation, increasing superoxide dismutase activity and reducing malondialdehyde content.
- Suppressing the increase in blood pressure caused by vasoconstriction caused by angiotensin secretion.
- Reducing serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in hyperlipidemia model rats.
- Inhibiting the activity of α-glucosidase, improving the transport of glucose in adipocytes, and insulin resistance and lipid metabolism disorder in type 2 diabetic rats.
- Reducing D-galactosamine, CCL4, or diethylene glycol-induced liver injury in mice and protecting the liver.
- Promoting the urine volume of saline-loaded rats and the excretion of Na+, K+, and Cl-, and increasing the urine volume of edema model rats and liver cirrhosis model rats.
- Decreasing Ca2+ content in rat kidney tissue, inhibiting the growth and aggregation of calcium oxalate crystals and thus inhibiting the formation of kidney stones.
- Removing dampness, treating edema and dysuria caused by retention and accumulation of water-dampness.
- Treating diarrhea with oliguria caused by impairment of the spleen and stomach by cold.
- Treating dizziness caused by phlegm and fluid retention, or lucid yang failing to rise.
- Purging damp-heat in lower energizer, treating stranguria caused by stagnation of damp-heat.
- Treating spermatorrhea and hot flashes caused by deficiency of the kidney yin.
- Inhibiting the proliferation of myeloma SPZ/O cells, breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells, gastric cancer SGC7901 cells, and prostate cancer PC-3 cells, and inducing apoptosis in lung cancer A549 cells and NCI-H292 cells.
- Its decoction has a certain inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
- Studies have found that alisol A 24-acetate can inhibit nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL)-mediated osteoclast differentiation , and suppress body weight increase and uterine weight reduction in ovariectomized mice, and improve bone biochemical markers, bone mineral density, and trabecular microstructure .
- It can be used in combination with Fu Ling (Poria), Zhu Ling (Polyporus), Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi), Bai Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae), etc. to treat edema and dysuria caused by retention and accumulation of water-dampness.
- It can be used in combination with Hou Po (Magnolia Bark), Cang Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis), Chen Pi (Tangerine Peel), etc. to treat diarrhea with oliguria caused by impairment of the spleen and stomach by cold.
- It can be combined with Bai Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae), etc. to treat dizziness caused by phlegm and fluid retention, or lucid yang failing to rise.
- It can be used in combination with Mu Tong (Caulis Akebiae), Che Qian Zi (Semen Plantaginis), etc. to treat stranguria caused by stagnation of damp-heat.
- It can be used in combination with Shu Di Huang (Processed Rehmannia Root), Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni), Mu Dan Pi (Cortex Moutan), etc. to treat spermatorrhea and hot flashes caused by deficiency of the kidney yin.
- It can be used in combination with Jue Ming Zi (Cassia Seed), He Ye (Folium Nelumbinis), He Shou Wu (Fo-Ti), etc. to treat hyperlipidemia.
- Animal experiments confirmed that 90-day repeated oral administration of its aqueous extract produced no significant toxic effects in rats .
- Long-term or excessive administration of it may cause dry mouth, sweating, skin redness, erythema, itchiness, or desquamation.
Precautions and Warnings
- The dosage of Ze Xie should be controlled at 6-10g.
- It can be made into decoctions, pills, or powders.
- People allergic to Ze Xie should not take it.
- Patients should avoid taking sea clams, clams, seaweed, kelp, spinach, or celery while taking the medicine.
- If you are taking blood sugar-lowering, blood pressure-lowering, or potassium-sparing diuretics, you should ask your doctor whether they can be taken together.
- Patients without damp-heat syndrome should not take it.
- Patients with low blood sugar, low blood pressure, or water and electrolyte disturbances should not take it.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take it under the guidance of a doctor.
- The elderly should not take it.