Botanical Name: Notopterygii Rhizoma seu Radix

Category: Warm, Acrid, Release the Exterior

Qiang Huo

Qiang Huo

Taste: Acrid, Bitter, Aromatic
Temperature: Warm

Channels Entered: Bladder, Kidney

Dosage: 3-9g

Cautions & Contraindications:

  • Contraindicated for blood-deficient painful obstruction

Actions & Indications:

  • Releases the exterior and disperses cold: for exterior cold patterns with such symptoms as chills, fever, headache, body aches and pains. Most commonly used when accompanied by dampness with joint pain, a general feeling of heaviness, sleepiness, or when there is pain in the occipital region as in Jiu Wei Qiang Hu Tang.
  • Unblocks painful obstruction and alleviates pain: for wind-cold-damp painful obstruction, especially in the upper limbs and back, as in Juan Bi Tang.
  • Guides qi to the greater yang channel and Governing vessel: to direct other herbs in a prescription to the areas served by these two channels.


Qiang Huo

Qiang Huo

  • Jing Jie, Fang Feng: occipital headache.
  • Chuan Xiong: headache and generalized body aches associated with common cold or bi syndrome.
  • Fang Feng: pain due to externally contracted wind-damp.
  • Du Huo: wind-dampness at any level.


  • Jiu Wei Qiang Hu Tang
  • Juan Bi Tang


  • Qiang Huo has a powerful dispersing quality and can raise and discharge wind, cold, or damp pathogens to the exterior.  It is stronger than Fang Feng or Jing Jie for dispersing cold or damp.
  • Has an affinity for the occiput.  For headaches, or stress or tension headaches affecting the occiput and the back of the neck.
  • Has an ascending and dispersing nature.