Abalone Shell (Shi Jue Ming)
Botanical Name: Concha Haliotidis
Abalone is most often thought of as a delicious seafood in the West. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is also recognized for its ability to treat a wide variety of eye disorders, including glaucoma, conjunctivitis, night blindness and cataracts. The shell is also known to help calm anxiety and sooth headaches caused by what the Chinese call excessive Liver Heat.
Below is an overview of Abalone Shell (Shi Jue Ming), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Abalone Shell (Shi Jue Ming).
Western Name: Abalone Shell
Also Known As: Ear Shells, Sea Ears, Concha Haliotidis
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Antibacterial, Anticoagulant, Hepatoprotective Influence, Antipyretic. Inflamed eyes.
Pin Yin: Shi Jue Ming
Also Known As: Shi Jue Ming translates as “Stone Sense Brightness.”
Meridians: Liver, Kidney
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Clears Liver Heat/Subdues Yang: painful swollen eyes, glaucoma, cataracts, conjunctivitis, night blindness. Nourishes Yin/Cools the Liver/Calms Shen/Stops Tremors: headaches, red eyes, dizziness, acid reflux, anxiety, arthritis.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Shell, Mineral Extracts
Flavors/Temps: Slightly Salty, Cold to Neutral, Heavy
Caution: Non-toxic, but use with care if suffering from indigestion due to lack of stomach acid.
History/Folklore: Abalone shells are not used in Western European herbology. They have been used by Traditional Chinese Medicine as a medicine and by Native Americans as sacred containers used for holding sage and other sacred herbs for smudging an environment.
The Chinese name, “Shi Jue Ming,” derives from the shells ability to treat eye diseases (“ming” means “bright”) and the designation “shi” helps define the substance as a mineral and clearly identifying it as different from cassia seeds (Cassia obtusifolia /Jue Ming Zi). Like abalone shell, cassia seeds are often called “Jue Ming” for short, as they too can help treat eye conditions caused by Liver Heat. The herbs are otherwise entirely different.
The Chinese have long used abalone shells as a medicine to treat conditions associated with Liver Heat, especially all sorts of irritable eye conditions. It is often combined with oyster shell (Ostrea gigas/Mu Li) to help treat headaches due to Yin deficiency.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, raw abalone shell is considered best at treating Liver Heat and calcined abalone (the shell is refined in water) is preferred for treating eye conditions.
Calcium carbonate, Magnesium, Iron, Silicate, Phosphate, Chloride, Zinc, Manganese, Chromium, Copper, Trace amounts of Iodine and other small amounts of Trace elements. The Inner Shell: Keratin, with 16 kinds of Amino Acids after being hyrdolysized.
Used in the West?
In the West, abalone shell is typically only used in art to make crafts and jewelry.
Typical dosage for abalone shell is 9-30 grams, crushed and decocted in water. Good quality is large, thick and with a shiny, multicolored undercoat.
When Using in Decoction...
If used with other herbs in decoction, add the abalone shell first, allowing it to cook for one hour before adding the other ingredients.
References: For a complete list of references please visit our References and Resources page.
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