Anemarrhena (Zhi Mu)

Botanical Name: Anemarrhena asphodeloides Bunge

Not as well known in the West, anemarrhena is used for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. It is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat conditions associated with Heat and Dryness. It is especially useful for treating lung infections and diabetes but is also commonly used to treat a wide range of ailments that present as Hot and Dry, including: chronic bronchitis, high blood pressure, low back pain, menopausal symptoms, mouth ulcers, and more.

Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – The Story of Zhi Mu (aka “know mother”)…

Remember to check with your doctor before trying new medicines or herbal remedies, especially if you are taking other medication where drug interactions are possible.

Below is an overview of anemarrhena, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of anemarrhena.

How to take FULL advantage of Anemarrhena's healing powers...

JOIN ME in an exploration of the healing herb, Anemarrhena (Zhi Mu). Dive deep into the benefits and applications of Anemarrhena, from Eastern and Western perspectives, and so much more!


Western Name: Anemarrhena

Also Known As: N/A

Organs/Systems: Respiratory System, Skin, Bladder

Key Actions: Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Antimicrobial, Antidiabetic, Diuretic, Antiplatelet, Antipyretic, Antioxidant, Bitter

Medicinal Uses: Fevers, coughs, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, insomnia, respiratory infections, lowers cholesterol, aids memory.


Pin Yin: Zhi Mu (translates as “Know Mother”)

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Lung, Spleen, Kidney

Key Actions: Nourish Yin, Eliminates Fire, Generates Fluids, Lubricates the Intestines, Clears Summer Heat

Medicinal Uses: Contagious respiratory infections, congestive fever, high fever with extreme thirst, bitter taste in the mouth, excessive sweating, dry throat, sore throat, cough, dizziness, pneumonia, tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis, high blood pressure, restlessness, urinary tract infections, insomnia, menopausal symptoms, steaming bone disorder, Five Sole heat, bleeding gums, red face, constipation, lumbago, diabetes, memory, osteoporosis, depression, eye disorders, cancer, chemotherapy and radiation side effects, excessive sex drive and nocturnal emissions highcholesterol and triglycerides, used externally to treat oral ulcers.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Anemarrhena is an evergreen perennial in the family Liliaceae. It has thin, long, grass-like leaves and clusters of small, fragrant white to light-purple flowers that are hermaphroditic and blossom from August to September.

Anemarrhena is native to China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan. Anemarrhena is found on exposed slopes, hills, steppes, and woodlands.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Root, Rhizome

Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Slightly Sweet, Cold

Caution: Considered safe, some people may experience allergic reactions. Using excess amounts can cause a drop in blood pressure.

Key Constituents: Flavonoids (including Mangiferin) Steroidal Saponins (including Sarasapogenin, Timosaponin, Asphonin), Choline, Anemaran (lowers blood sugar, study), Tannin, Alkaloid, Nicotinic acid, Pantothenic acid

History/Folklore: Over 300 Traditional Chinese Medicine formulas use anemarrhena as an ingredient. It is used to treat high fevers, coughs, and highly contagious lung infections. It is one of the most commonly prescribed herbs in China and is used in a popular Korean formula for promoting sleep and treating diabetes. It has powerful antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is known for Purging Fire, Nourishing Yin, and relaxing muscular and emotional tension. It is especially useful for Clearing Heat in the Qi Level with symptoms of high fever, flooding pulse, and Heat in the Stomach and Lungs causing intense thirst and dry coughs.

In vitro studies have found anemarrhena extract capable of inhibiting the growth of 38 strains of fungi, and 5 strains of bacteria. Other studies confirm the compound timosaponin’s ability to inhibit blood coagulation and the formation of a thrombus in animal studies.

The compound mangiferin, found in anemarrhena, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that support the herb’s ability to improve memory and brain function, inhibit osteoporosis, and more. The compound is known to pass the blood-retina barrier, helping to treat a variety of eye disorders.

The compound asphonin is used effectively to treat lower back pain.

Anemarrhena is often combined with phellodendron, scrophularia, and rehmannia herbs that support its Yin and Heat Clearing properties. It may be used with gypsum to help Clear Heat. To aid sleep hindered by Excess Heat and Yin Deficiency, anemarrhena is often paired with red jujube.

Anemarrhena helps moisten the lungs to ease coughing and dry coughing. The herbs Yin supporting functions also help to treat seminal emissions, night sweats, and bone pain associated with Yin Deficiency and Excess Heat in the system. Excess Heat can harm fluid metabolism in the body resulting in the desire to excessively desire and drink cold fluids to quench thirst. This type of symptom is commonly associated with diabetes or persistent high feverish conditions.

Processing the herb by frying it in salt water helps to enhance its Kidney tonifying properties.

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Did you know?


The rhizomes are large, hard, and round with a pale-yellowish color inside.

Generates Fluids

Anemarrhena’s ability to generate fluids and moisten dry tissues, can help to counterbalance herbs that may be too warming or drying, such as cinnamon.
Fun fact!

Best Quality

The best quality roots have a yellow-white cross-section.

How to use Anemarrhena (Zhi Mu) and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!

Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Dive deep into Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works. Includes uses, benefits, essential oils, gardening tips, and much, much more.

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ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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