Chinese herbs Mai Men Dong, Wu Wei Zi, and Ren Shen
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Maria
Posted on: April 29, 2003

I just underwent mastectomy in left breast and will undergo chemo next week. I have been all along going to an acupunturist that is well respected in my area. He is from China and is a professor in the holistic medical school. I am doing well with the acupunture for strengthening, relaxing, etc. Now he gave me the following herbs to take before and during chemo; Can you help me understand it more? The herbs are Mai Men Dong, Wu Wei Zi, and Ren Shen. Ren Shen is ginseng. The others I cannot search in the internet. If you can provide information I would appreciate it.

There is information on these herbs on the internet. Go to, and enter the herb name in the search.

The following are good references for Mai Men Dong and Wu Wei Zi, written by John Freeman, of the Ontario Herbalists Association. John Freeman lists the function of Mai Men Dong as: nourishes Yin and clears Heat; moistens Lungs and stops cough; nourishes the heart and calms Shen; moistens intestines and alleviates constipation. John lists the functions of Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra chinensis) as: Astringes the lungs and stops coughing from lung and kidney Qi deficiency ; used for diarrhea, excessive urination, spermatorrhea; stops spontaneous sweating from Qi deficiency or Yin deficiency; strengthens the heart and calms Shen

Ginseng and Schisandra are both used to strengthen the body and mind, and help them to deal with stress. They are often used to help in recovery from surgery.

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