Cao Wu (Zhi) (Aconite Tsaowu)
Chinese Herb: Cao Wu Zhi
(Wu Tou, Aconite Tsaowu); Aconitum kusnezoffii; Radix Aconiti Kusnezoffi
Prepared Chuan Wu is also available.
This form of Aconite is the wild variety and is slightly more potent than Sichuan Aconite. Wild Aconite is acrid, bitter, and very hot. Non-prepared aconite is also very toxic and is only available in its processed form. It is also one of the most important herbs in the Materia Medica. While other herbs might have hotter energy, Aconite defines the most yang herb of the Materia Medica.
Acrid, bitter, hot, extremely toxic
Heart, Liver, Spleen
Cautions / Contraindications:
- Cao Wu is contraindicated in pregnancy.
- Cao Wu is incompatible with Bei Mu, Gua Lou Shi, Ban Xia, Bai Ji, and Bai Lian.
- Use of the fresh or unprocessed form of aconite should be strictly prohibited because of toxicity. Concurrent use of alcohol must also be prohibited to avoid increased absorption of toxic components. (See Zhong Yao Xue (Chinese Herbology), 1998; 367-371).
- Even with appropriate indication and dosage, Cao Wu should be used with other herbs to minimize toxicity, such as Gan Cao, Sheng Jiang or honey.