Plum Dragon Herbs

Mu Gua (Chinese Quince Fruit)


Mu Gua, also known as Chinese Quince or Fruit of Chaenomeles, is often used in TCM to treat digestive issues, such as abdominal pain, bloating, and constipation. Mu Gua is also believed to have properties that help regulate the body's qi, or vital energy, and boost the immune system. Wind-Damp dispelling in nature, this sour and warming herb has been an important ingredient in ancient martial arts, qigong, and yoga circles for its ability to open channels and relax sinews by increasing the flow of Qi and Blood.  The sour flavor and warming nature also allow Mu Gua to enter and affect the Liver and Spleen meridians. 

In addition to its use as a digestive aid, Mu Gua is also commonly used to help relieve menstrual pain and regulate menstrual cycles. It is also used to help improve circulation and reduce inflammation, making it a popular choice for the treatment of joint pain and other inflammatory conditions. Mu Gua is generally considered safe when used in the recommended doses and is often used in combination with other herbs to enhance its effects.

High Quality Mu Gua: What does it look like?


Physical characteristics of high quality dried Mu Gua (Quince Fruit) include:

  • Color: Light to medium yellow-brown
  • Shape: Oblong, slightly irregular
  • Texture: Dry, tough outer skin, slightly soft flesh
  • Size: Approximately 5-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide
  • Smell: Mild, slightly sweet aroma
  • Taste: Tart, slightly sweet, with a slightly bitter aftertaste
  • Appearance: Wrinkled skin with visible seeds, dense flesh

Note: the quality of dried Mu Gua may vary based on the processing and drying method used.

How is Mu Gua prepared and processed?

Mu Gua, also known as Chinese quince, is native to China and surrounding regions, such as Korea and Japan. The fruit is round or oval-shaped and has a hard yellowish-green exterior with a fragrant, juicy interior. It is a popular ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine and is used to treat digestive and respiratory issues.

Psyedocydonia Sinensis (Mu Gua) is a hardy plant that can tolerate cold temperatures, but prefers a temperate climate.  It grows best in regions with warm, moist summers and cold, dry winters.  Mu Gua prefers well-drained, fertile soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH (6.0 to 7.5).  Further, Mu Gua requires full sun exposure to grow well, with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. 

In TCM, Mu Gua (Chinese Quince Fruit) is usually dried and processed to remove impurities and improve its medicinal properties. The steps for drying and processing Mu Gua are as follows:

  1. Harvest: Mu Gua is harvested when it is ripe, usually in late autumn or early winter.

  2. Cleaning: Mu Gua is washed thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.

  3. Peeling: The rough outer layer of the fruit is removed to expose the flesh.

  4. Drying: The peeled Mu Gua is then dried in the sun or in a dry place to reduce its moisture content. This helps to preserve the fruit and improve its flavor.

  5. Grinding: The dried Mu Gua can be ground into a fine powder, which can be used in decoctions, pills, or powders.

Overall, the dried and processed Mu Gua should have a uniform color, with a minimum of impurities. The dried Mu Gua should also have a sweet and slightly sour taste, with a strong fragrance.

Popular Recipe for Mu Gua

Here are a few simple recipes that use Mu Gua: 

  1. Mu Gua Chicken Soup: This recipe calls for chicken, Mu Gua, ginger, and a few seasonings. Cook the chicken and Mu Gua in a pot of water until the chicken is fully cooked, then add ginger and seasonings to taste. Serve hot.
  2. Mu Gua Stir-fry: Cut Mu Gua into thin slices and stir-fry with vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, and onions. Season with soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with rice.
  3. Mu Gua and Pork Soup: This recipe calls for pork, Mu Gua, ginger, and seasonings. Cook the pork and Mu Gua in a pot of water until the pork is fully cooked, then add ginger and seasonings to taste. Serve hot.

Safety Precautions for the use of Mu Gua

Mu Gua, also known as Chinese Quince,  is a traditional Chinese herb commonly used for its medicinal properties. Here are some precautions to take when using Mu Gua:

  1. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional before using Mu Gua, especially if you have any health conditions or are taking any medications.

  2. Avoid using Mu Gua in large amounts, as excessive consumption may cause adverse reactions such as nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.

  3. Keep Mu Gua out of reach of children and pets.

  4. Store Mu Gua in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture.

  5. If you experience any adverse reactions after using Mu Gua, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.

  6. Be aware that Mu Gua may interact with certain medications, such as anticoagulants and antiplatelet medications.

  7. Use caution when consuming Mu Gua if you are sensitive to herbs or have any allergies.

  8. Be aware that the preparation and storage of Mu Gua can affect its quality and safety. Always follow proper storage and preparation instructions.

  9. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with a healthcare professional before using Mu Gua.

It’s important to note that this is a general guideline and it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or herbalist to determine the right dosage and usage for you

Additional Information about Mu Gua

Common Names: Mu Gua (Chinese Quince Fruit); Chaenomelis Lagenari; Chaenomelis Fructus

Properties: Sour, warm

Channels Entered: Liver, Spleen 

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