Chinese Herb Su Mu (Sappan Wood)
Su Mu Herb, Sappan Wood, Brazil Wood, Caesalpinia sappan L; Lignum Sappan
Sweet, Salty, Slightly Pungent, Neutral
Heart, Liver, Spleen
Invigorates Blood, Promotes Menstruation, Stops Pain, Reduces Swelling
Su Mu, from the Sappan Wood tree, was originally exported from Southeast Asia during the 17th century and is used in traditional Chinese medicine. When the wood of the sappan tree is freshly cut, it is yellow in color, but quickly turns to the vibrant red color associated with the Su Mu herb. When put in hot water, the color leaks quickly and within 8 hours the extract will be a deep orange color.
The Su Mu herb has been used to ease abdominal pain postpartum, as well as pain from fractures, falls, and sprains. It also can be used to stop bleeding. Su Mu is known to reduce inflammation and open the channels while harmonizing the Blood. It should not be used during pregnancy or when Blood Stasis is not present. Sappan Wood also as antibiotic properties and is particularly useful when combatting salmonella and staph infections.
The Su Mu herb is compatible with Ru Xiang, Mo Yao, E Zhu, and Dang Shen for treating swelling and pain, promoting the movement of blood, and calming postpartum bleeding especially. In comparison to Hong Hua, Hong Hua is harmonious and warm while Su Mu is cooler. Su Mu is also used more for sprains and features than Hong Hua.
Use caution when treating with Su Mu, as very large doses can result in coma or death. When storing Su Mu, do not use iron containers.