天門冬, Tiān Mén Dōng, Asparagus Root: Classical Chinese Medicine Plant Meditation Reveal Date 1/16

Article published at: Jan 8, 2024 Article author: Lily Michaud
Plant Meditation Club Reveal Date 1/16/24, Chinese Classical Medicine Brown Bear Herbs
All Brown Bear Herbs Herbalism & Tactics for Thriving Together Article comments count: 6

This week we meditated on 天門冬, tiān mén dōng, Radix aspargi, a classical Chinese herb from the Divine Farmer's Materia Medica, or Shén Nóng Běncǎo Jīng.

 

We had a lovely plant meditation with this herb. We steeped the tubers twice and found that different tastes came through.

Mouth/Taste:

The initial flavor of the herb is sweet, with a bitter (puckering) aftertaste. 

Physical:

This herb created temperature changes. Most of us felt warmer (especially our chests) during our mediation. One participant felt significant coldness and constriction in their lungs, then warmth. The main physical symptoms that were experienced were respiratory. Some digestive, liver, and tendon shifts were also experienced. See comments for more details.

Spiritual Shifts:

Our meditations were deep, delving into our internal spaces, seeing our connections with spirit. Participants connected with their animal guide, lands of sacred connection, and internal resouces. 

My experience: I was warm with this plant! Initially the herb held energy in my mouth. It brought to mind thoughts about riding a horse recently. I hadn't worked with a horse with a bit in years. I was worried a little about how the bit was for the horse. The horse did amazing, but I worry about animal fairness. The plant helped bring me into the flesh of my mouth instead of primarily identifying with the hard structures of my mouth. Its focus was more sensual. The plant guided me to the recognition the horse had the power in the relationship but chose to cooperate with me. It guided me to the realization that the "person with the most power needs to take the bit." When I allowed this awareness to take hold, the energy began shifting.  I had a vision of a queen mouse riding a rat. I was greatful for a sense of release around the trauma my mouth/head. The energy moved to where I had a head trauma. Again I felt the energy moving me into full embodiment in the area. I felt like I would be able to work on an art piece that is very hard for me (that is related to the trauma) again. I loved working with this plant and look forward to journeying with it more.

Mouse riding rat. Image from Asparagus, tien men dong, plant meditation. Chinese Classical medicine.

Please see comments for some of the other spiritual experiences people experienced. This herb seems to connect people to sources of strength: connection with spirit animals (hawk), connection with lands (Pacific Northwest rainforests), the heart, the mind. By connecting with our spiritual strength sources, we can turn hurt into wisdom. We can transcend the more fully be embodied while at the same time transcending the mundanity of life. 

The related Asparagus root, Asparagus racemoss, aka Shatavari is available in our ASMR tincture, along with Ashwagandha another herb that is supportive for dryness. 

 

Traditional use in Asia:

Use in Chinese medicine (source) includes: Lung qi deficiency. Yin deficiency. Infertility, moistening (generates fluids), mucilaginous. Constipation due to dry intestines, dry skin, dry respiratory tract. Heat in upper burner.  Soothing to the nervous system (rebuilding for neuro-degenerative conditions). Promotes lucid dreaming, supports meditation. This herb is used for spiritual flight. For transforming grief to wisdom (lung healing). 

This herb is related to Asparagus racemosa, aka Shatavari, meaning "who possesses a hundred husbands" or acceptable to many. It is used as a generally tonifying herb. It is also used specifically for tonifying to the female reproductive system, and as a libido enhancer. Moistening to reproductive tract, as may be needed with age. The use of this herb is related to some of the plant meditation experiences.

Tian Men Dong, radix aspargii, plant meditation

Western use: 

Moistening, lubricating. Dry respiratory tract. Dry skin. Constipation. Dry vagina, infertility, hot flashes, menopausal symptoms. Insomnia and depression (likely hormonally based, or due to drying). Ulcer healing (mucusal resistance, it is mucilaginous), helps control symptoms of AIDS, galactogogue, anti-hepatotoxic. Supports immunity by increasing white blood cells. 

Invitation: 

What are your personal and/or clinical experiences with Asparagus root, Shatavari, tiān mén dōng? If you haven't tried it yet and you are curious: 

 

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Comments 6

Here is an account of my experience with Asparagus Root:

Third eye and sinus vibration activation
Shen-heart, soothing, calming, bringing gentle opening and softness
Saw a Vision of a sword, cut through illusion
Woody and spicy taste like wet fresh wood
Feeling connection to liver and tendons
Saw myself in a rainforest many times
Feeling in body was like a slightly moistening yet pungent and drying effect
Like my body was absorbing and flesh was moving inward

Heat in my solar plexus
Feeling it activate my digestion
Vibration and energy around my temples and third eye
Seeing colors of pink and purple
Feeling softness and balance and increase in energy
Felt adaptogenic in my body
More sensation in my chest opening with little aches

Nali

Monograph on Asparagus/Tian Men Dong from Dan Tennenbaum, as shared to me on FB: Scholars of Chinese Medicine

“Here is my monograph on Asparagus. In my personal practice I often use Asparagus as part of the Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, the Bai He Gu Jin Wan and the Qing Qi Hua Tan Tang.

To find out the effect of any herb, one needs to find its natural habitat, part of plant used, flavor, temperature generated, as well as the effect it has when ingested.

3. ASPARAGUS

PIN YIN: TIAN MEN DONG
PHARMACEUTICAL NAME: RADIX ASPARAGI
COMMON NAME: ASPARAGUS

Medicinal substance: The dried tuberous roots of Asparagus cochinchinensis (Lour.) Merr. (family Liliaceae).

Flavor: Sweet, bitter
Energy: Very cold
Meridian: Lung, Kidney

Effect: Antitussive, diuretic, strengthens, laxative, antibiotic.

Clinical Use:

1. Nourishes the Yin, clears heat, moistens dryness and increases fluids.

Mainly prescribed for deficient heat in the Lung and Kidney. Asparagus Tian Men Dong cools the Lung Yin, strengthens the Kidney water, and eliminates heated phlegm (expectorant effect). It is used for Yin deficient patterns with internal heat manifested by dried out fluids, thirst, Lung heat with dry cough, sticky phlegm, or in more serious cases, coughing up blood and Qi rebellion. Asparagus Tian Men Dong is often combined with other moistening, tonifying or heat clearing substances.

The Asparagus and Ophiopogon Syrup Er Dong Gao combines Asparagus Root Tian Men Dong with Ophiopogon Mai Men Dong for the treatment of dry cough and Qi rebellion caused by Lung dryness.

The Three Inch Pill San Zun Wan matches Radix Asparagus Tian Men Dong with Ginseng Ren Shen and Prepared Rehmannia Shou Di. This nourishes the Yin, moistens dryness, and is used for vacuity of Yin with dried out fluids and thirst.

Dosage: 2 – 4 qian

Contraindication: Spleen and Stomach deficiency with diarrhea.

Clinical and pharmaceutical research:

1. Antibiotic effect: Asparagus Tian Men Dong has a definite inhibitory effect on the growth of Streptococcus Pneumoniae, hemolytic streptococcus, C diphtheria, Pneumococcus, and staphylococcus aureus.
2. The insertion of dry Asparagus Root Tian Men Dong into the neck of the uterus produces a natural widening and softening of the uterine opening, thus facilitating abortion surgery.

Chemical composition:

Asparagine, β-sitosterol, 5-methoxy-methylfurfural, smilagenin, neo-ketose.”

Lily Michaud

I think you might have species mixed up here. While they have the same common name in English and may be the same genus, they are quite different plants / different species.

The herb used in Chinese medicine is Asparagus cochinchinensi 天门冬tiān mén dōng

Shatavari mentioned in the article I believe is Asparagus racemosus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asparagus_racemosus…(satavar%2C%20shatavari%2C,Indian%20subcontinent%2C%20to%20northern%20Australia.

The common vegetable “Asparagus” is Asparagus officinalis.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asparagus

I’ve grown it and seen Tian Men Dong growing in botanical gardens and they are pretty different even just from aerial observation.

jasmine

Very interesting experience, I enjoyed trying to detect the effects of the plant on my meditation practice. I felt my breath warm up after drinking the tea, and I felt like my mind was very stable and quiet. I saw minor visuals while meditating, and overall enjoyed the feeling the tea provided. Would recommend people try this out!

Dain Miller

I was discussing this and horse medicine after Qi Gong today. I came to the sense that the message of those in power needing to take the bit aligns with Pluto transiting from Capricorn to Aquarius. This is a time when power (Pluto) is shifting from the top-down hierarchies to the people. The power has been in the leaders (presidents of companies, pope, religious leaders, principals, deans) of organizations. We have observed significant corruption, such as sociopathic accumulation of wealth and the use of wealth-power to control the government, make money off of war, and degrade the environment, all while the vast majority of the population are struggling with survival needs. As the power shifts to the people (Aquarius), two branches of change need to occur: the people need to step into their agency, and current leaders would be wise to take the bit. Due to the nature of Pluto, those in power who want to retain Capricorn methods (rulers over people) will likely meet with tower moments, if they do not lead by the peoples’ will or with the peoples’ needs in mind. The last time Pluto was in Aquarius the French revolution happened. Revolution is not guaranteed at this time! However, if you have the desire to make changes, the energy is there to support you. You must be are working with the collective will & for the betterment of humanity. Goals centered around power, prestige, and wealth—Capricorn stuff—will not work.
Any herb is working for health. Herbs gain energy from the moon (symbolizes the people in western astrology) and their strength comes from dealing with harsh environments (these aren’t house plants). Health includes cultural dynamics, the community, and mental and emotional wellness. It is not a static form. Herbs healing us means adaptation, growth, transformation, and it may mean breaking through concrete that has been pours over us! Asparagus is so much wood!
Wake up, and change the world. The herbs are here to support you. Through this Plant Meditation Club, my goals is to learn more about the non-physical ways that plants support transformation for a thriving world.

Lily Michaud

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