Since ancient times, the Chinese have been aware of the gallbladder (identified as one of the six fu organs) and aware of its ability to form stones. Gallstones of the ox (niuhuang) have long been used in traditional medicine: they were listed in the Shennong Bencao Jing (ca. 100 A.D.). It is thought that the medicinal use of the ox gallstone may have originated in India, from which it was then adopted in China (1), along with other ancient Indian remedies, such as ginger root. In the Chinese tradition, ox gallstone is used to "open the orifices of the heart," when there are symptoms of delirium, convulsions, and loss of consciousness in feverish diseases, and also to treat swellings in the throat and mouth.