Atractylodes: Baizhu and Cangzhu

 The statement about making the body feel light refers to the role of herbs as longevity tonics, and Taoist practices towards that aim that led to loss of body weight and appetite (usually from consuming heavy metals in alchemical mixtures). Dead muscles and tetany refer to paralysis of the muscles either by flaccidity (no ability to contract on will) or tonic paralysis (being in constant spasm). Jaundice indicates yellowing of the skin, which we know today is usually from hepatitis or biliary blockage; but, in traditional medicine, this was seen as a debility of the spleen, which is the organ of the earth element associated with the color yellow. Zhu would help stop sweating by diverting the fluid to urination and by strengthening the body to resist spontaneous sweating (a sign of weak qi unable to hold the pores closed). One of the indicators for using atractylodes in a diuretic formulation is that there is limited urinary elimination but excessive sweating. Although zhu is warm in nature, it was used to eliminate heat by purging dampness that carried out heat with it.