Clarifying the origin of Houzao

Zhongzhen Zhao*, Eric Brand, Hiu Yee Kwan, Simon Q B Han, Mengjia Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Houzao (bezoar) is a valuable imported Chinese medicine that is commonly used as a pediatric medicine to transform phlegm. There are mainly two types of Houzao, "Southeast Asian Houzao" and "Indian Houzao". "Indian Houzao" is the dominant commercial product accounts for over 95% of the actual utilization in the market. However, its origin, formation, composition, efficacy and pharmacology remain unclear. Therefore, we have conducted on-site investigation to clarify the origin of Indian Houzao. We have dissected one male and one female domestic Indian goats in the pastoral areas of Telangana province in south-central India. Our results show: 1. Indian Houzao originates from Indian goats rather than from macaques; it comes from goats and not sheep, and is not limited to female goats. Conclusion: Our study has clarified the origin of Indian Houzao, which can help to further develop Indian Houzao for the treatment of diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
JournalChinese Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

User-Defined Keywords

  • Acacia nilotica (L.) Delile
  • Caecum
  • Concretion
  • Goat bezoar
  • Houzao (bezoar)
  • Indian goat


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