Mu Li

Ostreae Concha, Oyster Shell


For oral intaking, 15-30 g/dose decocted with water, often be decocted for certain time before other drugs being put in.

Chemical Composition

Calcium carbonate; Silicate; Aspartic acid; Glycine; Serine; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Decosahexemoic acid; Calendic acid; Octadecadienoic acid; Eicosatetraenoic acid; Calcium phosphate; Calcium sulfate; Glutamic acid; Taurine; Glycogen; Glutathione; Linolenic acid; Linolic acid; Glucose; Fucose; Aminohexose; Methyl pentose; Cysteine; Ferric oxide; Zinc; Manganese; Barium; Phosphorus; Calcium; Copper; Cobalt; Cadmium; Nickel; Lead; Silicon; Aluminum; Magnesium; Potassium; Chromium; Iron; Selenium; Molybdenum; Strontium; Titanium; Vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E. (1) , (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) , (7) , (8)


Long-term use or over-dose of oyster shell can cause constipation or dyspepsia. In addition, there have been one report of oyster shell causing emetocatharsis and another of it triggering digoxin poisoning. (9) , (10)


Increasing sensibility to in-vitro radiation

Research shows that the extract of fresh oyster flesh and the water solution of dry oyster powder can significantly increase the g-ray’s effect in killing tumor cells. The sensibility could be increased by as much as 34.5%-52.6% (P

Preventive effect on experimental gastric ulcers

Experiments show that processed oyster shell (in 0.6 mol/L) has a significant effect in preventing experimental gastric ulcers (induced by HCL), abosolute ethyl alcohol or pylorus ligation. (11)

Positive immunoregulatory effect

Fed to mice for extended periods of time, oyster shell extract can significantly increase the T cell count and the percentage of Th subpopulation, promote ConA and LPS-induced lymphocyte proliferation, and enhance the activity of NK cells. Furthermore, oyster shell extract can counteract cyclophosphamide-induced immune depression, restoring the lowered total lymphocyte count, Th subset and Th/Ts ratio to within the normal ranges. (12)

Antineoplastic effect

Hepatocarcinoma HAC-bearing Balb/c mice were fed with oyster shell extract, 20 mg/d (dissolved in 0.2 ml water), for 10 consecutive days. The results showed that the tumor-induced decrease in immunological parameters, including total T-lymphocyte count, Th cell percentage, mytomycin-induced lymphocyte transformation rate and NK cell activity, were increased significantly. Moreover, the weight of the tumor was significantly less than that in the control group and the survival time of the host animal was lengthened. (13)

Effect on immune function and stress

Experiments show that water-based extract of oyster shell increases lymphocyte transformation in peripheral blood, lengthens mice’s anoxia endurance. In comparison with the control group, the differences in these effects were significant (P


  1. Liu Qi, et al. Journal of Changchun College of TCM. 1994;10(4):45.
  2. Wang Shun Nian, et al. China Journal of Ocean Medicinal Products. 1991;10(1):15-16.
  3. Zhao Zhong Jie, et al. China Journal of Ocean Medicinal Products. 1991;10(1):11-14.
  4. Jiangsu Modern Medical College (ed). Dictionary of Chinese Materia Medica, vol. 1. Shanghai People’s Press; 1977.
  5. Wang Shun Nian, et al. China Journal of Ocean Medicinal Products. 1991;10(1):15-16.
  6. Zhang Hou Bao, et al. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1990;15(12):711-713, 763.
  7. Zhang Hong Yu, et al. China Journal of Ocean Medicinal Products. 1994;3(4):17-19.
  8. Lu Gui Qing. Traditional Chinese Medicine Bulletin. 1985;10(7):17-18.
  9. Guo Long En. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1990;15(9):570.
  10. Gui Hong Mei. Journal of Applied Integrated Medicine. 1990;3(5):288-289.
  11. Nie Shu Qin, et al. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1994;19(7):405-407.
  12. Zhang Dong Qin, et al. Shanghai Journal of Immunology. 1995;15(1):18-21.
  13. Wang Ke, et al. China Journal of Ocean Medicinal Products. 1997;16(1):18-22.