English: Agrimony

Chinese: 仙鹤草

Parts used: Aerial portion

TCM category: Herbs that stop bleeding

TCM nature: Neutral

TCM taste(s): Bitter

Organ affinity: Spleen Liver Lung

Scientific name: Agrimonia pilosa

Other names: Hairyvein agrimonia herb and bud, Furry agrimony,

Use of Xian He Cao (agrimony) in TCM

Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: Remove any remaining roots and impurities, wash thoroughly, slightly moisten, cut into sections, and then dry.

Dosage: 6-15g

Main actions according to TCM*: Stops bleeding due to its astringent action. Stops diarrhea and helps dysentery. Kills parasites. Detoxifies.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Xian He Cao may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Bleeding Diarrhea Parasites Trichomonas vaginitis Malaria Tapeworms Dysentery Vomiting blood Abnormal uterine bleeding Vaginal itching Hematemesis Hemoptysis Epistaxis Bleeding gums Hematuria Intestinal bleeding

Contraindications*: While this herb is generally considered safe, it should be used cautiously in cases of severe Heat or Fire symptoms.

Key TCM concepts behind Xian He Cao's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Xian He Cao belongs to the 'Herbs that stop bleeding' category. Like the name indicates these herbs tend to have hemostatic properties, meaning that they help stop various types of hemorrhages and echymosis. Unlike other herbs they often tend to be used externally.

Furthermore Xian He Cao is Neutral in nature. This means that Xian He Cao typically doesn't affect the balance in your body. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Eating too many "Hot" (Yang) ingredients can lead to an imbalance whereby one has a Yang Excess. The inverse is true as well: too many "Cold" (Yin) ingredients can lead to a Yin Excess. The Neutral nature of Xian He Cao means that you don't have to worry about that!

Xian He Cao also tastes Bitter. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Bitter ingredients like Xian He Cao tends to have a cleansing action on the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Xian He Cao is thought to target the Spleen, the Liver and the Lung. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body. The Liver on the other hand is often referred as the body's "general" because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and the Body Fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions. In addition to performing respiration, the Lungs are thought in TCM to be a key part of the production chain for Qi and the Body Fluids that nourish the body.