English: Buddleia flowers

Chinese: 密蒙花

Parts used: Dried flower bud and its inflorescence

TCM category: Herbs that clear Heat and purge Fire and/or clear Summer Heat

TCM nature: Cool

TCM taste(s): Sweet

Organ affinity: Liver

Scientific name: Buddleja officinalis

Other names: Butterflybush flowers

Use of Mi Meng Hua (buddleia flowers) 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: Cut the flower bud, remove impurities and dry.

Dosage: 4 - 12 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Clears Liver Heat and brightens the eyes.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Mi Meng Hua may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Bloodshot eyes Swollen eyes Painful eyes Cataract Photophobia Blurred vision Corneal opacity Eye nebula

Key TCM concepts behind Mi Meng Hua's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Mi Meng Hua belongs to the 'Herbs that clear Heat and purge Fire and/or clear Summer Heat' category. Herbs in this category are used to clear inflammatory and infectious conditions, referred to as 'Internal Heat' in TCM. This is why most of the herbs in this category will have both antibacterial and antiviral properties. In TCM one has too much 'Internal Heat' in their body as a result of a deficiency of 'Yin' (which is Cold in nature, see our explanation on Yin and Yang) or, more commonly, an Excess of Yang (Hot in nature). Herbs that clear Heat and purge Fire treat the latter and as such tend to be Cold or Neutral in nature.

As suggested by its category Mi Meng Hua is Cool in nature. This means that Mi Meng Hua tends to help people who have too much 'Heat' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Cold in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Heat in their body are said to either have a Yang Excess (because Yang is Hot in nature) or a Yin deficiency (Yin is Cold in Nature). Depending on your condition Mi Meng Hua can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Mi Meng Hua also tastes Sweet. 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. Sweet ingredients like Mi Meng Hua tends to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Mi Meng Hua is thought to target the Liver. In TCM the Liver 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.