Cattail pollen

Chinese: 蒲黄

Pinyin: Pú Huáng

Parts used: Dried pollen

TCM category: Herbs that stop bleeding

TCM nature: Neutral

TCM taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenHeartLiverPericardium

Scientific name: Typha angustifolia or Typha orientalis

Use of cattail pollen (Pu Huang) 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: Simply extract the pollen from the plant and dry it

Dosage: 5 - 10 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Stops bleeding by Cooling pathogenic Heat. Moves Blood and relieves Blood Stagnation.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which cattail pollen may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Traumatic bleeding Nosebleed Excessive menstrual discharge Chest pain Menstrual cramps Delayed menstruation Hematemesis Dysmenorrhea

Contraindications*: This herb should not be used during pregnancy.

Key TCM concepts behind cattail pollen (Pu Huang)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cattail pollen are plants that belong 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 cattail pollen are plants that are Neutral in nature. This means that cattail pollen typically don'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 cattail pollen means that you don't have to worry about that!

Cattail pollen also taste Sweet. The so-called "five elements" theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Sweet ingredients like cattail pollen tend 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 cattail pollen are thought to target the Spleen, the Heart, the Liver and the Pericardium. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, blood coagulation and fluid metabolism in the body. In addition to regulating blood flow, the Heart is believed to be the store of the "spirit" which basically refers to someone's vitality. The Liver is often referred as the body's "general" because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and body fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions. The Pericardium is also called the "heart protector". It is the first line of defence for the Heart against external pathogenic influences