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Eucommia leaves

Chinese: 杜仲叶

Pinyin: Dù Zhòng Yè

Parts used: Leaves

TCM category: Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): Pungent

Organ affinity: Kidney Liver

Scientific name: Eucommia ulmoides

Use of eucommia leaves (Du Zhong Ye) 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: Collect leaves and dry

Dosage: 10 to 15g

Main actions according to TCM*: Strengthens the Liver and the Kidneys

Primary conditions or symptoms for which eucommia leaves may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Vertigo Knee weakness Sore lower back Sore knees Weak back

Contraindications*: Should not be used by those with Heat signs associated with Yin Deficiency. Should not be used in conjunction with Ningpo figwort root (Xuan Shen).

Key TCM concepts behind eucommia leaves (Du Zhong Ye)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), eucommia leaves are plants that belong to the 'Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency' category. Tonic herbs are used for patterns of Deficiency, when one lacks one of the 'Four Treasures' (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Yang Tonics are generally used in combination with a small amount of Yin tonics. If Yin is deficient, neither Qi nor Yang herbs alone will be effective. The most common symptoms associated with Yang Deficiency are low libido and impotence. It is worth mentioning that another very effective remedy against Yang Deficiency is regular exercise.

Furthermore eucommia leaves are plants that are Warm in nature. This means that eucommia leaves tend to help people who have too much 'Cold' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Cold in their body are said to either have a Yin Excess(because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang Deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition eucommia leaves can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Eucommia leaves also taste Pungent. 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. Pungent ingredients like eucommia leaves tend to promote the circulations of Qi and Body Fluids. That's why for instance someone tends to sweat a lot when they eat spicy/pungent food.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such eucommia leaves are thought to target the Kidney and the Liver. According to TCM, the Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of 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.