English: Gold coin herb

Chinese: 金钱草

Parts used: Dried aerial parts

TCM category: Herbs that drain Dampness

TCM nature: Cool

TCM taste(s): SaltySweet

Organ affinity: Bladder Gallbladder Kidney Liver

Scientific name: Lysimachia christinae

Other names: Gold Coin Grass, Gold money herb or Ground Ivy

Use of Jin Qian Cao (gold coin herb ) 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 impurities, wash, soak in water, cut and dry.

Dosage: 10 - 30 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Drains Damp-Heat. Promotes urination. Cools Heat and disperses swellings. Cools Blood and dispels Toxicity.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Jin Qian Cao may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Urinary tract infection Jaundice Carbuncles Sores Snake bites bladder stones Urinary stones Ulcers Eczema Burns Loss of appetite Fatigue Abdominal pain

Contraindications*: This substance should not be used when there are no signs of a Damp-Heat condition and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Common TCM formulas in which Jin Qian Cao is used*

Pai Shi Tang

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Formula key actions: Discharge Gallstones. Clear Damp-Heat. Facilitate urination.

Conditions targeted*: Hepatic calculusCommon Bile Duct Stone and others

Jin Qian Cao is an assistant ingredient in Pai Shi Tang. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.

In Pai Shi Tang, Jin Qian Cao drains Damp-Heat, promotes urination, cools Heat, dispels toxicity and disperses swellings. 

Read more about Pai Shi Tang

Key TCM concepts behind Jin Qian Cao's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Jin Qian Cao belongs to the 'Herbs that drain Dampness' category. These herbs are typically diuretics, meaning that they promotes the increased production of urine in order to remove Dampness that has accumulated in the body. According to TCM Dampness accumulates first in the lower limbs, causing edema and impaired movement. From there, if unchecked, it can move upward and impair digestion and eventually the respiratory system.

Furthermore Jin Qian Cao is Cool in nature. This means that Jin Qian Cao 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 Jin Qian Cao can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Jin Qian Cao also tastes Salty and 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. Salty ingredients like Jin Qian Cao tends to have a draining effect in the body because they clear accumulations, remove Phlegm and soften hard lumps. On the other hand Sweet ingredients 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 Jin Qian Cao is thought to target the Bladder, the Gallbladder, the Kidney and the Liver. In TCM the impure water collected by the Kidneys that cannot be used by the body is sent to the Bladder for storage and excretion as urine. Similar to modern medicine, in TCM the Gallbladder stores and releases bile produced by the Liver. It also controls the emotion of decisiveness. 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 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.

Research on Jin Qian Cao

The aqueous extract of Lysimachia christinae possesses potent hypuricemic effects on models of hyperuricemia in mice pretreated with oxonate.1


1. Wang HD, Ge F, Guo YS, Kong LD. [Effects of aqueous extract in herba of Lysimachia christinae on hyperuricemia in mice]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2002 Dec;27(12) 939-41, 944. PMID: 12776538.