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 the leaves and dry
Main actions according to TCM*: Clears the Mind and boosts energy. Promotes urination. Clear internal Heat.
Source date: 1107
Number of ingredients: 9 herbs
Formula key actions: Disperses Wind. Removes pain .
Lv Cha is an assistant ingredient in Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San. This means that it either serves to reinforces the effect of other ingredients or it moderates their toxicity.
In Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San, Lv Cha is bitter and cool.
It causes the clear Yang to ascend and directs the turbid Yin downward, helps to clear the head and eyes, and moderates the undesirable side effects caused by the warm, drying properties of some of the other ingredients.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Lv Cha belongs to the 'Herbs that clear Heat and relieve Toxicity' 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 relieve Toxicity treat the latter while, at the same time, removing infectious toxins from the body. As such they tend to be Cold or Neutral in nature.
As suggested by its category Lv Cha is Cold in nature. This means that Lv Cha typically helps people who have too much 'Heat' in their body. 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 Lv Cha can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Lv Cha 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 Lv Cha 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 Lv Cha is thought to target the Spleen, the Kidney, the Liver and the Lung. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body. 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. 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.