Honeycomb

Chinese: 蜂房

Pinyin: Fēnɡ Fánɡ

Parts used: Honeycomb

TCM category: Herbs that dispel Wind and DampnessHerbs that expel parasites

TCM nature: Neutral

TCM taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: Stomach

Scientific name: Nidus vespae

Use of honeycomb (Feng Fang) 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 practitionner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: Collect the combs. Steam them and remove dead bees.

Dosage: 3 - 5 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Dispels Wind and counteract toxin. Kills parasites and relieves pain.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which honeycomb may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Intestinal parasites Toothache Sores Ulcers Mastitis Scrofula Ringworm Clogged milk ducts

Contraindications*: Should not be taken in case of Qi or Blood deficiency or if one has open, pus-filled sores.

Common TCM formulas in which honeycomb are used*:

Key TCM concepts behind honeycomb (Feng Fang)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), honeycomb are plants that belong to the 'Herbs that dispel Wind and Dampness' category. These herbs typically help treat what's called 'bi pain' (i.e. painful obstruction) in TCM. This roughly corresponds to arthritic and rheumatic conditions with pain, stiffness and numbness of the bones, joints and muscles.

Furthermore honeycomb are plants that are Neutral in nature. This means that honeycomb 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 honeycomb means that you don't have to worry about that!

Honeycomb 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 honeycomb 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 honeycomb are thought to target the Stomach. In TCM the Stomach is responsible for receiving and ripening ingested food and fluids. It is also tasked with descending the digested elements downwards to the Small Intestine.