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 seeds and dry them
Dosage: 6-15 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Clears toxins accumulated from alcoholic drinks. Relieves thirst and eases the mind. Stops vomiting, alleviates dysuria and relieves constipation.
Contraindications*: Not recommended for those have weak Stomach and Spleen due to Coldness.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), japanese raisin tree seeds are plants that belong to the 'Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency' category. Tonic herbs are used for patterns of Deficiency, when one lacks one of the 'Four Treasures' (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Yin tonics have a heavy, moist nature. They either nourish the Kidneys and Liver or moisten the Lungs and Stomach. Extreme Yin Deficiency often translates into a 'burn-out', unfortunately more and more common among people today. It is worth mentioning that another great remedy against Yin Deficiency is a lot of rest and sleep; no herb will ever be able to replace this!
Furthermore japanese raisin tree seeds are plants that are Neutral in nature. This means that japanese raisin tree seeds 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 japanese raisin tree seeds means that you don't have to worry about that!
Japanese raisin tree seeds also taste Sour and 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. Sour ingredients like japanese raisin tree seeds help with digestion and restrain abnormal discharges of fluids from the body, such as diarrhea or heavy sweating. 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 japanese raisin tree seeds are thought to target the Spleen, the Heart and the Lung. 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. In addition to performing respiration, the Lungs are thought to be a key part of the production chain for Qi and the body fluids that nourish the body.
Extracts from H. dulcis accelerate detoxification of ethanol, and possess hepatoprotective, antioxidative, antimicrobial and antidiabetic properties.1
1. Tae Kyung Hyun, Seung Hee Eom, Chang Yeon Yu, Thomas Roitsch (2010). Hovenia dulcis – An Asian Traditional Herb. Planta Med; 76: 943–949.