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: After harvest, take the kernel, remove impurities and dry
Dosage: 9 - 30 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Regulates water and encourages urination. Tonic to the Spleen and stops diarrhea caused by Spleen Deficiency. Reduces inflammation and eliminates pus. Dispels Wind-Damp Bi Pain. Expels Damp-Heat.
Contraindications*: This herb should not be used by pregnant women.
Source date: 1798 AD
Number of ingredients: 8 herbs
Formula key actions: Clears Damp-Heat. Disseminates the Qi. Facilitates the Qi mechanisms.
Yi Yi Ren is a king ingredient in San Ren Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Source date: 627 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Formula key actions: Clears heat from the Lungs. Transforms Phlegm. Drives out Blood-Stagnation. Discharges pus.
Yi Yi Ren is a deputy ingredient in Wei Jing Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
In Wei Jing Tang, Yi Yi Ren clears Heat from the Lungs and disperses pus from the upper parts of the body. It also leaches out Dampness and helps restore proper function to the Intestines, thereby providing an outlet for Dampness and Heat through the urine.
Source date: 1798 AD
Number of ingredients: 9 herbs
Formula key actions: Clears and resolves Damp-Heat. Unblocks the meridians. Disbands painful obstruction.
Yi Yi Ren is a deputy ingredient in Xuan Bi Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Yi Yi Ren 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 Yi Yi Ren is Cool in nature. This means that Yi Yi Ren 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 Yi Yi Ren can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Yi Yi Ren also tastes 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. Sweet ingredients like Yi Yi Ren tends 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 Yi Yi Ren is thought to target the Lung, the Spleen and the Stomach. 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. The Spleen on the other hand assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body. 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.
Some studies show Kanglaite injection (an anti-tumor new drug made from Job's tears extracts) could inhibit some anti-apoptotic gene and activate some pro-apoptotic gene, its injection solution is one of the new anticancer medicine that can significantly inhibit a various kinds of tumor cells.1
1. Lu Y, Li CS, Dong Q. (2008). Chinese herb related molecules of cancer-cell-apoptosis: a minireview of progress between Kanglaite injection and related genes. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. , 21;27:31. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-27-31.
Yi Yi Ren is also eaten as food. It is used as an ingredient in dishes such as Coix congee or Job's Tears Salad.