English: Job's tears
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.
Primary conditions or symptoms for which Yi Yi Ren may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Edema Oliguria Enuresis Rheumatoid arthritis Diarrhea Lung abscess Appendicitis Verruca plana Colitis
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.
Conditions targeted*: TyphoidPyelonephritis and others
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.
In San Ren Tang, Yi Yi Ren leaches out Dampness through the urine. It also treats the Middle Burner by strengthening the Spleen.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 3 herbs
Formula key actions: Expels pus and reduces abscesses. Warms the Yang. Disperses clumping.
Conditions targeted*: Acute appendicitisChronic appendicitis and others
Yi Yi Ren is a king ingredient in Yi Yi Fu Zi Bai Jiang San. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
In Yi Yi Fu Zi Bai Jiang San, Yi Yi Ren is bland, sweet, and slightly cold. Its nature of Heat-Clearing, Dampness-resolving, and pus-expelling make it one of the most frequently used herbs for the treatment of Lung and Intestinal abscesses in TCM.
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.
Conditions targeted*: BronchitisBronchiectasis and others
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.
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.