Lotus plumules

Chinese: 莲子心

Pinyin: Lián Zǐ Xīn

Parts used: Dried seed plumules

TCM category: Herbs that clear Heat and purge Fire and/or clear Summer HeatHerbs that cool the Blood

TCM nature: Cold

TCM taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: HeartKidney

Scientific name: Nelumbo nucifera

Use of lotus plumules (Lian Zi Xin) 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: Extract seed plumules and dry them.

Dosage: 2 - 5 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Removes heat from the heart and tranquilizes the mind. Restores the coordination between the Heart and the Kidney. Stop body Fluids loss and stops bleeding.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which lotus plumules may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Insomnia Spermatorrhea Hematemesis Delirium Restlessness Excessive thirst

Contraindications*: Not recommended for those whose body type is cold

Key TCM concepts behind lotus plumules (Lian Zi Xin)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), lotus plumules are plants that belong to the 'Herbs that clear Heat and purge Fire and/or clear Summer Heat' 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 '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 purge Fire treat the latter and as such tend to be Cold or Neutral in nature.

As suggested by its category lotus plumules are plants that are Cold in nature. This means that lotus plumules typically help 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 lotus plumules can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Lotus plumules also taste Bitter. 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. Bitter ingredients like lotus plumules tend 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 lotus plumules are thought to target the Heart and the Kidney. In addition to regulating blood flow, in TCM the Heart is believed to be the store of the "spirit" which basically refers to someone's vitality. 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.