English: Oldenlandia

Chinese: 白花蛇舌草

Parts used: Whole plants

TCM category: Herbs that clear Heat and relieve Toxicity

TCM nature: Cold

TCM taste(s): Bitter

Organ affinity: Heart Large intestine Liver Lung

Scientific name: Hedyotis Diffusae Herba

Other names: She She Cao

Use of Bai Hua She She Cao (oldenlandia) 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 practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: Collect the herb, remove impurities, clean and dry.

Dosage: 15-30g

Main actions according to TCM*: Clears Toxic-Heat. Promotes Blood circulation and relieves pain. Promotes urination and reduce swellings.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Bai Hua She She Cao may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Swollen throat Throat pain Coughing Wheezing Edema Snake bites Hepatitis Appendicitis Tonsilitis Urinary system infection Intestinal abscess Dysentery Jaundice Malignant tumor Carbuncles Furuncles Sore Enteritis Cancer

Key TCM concepts behind Bai Hua She She Cao's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Bai Hua She She Cao belongs to the 'Herbs that clear Heat and relieve Toxicity' 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 'Internal 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 relieve Toxicity treat the latter while, at the same time, removing infectious toxins from the body. As such they tend to be Cold or Neutral in nature.

As suggested by its category Bai Hua She She Cao is Cold in nature. This means that Bai Hua She She Cao typically helps 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 Bai Hua She She Cao can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Bai Hua She She Cao also tastes Bitter. 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. Bitter ingredients like Bai Hua She She Cao tends 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 Bai Hua She She Cao is thought to target the Heart, the Large intestine, the Liver and the Lung. In addition to regulating Blood flow, in TCM the Heart is believed to be the store of the 'Mind' which basically refers to someone's vitality. The Large Intestine on the other hand receives the "impure" parts of the digested food from the Small Intestine, absorbs the remaining fluids and excrete the remainder as feces. The Liver is often referred as the body's "general" because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and the Body Fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions. 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.