Peking spurge roots

Chinese: 京大戟

Pinyin: Jīng Dà Jǐ

Parts used: Dried roots

TCM category: Laxative herbs that drain downward

TCM nature: Cold

TCM taste(s): Bitter

Meridian affinity: SpleenKidneyLung

Scientific name: Euphorbia pekinensis

Use of peking spurge roots (Jing Da Ji) 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: Remove impurities, wash, moisturize, cut into thick slices and dry

Dosage: 1.5 - 3 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Drains water downward and drives out Phlegm-Fluids. Reduces swellings and dispels lumps.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which peking spurge roots may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Sores Scrofula Constipation Edema

Contraindications*: Incompatible with liquorice (Gan Cao). Contraindicated for pregnant women.

Key TCM concepts behind peking spurge roots (Jing Da Ji)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), peking spurge roots are plants that belong to the 'Laxative herbs that drain downward' category. The herbs in this category are those whose main purpose is to treat constipation. They're called 'laxative' because they're often rich in oils. This allows them to lubricate the Intestines in order to help it remove the stools from the body.

Furthermore peking spurge roots are plants that are Cold in nature. This means that peking spurge roots 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 peking spurge roots can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Peking spurge roots 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 peking spurge roots 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 peking spurge roots are thought to target the Spleen, the Kidney and the Lung. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, blood coagulation and fluid metabolism in the body. 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. 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.