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Persimmon calyxes

Chinese: 柿蒂

Pinyin: Shì Dì

Parts used: Dried persistent calyx

TCM category: Herbs that regulate Qi

TCM nature: Neutral

TCM taste(s): Bitter

Organ affinity: Stomach Lung

Scientific name: Diospyros kaki

Use of persimmon calyxes (Shi Di) 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 the calyx from the top of the fruit, clean it and dry it, preferably under the sun

Dosage: 3 - 9 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Directs the flow of Qi downward

Primary conditions or symptoms for which persimmon calyxes may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Hiccups Belching

Contraindications*: To be used with caution for patients with prolapsed organs due to Deficient Qi as it has a descending action on the Qi.

Common TCM formulas in which persimmon calyxes (Shi Di) are used*

Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang

Source date: 1706 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Formula key actions: Augments the Qi. Warms the Middle Burner. Directs Rebellious Qi downward. Stops hiccup.

Conditions targeted*: Morning sicknessNeurological hiccup and others

Shi Di is a king ingredient in Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

In Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang, Shi Di is a major herb for stopping hiccup and belching.

Read more about Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang

Key TCM concepts behind persimmon calyxes (Shi Di)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), persimmon calyxes are plants that belong to the 'Herbs that regulate Qi' category. Herbs in this category typically treat a TCM condition called 'Qi Stagnation'. Concretely it means that Qi is blocked in the body's Organs and Meridians, most typically the Stomach, Liver, and to a lesser extent, the Lungs. In modern medicine terms, Qi Stagnation often translates into psychological consequences such as depression, irritability or mood swings. It's also frequently associated with conditions such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopausal symptoms, the development of breast swellings as well as various digestive disorders.

Furthermore persimmon calyxes are plants that are Neutral in nature. This means that persimmon calyxes typically don't affect the balance in your body. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Eating too many "Hot" (Yang) ingredients can lead to an imbalance whereby one has a Yang Excess. The inverse is true as well: too many "Cold" (Yin) ingredients can lead to a Yin Excess. The Neutral nature of persimmon calyxes means that you don't have to worry about that!

Persimmon calyxes also taste 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 persimmon calyxes 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 persimmon calyxes are thought to target the Stomach and the Lung. In TCM 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. 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.