Shiral leaves

Chinese: 布渣叶

Pinyin: Bù Zhā Yè

Parts used: Dried leaf

TCM category: Herbs that relieve Food Stagnation

TCM nature: Cool

TCM taste(s): Sour

Meridian affinity: SpleenStomach

Scientific name: Microcos paniculata

Use of shiral leaves (Bù Zhā Yè) 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: Pick leaves, wash and dry them

Dosage: 15-30g.

Main actions according to TCM*: Helps with digestive issues, removes Heat, diuretic effect.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which shiral leaves may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Indigestion Loss of appetite Heatstroke Abdominal pain Abdominal colic Diarrhea

Key TCM concepts behind shiral leaves' properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), shiral leaves are plants that belong to the 'Herbs that relieve Food Stagnation' category. These herbs typically possess digestive and Food moving properties as they relate to the Stomach and Spleen. Some of these herbs are high in digestive enzymes and have varying specific abilities to help with the digestion of food.

Furthermore shiral leaves are plants that are Cool in nature. This means that shiral leaves tend 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 shiral leaves can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Shiral leaves also taste Sour. 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. Sour ingredients like shiral leaves help with digestion and restrain abnormal discharges of fluids from the body, such as diarrhea or heavy sweating.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what organs and meridians they target. As such shiral leaves are thought to target the Spleen and the Stomach. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, blood coagulation and fluid metabolism in the body. The Stomach on the other hand is responsible for receiving and ripening ingested food and fluids. It is also tasked with descending the digested elements downwards to the Small Intestine.

Research on shiral leaves

Shiral leaves may provide a source of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activities.1

Sources:

1. MA Aziz (2015). "Qualitative phytochemical screening and evaluation of anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activities of Microcos paniculata barks and fruits". Journal of Integrative Medicine. Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 173-184