English: Tengerine leaves

Chinese: 橘叶

Parts used: Leaves

TCM category: Herbs that regulate Qi

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): Bitter

Organ affinity: Liver

Scientific name: Citrus reticulata folium

Use of Ju Ye (tengerine leaves) 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 leaves and dry.

Dosage: 5-15g

Main actions according to TCM*: Promotes Qi regulation and remove Qi Stagnation. Soothe the Liver. Dissipates nodulation and swelling. Stops vomiting.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Ju Ye may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Clogged milk ducts Mastitis hypochondriac pain Chest distention Coughing

Key TCM concepts behind Ju Ye's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ju Ye belongs 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 Ju Ye is Warm in nature. This means that Ju Ye tends to help people who have too much 'Cold' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Cold in their body are said to either have a Yin Excess (because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang Deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition Ju Ye can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Ju Ye 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 Ju Ye 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 Ju Ye is thought to target the Liver. In TCM 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.