English Name: Chinese lobelia
Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Lobeliae Chinensis
Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Toxin-Eliminating Herbs
Properties: Ban Bian Lian enters the Heart, Lung, and Small Intestine channels; it is acrid in nature and cold in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Ban Bian Lian is the dried aerial parts of the Chinese (or creeping) lobelia plant (Lobelia chinensis), a low-growing, herbaceous perennial with pale pink to white flowers that bloom in the late summer and into the autumn. This plant is native to paddy fields, moist meadows, bogs, stream banks, and among wet grasses in China and across Southeast Asia but now has a home in North America (both cultivated and growing wild) wherever she can find nice, moist soil and a little shade in the afternoon.
Ban Bian Lian clears heat and removes toxins and can be used topically or internally to treat various skin conditions that have damp-heat toxicity at their root, notably insect bites, snakebites, and bee stings (but is useful in reducing redness and swelling in other sores, swellings, and ulcerations of the skin as well).
Ban Bian Lian regulates water circulation and eliminates water retention to reduce edema (w/Fu Ling, Zhu Ling, and Ze Xie) and to address ascites with dysuria.