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Bai Ji Li

English Name: tribulus fruit, puncture vine caltrop fruit

Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Tribuli

Medica Category: Liver-Calming and Wind-Extinguishing Herbs

Properties: Bai Ji Li enters the Liver channel; it is bitter and acrid in nature and neutral in temperature.

What is Bai Ji Li?:

The Chinese Herb Bai Ji Li is the dried fruits of Tribulus terrestris L., a small, leafy plant commonly known as puncture vine. Puncture vine originates from the Mediterranean area of Europe and Africa but is now distributed pretty much throughout the world in any dry, temperate climate. It spreads easily, is difficult to remove, and is considered invasive in many contexts. It is also known for its small, thorny fruits which can puncture bare feet and bike tires. These same burs have a long history of use in TCM, dating back to at least the second century; they are collected in the autumn when ripe, cleaned, and then the thorns are ground off. Finally, they are dry-fried or fried in salt water for use as medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Bai Ji Li:

Bai Ji Li pacifies the Liver and anchors Liver yang rising to address disorders of the head that may present with such symptoms as blurred vision, headache, dizziness, vertigo, or hypertension.

Bai Ji Li has acrid and has dispersing qualities that help facilitate the flow of qi in the Liver when it has stagnated. Clinical presentations of Liver qi stagnation include: feelings of chest and hypochondriac fullness and pain, irritability, and irregular menstruation and insufficient lactation in women.

Bai Ji Li dispels wind and brightens the eyes and is commonly used to treat eye disorders caused by heat in the Liver channel. Clinical presentations of this pattern include redness, itching, swelling, and pain in the eyes; superficial visual obstructions (e.g. floaters), increased tearing, and photophobia.

Bai Ji Li dispels wind and stops itching in a variety of skin disorders that have a component of blood deficiency, to include: eczema, skin lesions, vitiligo, and urticaria (hives).

–safety/clinical notes:

Contraindicated during pregnancy (as it may induce miscarriage).

Use with caution for persons with blood deficiency.

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