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Chou Wu Tong

English Name: harlequin glorybower tree leaf, peanut butter tree leaf, clerodendron leaf

Literal Translation: “stinky Chinese parasol tree”

Pharmaceutical Name: Folium Clerodendri Trichotomi

Medica Category: Wind Damp Dispelling Herbs – Channel and Collateral Opening Herbs

Properties: Chou Wu Tong enters the Liver channel; it is acrid, bitter, and sweet in nature and cool in temperature.

What is Chou Wu Tong?:

The Chinese Herb Chou Wu Tong is the dried leaves from the harlequin glorybower tree (Clerodendron tricotomum Thunb.), a large deciduous shrub/tree native to China and Japan whose leaves, when crushed, produce a peanut butter-like odor. This herb is most effective if the leaves are harvested before the flowers bloom in the mid-late spring.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Chou Wu Tong:

Chou Wu Tong dispels wind and dampness to treat bi zheng (painful obstruction syndrome) with such presentations as musculoskeletal pain, numbness and pain, and hemiplegia (i.e. post-stroke complications). It can be used topically as a wash to treat eczema and itchy rashes of the skin.

Chou Wu Tong is currently being used in China to treat hypertension due to heat (w/ Xi Xian Cao).

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