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Da Fu Pi

English Name: areca husk, betel nut peel

Pharmaceutical Name: Pericarpium Arecae

Medica Category: Qi-Regulating Herbs

Properties: Da Fu Pi enters the Large Intestine, Small Intestine, Spleen, and Stomach channels; it is acrid in nature and slightly warm in temperature.

What is Da Fu Pi?:

The Chinese Herb Da Fu Pi is the dried husk or peel of the areca nut. The areca nut itself is the seed (encased in fruit) of the areca (or betel nut) palm tree (Areca catechu L.). The areca palm tree is thought to have originated in the Philippines but now is naturalized all over Southeast Asia and the Pacific; in China it predominantly grows in Guanxi, Yunnan, and Hainan provinces. The seeds are harvested from the fruit and then boiled in water and dried—then the peel (Da Fu Pi) is removed from the seed. The seed (minus the peel) is the Chinese herb Bing Lang.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Da Fu Pi:

Da Fu Pi regulates qi and directs its flow downward to address qi stagnation with/from accumulated dampness. It treats bloating and distention of the abdomen and epigastric region when accompanied by feelings of incomplete evacuation after defecation.

Da Fu Pi promotes diuresis to reduce the accumulation of water (i.e. addresses edema and leg qi)

–safety notes:

Use with caution during pregnancy

This herb may exacerbate the extrapyramidal effects of neuroleptic drugs such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), thioridazine (Mellaril) and haloperidol (Haldol) when used concurrently.

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