English Name: catechu, black catechu
Literal Translation: “child’s tea”
Pharmaceutical Name: Catechu
Medica Category: Substances for Topical Application
Properties: Er Cha enters the Lung channel; it is bitter and astringent in nature and cool in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Er Cha is derived from the cutch tree (Acacia catechu (L.) Willd.) which grows in dry, open forests and plains of India (and is also cultivated commercially throughout Southeast Asia). It is made by grinding up the wood of the acacia catechu and boiling it in water for 12 hours. The wood is removed from the water, and the remaining extract is reduced until it forms the consistency of a syrup; the syrup is then poured into molds, dried, and broken up into irregular pieces for use as medicine. It can also be ground into powder form and made into pills (again for internal use) or mixed with other herbs and made into a paste (for topical applications).
Er Cha drains dampness and absorbs seepage to promote the healing of oozing, non-healing sores and lesions that are filled with purulent fluid.
Er Cha stops bleeding and is used both internally and topically to address such clinical presentations as gastrointestinal bleeding, bleeding gums, bleeding hemorrhoids, epistaxis, profuse uterine bleeding, and bleeding due to trauma.
Er Cha goes to the Lung where it clears heat and dispels phlegm to address cough with yellow sputum.
Er Cha generates fluids and stops diarrhea to treat thirst and diarrhea/dysentery caused by summer heat patterns.
Er Cha relieves food stagnation and promotes digestion in children.