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English Name: turmeric rhizome
Literal Translation: “ginger yellow”
Pharmaceutical Name: Rhizoma Curcumae Longae
Medica Category: Blood-Invigorating and Stasis-Removing Herbs
Properties: Jiang Huang enters the Spleen and Liver channels; it is acrid and bitter in nature and warm in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Jiang Huang is the dried rhizome of Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric. The plant itself grows to about 3 – 4 ft. tall and produces spikes of pale yellow flowers when it blooms. The rhizomes are collected in the winter after the leaves and stems have withered; they are dried and sliced for use as medicine.
Jiang Huang strongly activates blood circulation and is commonly used to break blood stasis that has at its root qi and/or blood stagnation in the Liver channel. Clinical uses of this herb include: hypochondriac and abdominal pain due associated with amenorrhea or dysmenorrhea as well as chest, flank, and epigastric pain.
Jiang Huang opens the channels and collaterals to treat wind-damp bi zheng (painful obstruction syndrome) which manifests as pain and stiffness in the muscles of the neck and shoulders.
Jiang Huang reduces swelling and pain in sores and lesions caused by toxic-heat accumulation with qi and blood stagnation.
Contraindicated during pregnancy
Use with caution in persons with underlying deficiency patterns or those with no symptoms of blood stagnation.
Jiang Huang should be used with caution in persons taking anticoagulant medications (e.g. warfarin (Coumadin) and enoxaparin (Lovenox)) and antiplatelet medications (e.g. aspirin, dipyridamole (Persantine), and clopidogrel (Plavix)) as it may combine with these medications to have additive or synergistic effects. Note that this potential interaction of Jiang Huang and these medications has not been documented; nevertheless, it is prudent to be aware of its possibility.