English Name: litchi seed, lychee seed
Pharmaceutical Name: Semen Litchi
Medica Category: Qi-Regulating Herbs
Properties: Li Zhi He enters the Liver and Stomach channels; it is sweet and astringent in nature and warm in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Li Zhi He is the dried seed of the lychee fruit (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) ground into powder and decocted into medicine.
Li Zhi He regulates qi and disperses cold-stagnation to address cold “bulging” disorders associated with the Liver channel like hernias, and testicular swelling and pain. It is also useful in addressing chronic hypochondriac (flank) pain due to Liver qi stagnation as well as premenstrual or postpartum pain due to qi and blood stagnation.
**safety note—Li Zhi He is contraindicated for persons who do not show cold and dampness accumulations in their presentations.
Li Zhi He has been shown to lower plasma glucose levels and should be used with caution for those taking insulin, sulfonylureas and other antidiabetics such as tolbutamide (Orinase), glipizide (Glucotrol) and glyburide (DiaBeta/Micronase) as there may be a synergistic effect leading to hypoglycemia.