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Lu Hui

English Name: aloe, aloe vera

Pharmaceutical Name: Aloe

Medica Category: Downward Draining Herbs– Purgatives

Properties: Lu Hui enters the Liver and Large intestine channels; it is bitter in nature and cold in temperature.

What is Lu Hui?:

The Chinese Herb Lu Hui is the dried concentrate of juice of the succulent variety Aloe vera L. var. chinensis (Haw.) Berger (A. ferox Mill and A. vera L. are also considered medicinal). It is native to tropical and southern Africa and parts of the Arabian peninsula and over time has been naturalized to tropical regions around the world. In China, it is grows/is produced commercially in Yunnan, Guangdong and Guangxi provinces. The Aloe vera plant produces rosettes of thick, fleshy leaves which contain a jelly-like inner pulp. The juice is collected from this pulp and concentrated, then dried and ground into powder/pill form for use as medicine (as decoction is not recommended due to the unpleasant odor and bitter nature of this substance).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Lu Hui:

Lu Hui drains fire and purges accumulations downwards and is used to address chronic constipation, especially that which is accompanied by signs of Heart heat (e.g. irritability and insomnia).

It also clears accumulated heat from the Liver channel (to purge Liver fire) and addresses such clinical presentations as red eyes, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, epigastric discomfort, hypochondriac pain, and infantile convulsions.

A small amount of Lu Hui also serves to guide other heat-clearing herbs (such as Huang Qin (scutellaria root), Long Dan Cao (gentian root), and Chai Hu (bupleurum root)) to the Liver channel to address hepatitis.

Lu Hui kills the intestinal parasites roundworm and ringworm and is used to address infant and childhood malnutrition from this cause.

Lu Hui can be used topically to address itching due to parasites, hemorrhoids, or chronic skin conditions that do not respond to other treatments.

–safety/clinical notes:

Contraindicated during pregnancy and menstruation.

Contraindicated in persons with rectal bleeding.

Contraindicated for persons with cold and deficiency in the Spleen and Stomach.

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