Pi Pa Ye
English Name: loquat leaf, eriobotrya leaf
Pharmaceutical Name: Folium Eriobotryae
Medica Category: Cough- and Wheezing- Relieving Herbs
Properties: Pi Pa Ye enters the Lung and Stomach channels; it is bitter in nature and cool in temperature.
What is Pi Pa Ye?:
The Chinese Herb Pi Pa Ye is dried leaf of eriobotrya (aka loquat or Japanese plum—Eriobotrya japonica (Thumb.) Lindl.), a short-trunked, broadleaf evergreen tree/shrub that blooms with panicles of fragrant white flowers which in turn are followed by the appearance of small, spherical fruits. The leaves of the loquat tree are gathered in the late spring/early summer. They are dried, and then the downy covering is brushed off (as the tiny hairs can irritate the throat if ingested). What remains is cut into small pieces to be used as medicine. Unprocessed, it is better at relieving nausea and vomiting; baking/frying in honey increases its moistening properties for the Lung to stop cough (see below).
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Pi Pa Ye:
Pi Pa Ye cools Lung heat, dissolves phlegm, and redirects rising Lung qi to stop cough due to Lung heat, which presents with expectoration of copious yellow sputum and dry mouth; it also addresses cough caused by Lung heat with dryness, which presents as a cough (also with yellow sputum and dry mouth) but with the feeling that there is still phlegm in the chest after expectoration.
Pi Pa Ye relieves nausea and vomiting due to excess heat that is causing Stomach qi to rebel (i.e. move upward instead of in its normal, downward direction). Secondary symptoms of this pattern include sour-smelling (bad) breath and acid regurgitation.
Pi Pa Ye is not suitable for use for cough or nausea/vomiting caused by cold conditions.