English Name: bulrush, cattail pollen
Pharmaceutical Name: Pollen Typhae
Medica Category: Stop-Bleeding Herbs
Properties: Pu Huang enters the Liver and Pericardium channels; it is sweet in nature and neutral in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Pu Huang is pollen from narrow-leaf cattail (Typha angustifolia L.) or the pollen from bulrush (Typha orientalis Presl.). These are wetland plants that grow on the edges of ponds, lakes and streams throughout the world, and are often considered to be invasive species. Cattails and bulrushes bloom in the summer and produce copious amounts of pollen on the heads of these flowers. The pollen is collected and used either unprocessed or charred as medicine.
Pu Huang both activates blood circulation and stops bleeding—the unprocessed form activates blood circulation and dispels stasis while the charred form is used to stop bleeding.
Clinical applications of Pu Huang to stop bleeding include abnormal/chronic uterine bleeding, nosebleeds, coughing/vomiting up blood, and blood in the stools/urine.
In its action to activate blood circulation and dispel stasis Pu Huang relieves pain in a variety of gynecological disorders with blood stagnation at the root. (n.b. pain from blood stagnation is the kind of pain that gets worse upon palpation).
Pu Huang promotes urination to treat xue lin (bloody dysuria).
Recent research has shown that Pu Huang promotes contractions of the uterus and is thus contraindicated for use during pregnancy.
Pu Huang is contraindicated in the absence of blood stasis.
Pu Huang invigorates blood and therefore has the possibility of interfering with anticoagulant medications (e.g. warfarin (Coumadin) and enoxaparin (Lovenox)) and antiplatelet medications (e.g. aspirin, dipyridamole (Persantine), and clopidogrel (Plavix)). Note that this potential interaction of Pu Huang and these medications has not been documented; nevertheless, it is prudent to be aware of its possibility.