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English Name: frankincense, olibanum
Pharmaceutical Name: Gummi Olibanum
Medica Category: Blood-Invigorating and Stasis-Removing Herbs
Properties: Ru Xiang enters the Heart, Liver, and Spleen channels; it is acrid and bitter in nature and warm in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Ru Xiang is frankincense (aka olibanum), an aromatic, gum-like resin that comes from tapping various trees in the Boswellia family (Boswellia carterii Birdw.; syn Boswellia sacra plus four other species that produce true frankincense) that grow native in parts of India and East Africa.
Ru Xiang activates blood circulation and relieves pain and is used (often together with Mo Yao (myrrh)) to address pain caused by qi and blood stagnation. It is excellent at relaxing tendons and is more commonly used to treat bi zheng (painful obstruction syndrome) characterized by musculoskeletal aches and pains, although it also can be used to address pain related to dysregulated menses and traumatic injury as well as epigastric pain (related to Liver qi stagnation).
Ru Xiang reduces swelling and promotes the generation of flesh and is used (usually in formula with heat clearing and blood-cooling herbs) to treat a wide variety of abscesses and sores characterized by redness, pain, and swelling. It can be used topically (with Mo Yao (myyrh) as a powder) to treat skin lesions and ulcerations.
Ru Xiang is contraindicated for pregnant women as well as persons who do not have blood stagnation.
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