English Name: amomum fruit, cardamon
Literal Translation: “sand seeds”
Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Amomi
Medica Category: Aromatic Damp-Dissolving Herbs
Properties: Sha Ren enters the Spleen and Stomach channels; it is acrid in nature and warm and aromatic in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Sha Ren is the mature fruit of a perennial herb in the ginger family (similar to cardamon– Amomum villosum Lour.) that produces leafy stems up to 10ft tall from a creeping rhizome. This plant ranges from South China through most of the rest of Southeast Asia; it is cultivated for its seed pods, which are harvested in the summer and fall after the spring flowering has given way to fruiting.
Sha Ren promotes the movement of qi, aromatically transforms (dissolves) dampness, and warms and strengthens the Spleen. It is used to dissolve dampness that has accumulated in the middle jiao to the point that the transport and transformation (T & T) functions of the Spleen are impaired (i.e. have stagnated). Furthermore, Sha Ren not only dissolves this accumulated dampness but also acts to actively restore the Spleen’s T & T functions. Clinical indications for its use include: epigastric bloating and abdominal distention, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Sha Ren warms the middle jiao to address diarrhea that comes from cold and accumulated dampness.
Sha Ren calms the fetus and stabilizes pregnancy and is used in China to address bleeding, abnormal pain, and severe nausea and vomiting in the context of an unstable pregnancy (with accompanying qi stagnation and middle jiao deficiency).
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