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English Name: siegesbeckia, (eastern or common) St Paul’s Wort
Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Siegesbeckiae
Medica Category: Wind Damp Dispelling Herbs – Channel and Collateral Opening Herbs
Properties: Xi Xian Cao enters the Kidney and Liver channels; it is bitter in nature and cold in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Xi Xian Cao is the aerial parts of common St. Paul’s Wort (Siegesbeckia orientalis L.; Sigesbeckia pubescens Mak.; Sigesbeckia glabracens Mak.), a small shrubby herb in the Asteraceae family which grows in hot climates throughout East Asia —in China, Xi Xian Cao is a common weed whose aerial parts are harvested and dried for use as medicine.
**safety note—extreme caution should be used in cases of pregnancy and with children as this herb may suppress normal development.
Xi Xian Cao dispels wind and dampness and opens the channels and collaterals to treat bi zheng (painful obstruction syndrome); clinical applications of this herb are to treat joint pain, muscles spasms and cramps, and numbness/paralysis associated with post-stroke complications. The use of Xi Xian Cao is not appropriate for people whose Bi syndrome has yin/blood deficiency and/or Spleen/Kidney deficiency as its root cause.
Xi Xian Cao clears heat, dispels dampness, and eliminates toxins to treat various dermatological disorders (damp-heat sores and wind rashes with itching). It can be used either internally or topically for this purpose.
Xi Xian Cao clears heat and pacifies the Liver to address Liver Yang rising manifesting as headaches and dizziness.
Xi Xian Cao is currently being used in China to treat hypertension due to heat (w/Chou Wu Tong).
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