English Name: citron fruit
Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Citri
Medica Category: Qi-Regulating Herbs
Properties: Xiang Yuan enters the Liver, Spleen, and Lung channels; it is acrid, slightly bitter, and sour in nature and warm in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Xiang Yuan is dried slices of citron fruit (Citrus medica L.; Citrus wilsonii Tanaka), one of the three original citrus species from which all other types of citrus are derived. It is thought to be native to India but now has cosmopolitan distribution in climates where it is not harmed by frost. The fruit of this shrub/tree is encased by a thick, bulbous, yellow rind; the fruit is harvested when mature and then sliced and dried for use as medicine.
Xiang Yuan spreads Liver qi and regulates qi (to harmonize the middle jiao) to address chest congestion presenting as cough with profuse sputum and tightness. It also addresses abdominal pain and fullness; due to its bitter nature and downward action, it also helps relieve belching, hiccups, and vomiting in cases of qi stagnation in the middle (in formula with other qi-regulating herbs).
**safety note—Xiang Yuan should be used with caution during pregnancy.