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English Name: common flax seed, linseed
Pharmaceutical Name: Semen Linum Usitatissimum
Medica Category: Purgatives
Properties: Ya Ma Zi enters the Lung, Liver, and Large Intestine channels; it is sweet in nature and neutral in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Ya Ma Zi is the seeds from the common flax plant (aka linseed — Linum usitatissimum), an annual herb which was first widely cultivated in Egypt many thousands of years ago and is now grown throughout the world for its fibers, which are woven into linen. The seeds of this plant, rich in oils, are what is used medicinally.
Ya Ma Zi moistens the intestines and relaxes the bowels and is used primarily to address constipation.
Ya Ma Zi tonifies Blood and dispels Wind and as such can also be added to formulas to address alopecia and pruritus/dry skin.
Contraindicated during pregnancy.
Contraindicated for use with those who have excessive diarrhea.
Use with care for persons with indigestion/dyspepsia.
Store in a cool, dark, and dry place, preferably in an airtight container because it is the oil in the seeds which make this herb effective and so you don’t want them drying out in storage.
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