English Name: alpine fruit, sharp-leaf galangal fruit
Literal Translation: “benefit the intelligence seed”
Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Alpinae Oxyphyllae
Medica Category: Yang-Tonifying Herbs
Properties: Yi Zhi Ren enters the Kidney and Spleen channels; it is acrid in nature and warm in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Yi Zhi Ren is the dried fruit of the sharp leaf galangal plant (aka black cardamom– Alpinia oxyphylla Miq.), which is a small herbaceous perennial that grows wild in South China. It flowers in the summer and produces fruits which are harvested when they ripen. The fruits are then sun-dried for use as medicine. Unprocessed, Yi Zhi Ren has a marked drying effect to address stomach and middle jiao issues; it can also be salt-fried, which directs it toward the Kidney (see section directly below).
Yi Zhi Ren is a warming digestive and Kidney tonic, fortifying yang in both the Spleen and Kidney. Unprocessed, Yi Zhi Ren warms the Spleen to address chronic, watery diarrhea/loose stools, abdominal cold, fullness, and pain with excessive salivation. Salt-fried, it is directed to the Kidney where it addresses deficiency and cold (i.e. it warms the Kidney) and consolidates fluids to address spermatorrhea, enuresis, frequent nocturnal urinary urges/urination, uterine bleeding, and clear/watery leukorrhea.
Contraindicated for persons with yin-deficient fire.
Contraindicated for use when symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and urinary incontinence are caused by qi stagnation and/or heat.
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