Yin Guo Ye
English Name: ginkgo leaf
Literal Translation: “silver fruit leaf”
Pharmaceutical Name: Folium Ginkgo
Medica Category: Cough- and Wheezing- Relieving Herbs
Properties: Yin Guo Ye enters the Lung channel, it is sweet, bitter, and astringent in nature and neutral in temperature.
What is Yin Guo Ye?:
The Chinese Herb Yin Guo Ye is the dried leaves of the ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba L.), a large tree (that often grows to over 100 ft. tall) with fan-shaped leaves that change color to a deep golden yellow in the autumn. The leaves used as medicine in TCM are collected before they turn yellow and allowed to dry.
The Ginkgo Bilboa extract that is sold as a dietary supplement and marketed for memory and cognition is also made from the leaves of the ginkgo tree; but while this particular product is popular among the general public, Yin Guo Ye is not commonly used in the practice of TCM.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Yin Guo Ye:
Yin Guo Ye astringes the Lung and is sometimes added to formulas to help calm wheezing and alleviate shortness of breath in cases of deficiency of the Lung. Yin Guo Ye also improves circulation in the chest and is currently used in China to address angina, coronary artery disease, hypertension, and hyper lipidemia.
Yin Guo Ye may alter bleeding time and should be used with caution by persons concurrently taking anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs. Reports of problematic interactions are rare, but its potential should be monitored by health care professional when relevant. Examples of anticoagulant drugs include heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and enoxaparin (Lovenox). Examples of antiplatelets include aspirin, dipyridamole (Persantine), and clopidogrel (Plavix).
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