English Name: houttuynia, fishwort herb
Literal Translation: “fishy-smelling herb”
Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Houttuyniae
Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Toxin-Eliminating Herbs
Properties: Yu Xing Cao enters the Lung channel; it is acrid in nature and cool in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Yu Xing Cao is the dried aerial parts the plant houttuynia cordata (also known as fish wort, fish mint, and Chinese lizard tail), a small, flowering plant native to Southeast Asia that grows in moist, shady areas.
Yu Xing Cao clears heat-toxins and drains pus from the Lung channel and is used to treat lung infections, abscesses, and coughing up mucus and blood.
Yu Xing Cao clears heat and drains dampness from the lower jiao and is used to treat painful, burning dysuria (and related complaints) as well as damp-heat diarrhea and dysentery.
Yu Xing Cao is cooling, nourishing, and moistening. In China, it is often added to soups and consumed as food and is best for clearing heat from individuals heat from those who already tend to be “running hot” (e.g. menopausal women or someone with hypertension).