English Name: bitter orange, aurantium fruit (mature)
Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Aurantii
Medica Category: Qi-Regulating Herbs
Properties: Zhi Ke enters the Spleen, Stomach, and Large Intestine channels; it is bitter and acrid in nature and cool in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Zhi Ke is the dried fruit of the bitter orange (Citrus Aurantium L.; and 2 others). Bitter oranges (grown throughout Asia) are smaller than “regular” oranges and are highly acidic—hence their bitter flavor. The fruits are picked after they have ripened; they are then sliced and dried for use as medicine.
Zhi Ke (like its “immature” sister herb Zhi Shi) regulates qi circulation in the middle jiao to relieve mild to moderate abdominal and distention and discomfort as well as chest congestion and tightness. It is milder in its effect than its sister herb—thus it more suitable to persons who are already weak or deficient.
**safety note: Zhi Ke has an antiplatelet action and should be used with care/under supervision of trained healthcare practitioners with patients who are taking anticoagulant drugs (such as heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and enoxaparin (Lovenox)) or antiplatelets (such as aspirin, dipyridamole (Persantine), and clopidogrel (Plavix)).
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