English Name: lithospermum root, (purple or red) groomwell root, amebia
Literal Translation: “purple herb root”
Pharmaceutical Name: Radia Lithospermi
Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Blood-Cooling Herbs
Properties: Zi Cao Gen enters the Heart and Liver channels; it is sweet in nature and cold in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Zi Cao Gen comes from a relatively small, flowering plant in the Boraginaceae (borage or forget-me-not) family that is cultivated in Japan for its purple or red dye. In the Chinese tradition its roots are harvested in autumn and dried for use as medicine.
Zi Cao Gen invigorates and cools the blood and clears lingering heat and toxicity that manifests (clinically) in the skin as macula/other skin conditions characterized by blotchiness and dark purple colorations as well as measles (with incomplete expression). This herb also addresses sore throat with swelling that comes from this same root cause of blood heat/stagnation.
Zi Cao Gen may be used topically or internally to address various other skin conditions (e.g. abscesses, lesions, eczema, carbuncles, burns, etc…) that present with heat (redness and swelling) and toxicity (infection) signs.
Zi Gan Cao addresses constipation/dry stool with blood heat as the root cause.