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Zi He Che

English Name: human placenta

Literal Translation: “purple river vehicle”

Pharmaceutical Name: Placenta Hominis

Medica Category: Yang-Tonifying Herbs

Properties: Zi He Che enters the Kidney, Lung, and Liver channels; it is sweet and salty in nature and warm in temperature.

What is Zi He Che?:

The Chinese Herb Zi He Che is dried human placenta and has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years to for its nourishing qualities. In modern times, placentas from pigs and cattle are often used as substitutes.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Zi He Che:

Zi He Che replenishes jing (essence) and is considered the best choice for doing this as it is literally made of jing and blood from both parents and is the organ most closely responsible for the development of the fetus. In TCM it is used to address various manifestations of prenatal deficiencies of jing, Kidney yang, and blood:

  • it addresses immature development of the sexual organs (in infants), enhances the development of female reproductive organs (in older children and adults), and alleviates their atrophy as one ages;
  • it addresses impotence, low sex drive, and infertility in both men and women;
  • it addresses more general clinical presentations of Kidney yang deficiency such as spermatorrhea, enuresis, weakness and soreness of the lower back and knees, tinnitus, and dizziness.

Zi He Che nourishes blood and is helpful for postpartum women who are extremely weak and are experiencing insufficient milk production due to blood and jing deficiencies. It is also helpful for people recovering from chronic illness who are presenting with signs of qi and blood deficiencies such as fatigue, weight loss/difficulty gaining weight, sallow complexion, and poor appetite.

Zi He Che benefits the Lung and can be used to address chronic cough and wheezing that has its roots in Kidney deficiency (i.e. deficient Kidney failing to grasp the Lung qi and pull it down into the body).

–safety/clinical notes:

Zi He Che should not be used as a single herb in persons with heat signs from yin-deficiency.

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