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Cnidii Fructus

What is Cnidii Fructus?

Cnidii Fructus (she chuang zi, 路路通蛇床子), also known as Common Cnidium Fruit, refers to the mature fruit of Cnidium monnieri (L.) Cuss., which belongs to the Umbelliferae family. Considered as an essential herb for skin diseases and pruritus, Cnidii Fructus is primarily produced in provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Sichuan in China. 

The plants are usually harvested in summer and autumn when its fruits are ripe. After the removal of impurities, the fruits are then dried under the sun and used medicinally. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Cnidii Fructus falls under the category of ‘Herbs for external application’. Such herbs are used mostly for external application in the form of powders, pastes or ointments. Hence, they are often used to treat trauma, inflammation, swelling, bruises, bleeding and pain.

Warm in nature, Cnidii Fructus can help individuals with too much Cold in their body, such as those experiencing a yin excess or a yang deficiency, to restore a harmonious yin-yang balance. Bitter and pungent in taste, Cnidii Fructus can cleanse the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. Also, Cnidii Fructus can promote the circulations of qi and body fluids. In particular, Cnidii Fructus targets the Spleen and the Kidneys.

Functions and Benefits of Cnidii Fructus

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Cnidii Fructus has the following health benefits.

Cnidii Fructus is often indicated externally for all kinds of itching diseases. Through drying Dampness, killing parasites and relieving itching, Cnidii Fructus can be singly decocted for washing or combined with other herbs to enhance its effectiveness in treating the above symptoms. 

For eczema, Cnidii Fructus can be combined with Bai Fan (rice) to decoct for washing, or it can be powdered and mixed with vaseline for external application. For itching due to scabies or ringworm, Cnidii Fructus can be made into powder with Sulphur (Liu Huang) and Calomelas (Qing Fen), then mixed with vegetable oil, or made into ointment for external application.

By warming one’s Kidneys and uterus while strengthening yang, Cnidii Fructus can cure impotence. For impotence caused by Kidney deficiency, Cnidii Fructus can be combined with other Kidney-warming herbs to further strengthen one’s yang and relieve impotence. For Cold in uterus, Cnidii Fructus can be combined with Kidney-tonifying and essence-nourishing herbs to warm one’s Kidneys and uterus.

In addition, Cnidii Fructus can dispel Cold and dry Dampness. Thus, Cnidii Fructus can treat leukorrhagia caused by Cold-Damp and chronic Cold-Damp arthralgia accompanied by Kidney yang deficiency.

How to Use Cnidii Fructus

The recommended daily dosage of Cnidii Fructus is 3 – 9, when used for consumption. To make a decoction for washing or powder for external application, it is best to consult your healthcare provider on the appropriate dosage to be applied to the desired area.

Cnidii Fructus and its supplements, such as powder and pills, may be found in herbal stores and Asian specialty markets.

Cautions and Side Effects of Cnidii Fructus

Cnidii Fructus should not be used by individuals experiencing Damp-Heat in the Lower Jiao, yin deficiency with Heat signs, frequent erections or spermatorrhea.

Also, Cnidii Fructus should not be used together with Cortex Moutan Radicis (Mu Dan Pi), Fructus Crotonis (Ba Dou), Bulbus Fritillariae Cirrhosae (Chuan Bei Mu) or Bulbus Fritillariae Thunbergii (Zhe Bei Mu).

We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider before deciding to add Cnidii Fructus to your healthcare routine!

Summary

Here is a summary for Cnidii Fructus:

  • Herb name (Chinese): 蛇床子
  • Herb name (Pin Yin): shé chuáng zǐ
  • Herb name (English): Common Cnidium Fruit
  • Herb name (Botanical): Fructus Cnidii
  • Origin of species: Cnidium monnieri (L.) Cuss.
  • Part(s) of herb used: Fruit
  • Geo-specific habitat(s): Hebei, Shandong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Sichuan
  • Taste(s) & Properties: Pungent, bitter; Warm; Administrates the Kidney Meridian
  • Actions: Relieves itching in the pubic areas (external use); Relieves excessive vaginal discharge and lingering back pain; Nourishes the kidney functions to treat symptoms in infertility

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