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Cowherb Seed (Wang Bu Liu Xing)

What is Cowherb Seed (Wang Bu Liu Xing)?

Cowherb Seed (wang bu liu xing, 王不留行), also known as Semen Vaccariae or Vaccaria Seed, refers to the seed of Vaccaria segetalis (Neck.) Garcke. This plant is characterised by its pale pink flowers and blue-grey, waxy herbage. In China, it is mainly produced in provinces such as Jiangsu, Hebei, Shandong, Liaoning and Heilongjiang.

The entire plant is usually reaped during summer when its fruits are ripe and the pericarp is yet to be cracked. Afterwards, it is then dried under the sun, and its seeds are collected, cleansed and dried for medicinal usage. Medicinally, Cowherb Seed may be used raw or fried. Cowherb Seed is famous for its effects in promoting milk secretion and blood circulation.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Cowherb Seed falls under the category of ‘Herbs that invigorate the blood’. Such herbs can stimulate the blood flow and aid blood circulation, especially in the treatment of cardiovascular conditions, menstrual irregularities and acute pains caused by blood stagnation.

Neutral in nature, Cowherb Seed does not affect one’s yin-yang balance. Bitter in taste, Cowherb Seed can cleanse the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements.  In particular, Cowherb Seed targets one’s stomach and Liver.

Functions and Benefits of Cowherb Seed (Wang Bu Liu Xing)

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Cowherb Seed has the following health benefits.

Cowherb Seed can promote the movement of blood, promote lactation and invigorate channels. Thus, Cowherb Seed is often used to unblock menstruation, such as for cases of amenorrhea, and to treat symptoms like clogged milk ducts and low milk supply.

Also, Cowherb Seed can reduce swellings and drain abscesses. For example, Cowherb Seed can treat painful swellings of one’s breasts or testicles. In addition, Cowherb Seed can promote healing of incised wounds.

How to Use Cowherb Seed (Wang Bu Liu Xing)

The recommended daily dosage of Cowherb Seed is 3 – 19g, when used as a decoction. Alternatively, Cowherb Seed is also commonly used in forms like pills and powder. For external usage, you may pound the herb into powder for application. 

In addition, Cowherb Seed can be added to dishes too. For example, Cowherb Seed can be stewed with pig trotters to make a tasty meal.

Cowherb Seed may be found in herbal stores and Asian specialty markets.

Cautions and Side Effects of Cowherb Seed (Wang Bu Liu Xing)

Cowherb Seed should not be used by individuals experiencing pregnancy, blood loss disorders and continuous menstrual bleeding.

We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider before deciding to add Cowherb Seed to your healthcare routine! 


Here is a summary for Cowherb Seed:

  • Herb name (Chinese): 王不留行
  • Herb name (Pin Yin): wáng bú liú xíng
  • Herb name (English): Cowherb Seed
  • Herb name (Botanical): Semen Vaccariae
  • Origin of species: Vaccaria segetalis (Neck.) Garcke
  • Part(s) of herb used: Seed
  • Geo-specific habitat(s): Jiangsu, Hebei, Shandong, Liaoning, Heilongjiang
  • Taste(s) & Properties: Bitter; Neutral; Administrates the Liver and Stomach Meridians
  • Actions: Relieves menstrual pain and related discomforts; Helps to promote production of milk, and relieve symptoms of swollen and tender breasts; Eases urinary difficulties

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