What is Lythrum Salicaria?
Lythrum Salicaria (jin qian cao, 金钱草), also known as Christina Loosestrife or Herba Lydimachiae, refers to the whole plant of Lysimachia christinae, which belongs to the Primulaceae family. With a Chinese name that means ‘Gold Coin Grass’, this plant has coin-like leaves and medicinal properties that are believed to be as precious as gold.
Usually collected during summer and autumn, people will remove the impurities on the plant, dry it under the sun and cut it into sections for medicinal usage.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Lythrum Salicaria falls under the category of ‘Herbs that drain Dampness’. Such herbs are typically diuretics that can increase urine production to remove Dampness that has accumulated in the body. Cool in nature, Lythrum Salicaria can help individuals who have too much Heat in their body, such as those experiencing a yang excess or a yin deficiency, to restore a harmonious yin-yang balance.
Salty and sweet in taste, Lythrum Salicaria has a draining effect on the body by clearing accumulations, removing Phlegm and softening hard lumps. Also, Lythrum Salicaria can slow down acute reactions, detoxify the body and has a tonic effect on the body by replenishing qi and blood. In particular, Lythrum Salicaria targets the bladder, gallbladder, Kidneys and Liver.
Functions and Benefits of Lythrum Salicaria
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Lythrum Salicaria has the following health benefits.
Not only can Lythrum Salicaria drain and remove Dampness, the herb can also clear Heat from the Liver and gallbladder. Thus, it is indicated for jaundice caused by Damp-Heat accumulated in the liver and gallbladder, red and swollen eyes, as well as for dysfunction of the Liver and gallbladder.
Great at draining Damp-Heat from the lower energizer, Lythrum Salicaria can induce diuresis to treat stranguria. This herb can clear and excrete Damp-Heat from the Liver and gallbladder to relieve urolithic stranguria, Heat stranguria and gallbladder stone.
Also, Lythrum Salicaria can clear Heat, remove toxicity and relieve swelling. Thus, it is often indicated for sores, swellings and snake bites. Lythrum Salicaria can be smashed into juice for oral consumption or external application.
How to Use Lythrum Salicaria
The recommended daily dosage of Lythrum Salicaria is 15 – 60g, when used as a decoction. If you are using Lythrum Salicaria in its fresh form, you may double the dosage to 30 – 120g. Many individuals like to consume Lythrum Salicaria in the form of tea.
Lythrum Salicaria and its supplements, such as pills and powder, may be found in herbal stores and Asian specialty markets.
Cautions and Side Effects of Lythrum Salicaria
Lythrum Salicaria should not be used by individuals experiencing jaundice that is not caused by Damp-Heat, or diarrhoea caused by Spleen deficiency. Also, large doses or long-term consumption of Lythrum Salicaria may cause side effects such as dizziness and palpitations.
Do note that Lythrum Salicaria should not be used concurrently with diuretics such as chlorothiazide and hydrochlorothiazide.
We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider before deciding to add Lythrum Salicaria to your healthcare routine!
Here is a summary for Lythrum Salicaria:
- Herb name (Chinese): 金钱草
- Herb name (Pin Yin): jīn qián cǎo
- Herb name (English): Christina Loosestrife
- Herb name (Botanical): Herba Lysimachiae
- Origin of species: Lysimachia christinae Hance
- Part(s) of herb used: Whole plant, including root
- Geo-specific habitat(s): Several regions in Jiangnan of China
- Taste(s) & Properties: Sweet, salty; Slightly cold; Administrates the Liver, Gall Bladder, Kidney and Bladder Meridians
- Actions: Eases painful urination; Eases symptoms of jaundice; Reduces swelling in carbuncles, sores and snake bites
Liao, K. H., Chen, K. B., Lee, W. Y., Sun, M. F., Lee, C. C., & Chen, C. Y. C. (2014). Ligand-based and structure-based investigation for Alzheimer’s disease from traditional Chinese medicine. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2014. [Accessed on 8th July 2023]
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