Mulberry Mistletoe (Sang Ji Sheng)
What is Mulberry Mistletoe (Sang Ji Sheng)?
Mulberry Mistletoe (sang ji sheng, 桑寄生) also known as Herba Taxilli or Chinese Taxillus Herb, refers to the foliferous stem and branch of Taxillus chinensis (DC.) Danser, which belongs to the Loranthaceae family.
Believed to increase lifespan and preserve health, as recorded in many medical classics, this herb is usually collected in the winter and spring. After the big stems of the plant are removed, the smaller parts are cut into sections and dried for medicinal usage.
In China, Sang Ji Sheng Tea is a very common street food, and it is often paired with egg desserts as an all-time favourite snack.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Mulberry Mistletoe (Sang Ji Sheng) falls under the category of ‘Herbs that dispel Wind and Dampness’. Such herbs can treat painful obstruction (bi-pain), manifested as arthritic and rheumatic conditions with pain, stiffness and numbness of the bones, joints and muscles.
Neutral in nature, Mulberry Mistletoe does not affect the yin-yang balance in the body. Bitter and sweet in taste, Mulberry Mistletoe can cleanse the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. Also, Mulberry Mistletoe can slow down acute reactions, detoxify the body and has a tonic effect on the body by replenishing qi and blood in the body. In particular, Mulberry Mistletoe targets the Kidneys and the Liver.
Functions and Benefits of Mulberry Mistletoe (Sang Ji Sheng)
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Mulberry Mistletoe has the following health benefits.
Mulberry Mistletoe can dispel Wind-Damp, tonify the Liver and Kidneys, and strengthen tendons and bones. Thus, it excels at treating chronic arthralgia syndromes, damaged Liver and Kidneys characterised by soreness, pain and weakness in the lower back, knees, tendons and bones. Mulberry Mistletoe can be combined with other Liver-Kidney tonics, qi-replenishing and blood-nourishing herbs to enhance its effectiveness in treating the above symptoms.
Also, Mulberry Mistletoe can strengthen thoroughfare and conception vessels, which can then prevent miscarriage and treat symptoms such as profuse menstruation, metrorrhagia, metrostaxis and bleeding during pregnancy. The herb is believed to help promote lactation too. In addition, Mulberry Mistletoe is used to treat coronary heart diseases and hypertension.
By nourishing the blood and improving the skin, Mulberry Mistletoe can also treat dry, scaly skin with Blood Deficiency.
How to Use Mulberry Mistletoe (Sang Ji Sheng)
The recommended daily dosage of Mulberry Mistletoe is 9 – 15g, when used as a decoction.
The most convenient way to consume Mulberry Mistletoe is to make it into tea. Do rinse the herb thoroughly first before boiling it in hot water to make tea. If you have a sweet tooth, you can add milk and sugar to it.
You can also find Mulberry Mistletoe in supplements and herbal formulas, such as Angelica Pubescens and Sang Ji Sheng Decoction (Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang, 独活寄生汤), which can be found in many herbal stores and Asian specialty markets.
Cautions and Side Effects of Mulberry Mistletoe (Sang Ji Sheng)
Mulberry Mistletoe should not be used by individuals experiencing Dampness and Heat. Over-consumption of Mulberry Mistletoe may cause side effects such as vomiting, diarrhoea and even death.
Do use Mulberry Mistletoe with caution if you are also taking anticoagulants such as heparin, warfarin, or antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin and clopidogrel. Also, concurrent usage of Mulberry Mistletoe and diuretics may lead to dehydration.
We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider before deciding to add Mulberry Mistletoe to your healthcare routine!
Here is a summary for Mulberry Mistletoe (Sang Ji Sheng):
- Herb name (Chinese): 桑寄生
- Herb name (Pin Yin): sāng jì shēng
- Herb name (English): Chinese Taxillus Herb
- Herb name (Botanical): Herba Taxilli
- Origin of species: Taxillus chinensis (DC.) Danser
- Part(s) of herb used: Branch with leaves
- Geo-specific habitat(s): Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan
- Taste(s) & Properties: Bitter, sweet; Neutral; Administrates the Liver and Kidney Meridians
- Actions: Eases rheumatic or arthritic pains; Relieves symptoms of uterine discharge (spotting) during pregnancy
Qin, M., Huang, Q., Yang, X., Yu, L., Tang, Y., Zhang, C., … & Wu, J. (2022). Taxillus chinensis (DC.) Danser: a comprehensive review on botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology. Chinese Medicine, 17(1), 1-29.[Accessed on 16th June 2023]
Wen, C. C., Shyur, L. F., Jan, J. T., Liang, P. H., Kuo, C. J., Arulselvan, P., … & Yang, N. S. (2011). Traditional Chinese medicine herbal extracts of Cibotium barometz, Gentiana scabra, Dioscorea batatas, Cassia tora, and Taxillus chinensis inhibit SARS-CoV replication. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine, 1(1), 41-50. [Accessed on 16th June 2023]
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