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Platycladus Orientalis (Ce Bai Ye)

Close up of Platycladus orientalis (Ce Bai Ye)

What is Platycladus Orientalis (Ce Bai Ye)?

Platycladus Orientalis  (ce bai ye, 侧柏叶), also known as Chinese Arborvitae Twig, Oriental arborvitae twigs and leaves or Cacumen Platycladi, refers to the tender twig and leaf of the evergreen macrophanerophytes of Platycladus orientalis, also known as Biota. 

A member of the Cupressaceae family, Biota is famous as a healing tree. These trees are often found as hedges in cemeteries as natural fences, and their scent is said to help lift the spirit. Its twigs and leaves are frequently used in formulas with barley sprouts to treat depression, and with ginkgo to increase oxygen supply to the brain. In addition, Biota oil can be used to scent shoe polish and men’s colognes.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Platycladus Orientalis falls under the category of ‘Herbs that stop bleeding’. Such herbs tend to have hemostatic properties, and can thus help to stop various types of haemorrhages and ecchymosis. Cool in nature, Platycladus Orientalis can help individuals with too much Heat in their body, such as those experiencing a Yang Excess or a Yin Deficiency, to restore a harmonious yin-yang balance.

Bitter in taste, Platycladus Orientalis can cleanse the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. In particular, Platycladus Orientalis targets the Heart, the Liver,  the Lungs and the large intestines.

Functions and Benefits of Platycladus Orientalis (Ce Bai Ye)

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Platycladus Orientalis has the following health benefits.

Platycladus Orientalis can cool blood and stop bleeding caused by Blood Heat. It can address various bleeding syndromes, such as hematemesis, epistaxis, bleeding gums, hemafecia, hematuria, bloody dysenteric disorders and uterine bleeding. For hematemesis and epistaxis caused by blood heat, Platycladus Orientalis can be combined with other heat-clearing and blood-cooling hemostatics to enhance its effectiveness.

Platycladus Orientalis can resolve phlegm and stop coughing by clearing Lung-Heat. For cough and dyspnea caused by Lung-Heat accompanied by thick sputum, Platycladus Orientalis can be used alone or combined with other phlegm-clearing herbs to enhance its effectiveness.

In addition, Platycladus Orientalis can be applied externally to treat injuries caused by hot liquid, fire or alopecia. Not only can this herb promote the healing of burns and the growth of flesh, it can also promote hair growth to combat hair loss. Also, Platycladus Orientalis is useful in clearing Damp-Heat and dispelling Wind-Dampness, which makes it an effective treatment for symptoms such as vaginal discharge caused by Damp-Heat and Wind-Damp Bi (痹).

In China, Platycladus Orientalis is often used to treat insomnia, heart palpitations and negative emotions too. In fact, Platycladus Orientalis is used in aromatherapy for massage and as a scent for soothing baths to help induce sleep.

Close up of Platycladus orientalis (Ce Bai Ye)
Platycladus orientalis (Ce Bai Ye) is effective in easing bleeding conditions.

How to Use Platycladus Orientalis (Ce Bai Ye)

The recommended daily dosage of Ce Bai Ye is 10 – 15g, when used as a decoction. To stop bleeding, it is best to stir-bake Ce Bai Ye into charcoal before usage. To resolve phlegm and stop coughing, it is best to use Ce Bai Ye in its unprocessed form.

Ce Bai Ye and its supplements are available in many herbal stores and Asian specialty markets.

Cautions and Side Effects of Platycladus Orientalis (Ce Bai Ye)

Platycladus Orientalis should not be used by individuals experiencing Spleen or stomach Deficiency Cold. Individuals not experiencing any symptoms of Heat or Dampness should use this herb with caution too. Pregnant and breastfeeding ladies should not use this herb for the time being too.

Long-term usage of Platycladus Orientalis may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting and dizziness. 

We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider before deciding to add Ce Bai Ye to your healthcare routine!


Here is a summary for Platycladus Orientalis (Ce Bai Ye):

  • Herb name (Chinese): 侧柏叶
  • Herb name (Pin Yin): cè bǎi yè
  • Herb name (English): Chinese Arborvitae Twig & Leaf
  • Herb name (Botanical): Cacumen Platycladi
  • Origin of species: Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco
  • Part(s) of herb used: Twig and leaf
  • Geo-specific habitat(s): Most parts of China
  • Taste(s) & Properties: Bitter, astringent; Cold; Administrates the Lung, Spleen and Liver Meridians
  • Actions: Eases bleeding conditions and symptoms of early aging, such as premature hair greying; Relieves coughs with yellow oral discharge

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