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yu xing cao 魚腥草

by: Joe Hing Kwok Chu

yu xing cao


ji cai 

蕺 菜


Modern Applications:

  • 1. For treating inflammation of the respiratory tract.

  • 2. For treating over expansion of bronchi.

  • 3. For treating whooping cough

  • 4. For water retention in the chest cavity caused by cancer

  • 5. For preventing  infection after surgery

  • 6. For  lowering fever

  • 7. For treating bacterial diarrhea

  • 8. For treating jaundice type of hepatitis

  • 9. For treating kidney multiple syndroms

  • 10. For treating ulceration of the neck of uterus

  • 11. For treating inflammation of the pelvic area

  • 12. For treating simple type of inflammation of the cornea

  • 13. For treating sinus inflammation of the nose

  • 14. For treating inflammation ( with pus) of the middle ear

  • 15. For treating measles

  • 16. For treating epidemic type of tonsillitis

  • 17. For treating tumors of the blood vessels

  • 18. For preventing leptospira disease

Effectiveness: out of 1603 farm workers who took  yu xing cao pills only one person contacted the disease.[30]

(formulae to be uploaded)



Pharmaceutical name:

Herba cum radice houttuyniae cordatae

Biological name:

Houttuynia cordata Thunb.

Pron. in Japanese:


Pron. in Korean:


Pron. in Cantonese:


jyu4 seng1 cou2

Common Name:

houttuynia, pig thigh


along Yangzi River and in southern part of China

Properties (characteristics)﹕ 性味﹕

acrid, bitter and slightly cool


Channels (meridians) entered:歸經﹕

large intestine, lung


Actions & Indications:

rid of heat and toxin, swellings, abscesses, expels pus. Use internally or topically. Promote urination, clear damp heat diarrhea, clear painful urination, for boils, gonorrhea.


Medical Function:

Chemical ingredients:

揮發油 (evaporating oil) 0.05%:
  • 癸酰乙醛(Decanoylacetaldehyde)﹐
  • 月桂烯(Myrcene)﹐
  • α-蒎烯(α- Pinene)﹐
  • d-檸檬烯(d-Limonene)﹐
  • 甲基正壬酮(2-Methyheptenone)﹐
  • 莰烯(Camphene)﹐
  • 乙酸龍腦酯 (Bornyl acetate)﹐
  • 芳樟醇(Linalool)﹐
  • 石竹烯(Caryophyllene)﹐月桂醛(Dodecanaldehyde)等。

日本產鱼腥草主成分为 (main ingredients of yu xing cao produced in Janpan:)

  • 十烷酸(Decanoic acid),占38.4%,
  • 十一酮-2 (2-Undecanone) 占10.1%,以及對聚伞素﹐
  • 芳樟醇(Linalool)﹐
  • 桉油素(Cineole)﹐
  • 麝香草酚(Thymol)等。

全草含: (whole plant contains:)

  • 阿福豆甙 (Afzerin)﹐
  • 金丝桃甙(Hyperin)﹐
  • 槲皮素﹐
  • 蘆丁﹐
  • 綠原酸(Chlorogenic acid)﹐
  • β-谷甾醇( β-Sitoterol)﹐
  • 豆甾醇(Stigmasterol)﹐
  • 菠菜甾醇(Spinasterol)等。
  • 蕺菜鹼(Cordarine)。

花及果穗含(flowers and fruits contains:)

  • 異槲皮甙(Isoquercitrin)。

葉含 (the leaves contain:)

  • 槲皮甙 (Quercetin)
  • 無機成分:氯化钾 (Potassium chloride)
  • 硫酸钾 (Potassium sulfate)

本種的鱼腥氣味是由于含有癸酰乙醛 (decanoylacetaldehyde) (CH3-(CH2)8-COCH2-CHO) 所致。

The fishy smells is caused by: decanoylacetaldehyde (CH3-(CH2)8-COCH2-CHO)


10 to 25 g (do not boil for long time). External use: according to need


Samples of formulae:

See:Acute infection, diarrhea


Juice from fresh yu xing cao inhibits staphylococcus aureus. After heating, it is less effective. Heating may cause the essential oil, an active ingredient to evaporate. Thus it becomes less effective.

Toxicity is mild. Vaginal applications  have caused inflammation but symptoms  subsided after stopping the applications.

There are reports that injectiones of yu xing cao extract had caused allergic reaction of shock [32-33] and death [34],  and also had caused skin atrophy type of skin inflammation [35].



If you need more information or bibliography in a hurry see Research Librarian.

leptospira (Source: Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary)

A genus of extremely slender aerobic spirochetes (family Leptospiraceae) that are free-living or parasitic in mammals and include a number of important pathogens (as L. icterohaemorrhagiae of Weil's disease or L. canicola of canicola fever)




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Last update: Aug 6, 2008;  3:31 p.m. LAH