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yin he huan  銀合歡


by : Joe Hing kwok Chu


Leucaena Leucocephala. (Lam.) De Wit

Source: Office of Eastern Coastal Area, Taiwan.


See other pictures here


Pharmaceutical name:


Semen Leucaenae

Biological name:


Leucaena Leucocephala. (Lam.) De Wit

Other Names:


petai belalang / ipil-ipil, leucaena glauca, leadtree, acacia palida, aroma blanka, campeche, cowbush, white popinac.

Other Chinese names: bi xiang si zi 白相思子 ;chou dou (stinky beans) 臭豆。

Common Name:


Cowbush, White popinac



Native to Mexico, but cultivated widely in the tropics and subtropics. The plants were introduced to Taiwan from Central or South America by the Dutch.




acrid, sweet, bitter, and mildly toxic
Medical functions:


The glucoside mimosine may rid of round worms.

The leaves are high in protein and can be used as feed supplement.

Channels (meridians) entered:



Medical and other Uses:


Young seeds can be eaten to help rid of round worms.To rid of roundworms, eat the seeds from about 15 to 25 pods.

Its main uses are: soil preservation, as foliage for livestock, as fuel wood, or as green manure fertilizer. Wood can be used in carving, and seed can be used as coffee seed substitute and for rid of round worm.

木材可供彫刻小飾品,當薪炭;種子還可作為咖啡的代用品。 驅蛔虫:食15~25豆荚之種子。

Chemical ingredients:


seeds contain the glucoside,  mimosine.

種子含: 糖苷,銀合歡鹼。




Samples of formulae


To rid of roundworms, eat the seeds from about 15 to 25 pods raw.


Modern Research:





The leaves and seeds contain the glucoside mimosine, which may cause loss of hair in horses and young cattle.

Feeding leaves to breeding animals may affect reproduction. Feeding to  poultry, production usually decreases and the birds take longer to reach sexual maturity.

Effect on Environment:[1]


Invasive plants in Taiwan:

1 Yin he huan grows in low-elevation mountain with 650-1500 mm annual rainfall, with the preferences of the growth in the low sand content of the soil texture, slightly acidic soil, can bloom throughout the year, the results, with strong growth and reproduction of vitality, with two to three times a year the filling period, the amount of seed a year per square meter area of about 1.5 ~ 20 000 seeds. Although poor growth under drought and acidic soil environment, but has excellent strength and acid resistance, drought tolerance, literature that leucaena mimosa tree roots can secrete a hormone (mimosine) phase grams of chemical substances, once invaded an area Leucaena other plants in the area will be difficult to grow and gradually reduced, and finally the formation of leucaena pure forest.

2 Taiwan ecological impact caused by

(a) Cow bush (yin he huan) mature early , high capacity of seed producing, produce a large number of the seeds in the soil, and when the plants after being cut or injured can rapidly produce buds, with a strong ability to recover.

(b) The ability of cow bush (yin he huan) rejecting other species is very strong, plus it can secrete mimosa and rejects other species and form its own forest, crowding out native species to survive, resulting in the loss of a large number of primary forest in Taiwan, as well as in water conservation, climate regulation and significantly reduce biodiversity .

3, the wind blowing the seeds, grow everywhere, plunder native plants habitat.

4, the plants grow fast, easy to cover native plants, resulting in the death row can not photosynthesis.

5, is a positive species, with a high germination rate, the advantages of the characteristics of growth and nitrogen fixation ability, making cow bush (yin he huan) highly invasive diffusion capacity.

6, if it rains, the rain will go through the feather like cow bush  leaves, and will directly rush to the  soil and causes  soil erosion because of lack of vegetation cover, it is difficult to retain water, and likely to result in losing of soil.


  1. 生長在年雨量650-1500mm 的低海拔山區,喜好生長於土壤質地含砂量低之弱酸性土壤,終年均可開花、結果,具有旺盛的生長及繁殖活力,一年中具有二至三次之結實期,每平方公尺面積之結實量一年約為1.5~2萬顆種子。在乾旱及酸性土壤環境下雖生長不良,但有極佳的耐旱力及耐酸性,文獻指出,銀合歡樹根能分泌一種含羞草素(mimosine)的相剋化學物質,一旦銀合歡入侵某地區,該區的其它植物便會難以生長而漸漸減少,最後形成銀合歡純林。

  2. 對台灣生態造成的衝擊性

  • 銀合歡成熟期早,結實量大,土壤內聚集大量之種子庫;且植株在砍伐或受害後擁有強勢萌芽更新能力。

  •  銀合歡排他性極強,加上會分泌含羞草素,容易形成單一性純林,排擠原生種植物存活,導致台灣喪失大量原始林,以至在水源涵養、調節氣候及維持生物多樣性的功能大幅減低。






[1] Taiwan Ministry of education on “Foreign Invasive Vegetation and Insects, Southern Area Guiding Group"

[1] 台灣教育部防治外來入侵種及植物病蟲害南區輔導團

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Last update: Sept 11, 2014; 11:50  a.m. LAH