Bo He - Field Mint, Mentha

TCM Materia Medica

Bo He TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "bo he" which in english is "field mint, mentha", is categorized within the "herbs that release the exterior wind heat" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the liver and lung channels and exhibits acrid, aromatic and cool taste/temperature properties.

Dosages and preparations will vary according to each individual and the overall approach of a formula, but generally this herb has the following dosage and/or preparation guidelines:

  • Dosage: 1.5-6g (added near the last 5 minutes of the preparation)

Of many possible clinical applications, it may be considered to influence the following issues/symptoms:

  • Expels wind heat particularly from the head region - fever, headaches, red eyes, cough, sore throat.
  • Vents rashes - accelerates the activity of rashes towards the surface to quicken healing.
  • Resolves LV Qi Stagnation - emotional issues, PMS, menstrual issues, pressure in chest or sides of body.

Bo He has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

  • May contribute to insufficient lactation in nursing mothers
  • Avoid excessive sweating/use in weak patients or those who sweat easily
  • May injure yin, use caution in yin deficiency patients

Our clinical staff have made the following notes, regarding bo he:

  • Ju Hua, Sang Ye, Chai Hu - Bo He is the coldest.
  • Quick remedy for liver qi stagnation with wind-heat signs:
  • Classically also used for aching bones from febrile disease.

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, bo he is generally included in the following 11 formulas:

  • Bao Ji Wan (Protect and Relieve Pills) - Cramping and/or painful distension of the abdomen. Foul sm…
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  • Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao Wan (Ligusticum Tea Pills) - Headaches, primarily from wind-cold (but used with wind-hea…
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  • Fang Feng Tong Sheng Wan (Ledebouriella Pills to Sagely Unblock) - High fever with aversion to cold. Thick phlegm that may …
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  • Gan Mao Ling (Miraculous Cold Pills) - Common cold and flu patterns, particularly at the early sta…
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  • Huang Lian Shang Qing Wan (Coptis Clearance Pill) - Dispels wind heat, clear toxic heat - generally used short-…
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  • Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan (Free and Easy Wanderer Pills) - Derived from the base formula, xiao yao wan, an important f…
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  • Nei Xiao Luo Li Wan (Internally Reducing Cervical Lymphadenitis Pills) - Phlegm obstructions - generally benign masses, lumps, swell…
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  • Pian Tou Tong Wan (Migraine Pills) - Headaches and/or migraines caused by liver yang or liver fi…
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  • Pu Ji Xiao Du Wan (Universal Benefit Decoction To Eliminate Toxin) - Acute febrile disorder (wind-heat & damp-phlegm) of t…
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  • Xiang Yin Wan (Golden Voice Pills) - Benefits the yin and qi of the lungs, clears heat and wind …
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  • Yin Qiao Wan (Honeysuckle and Forsythia Formula) - Common cold or flu presenting with fever w/slight or no chi…
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    As noted above, bo he is within the herbs that release the exterior wind heat functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

    (truncated intro "... many are acrid and warm severe fever with mild chills and sore throat. some are good for venting rashes or wind-heat eye problems. )".

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