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:

ViewBao Ji Wan (Protect and Relieve Pills)

Cramping and/or painful distension of the abdomen. Foul smelling belching or gas with diarrhea due to heat in the intestine. May alleviate some hangover symptoms. Also useful to treat food poisoni…

ViewChuan Xiong Cha Tiao Wan (Ligusticum Tea Pills)

Headaches, primarily from wind-cold (but used with wind-heat/wind-damp), with neck stiffness, muscle aches and/or nasal discharge. In certain cases may be useful for migraines, frequent headaches - …

ViewFang Feng Tong Sheng Wan (Ledebouriella Pills to Sagely Unblock)

High fever with aversion to cold. Thick phlegm that may be both in sinus and chest. Vertigo or dizziness that is caused by excess heat. Rashes, carbuncles, and other types of skin disorders that…

ViewGan Mao Ling (Miraculous Cold Pills)

Common cold and flu patterns, particularly at the early stages. Can be used in lieu of actual bacterial or viral infection as long as flu or cold like symptoms are manifest.

ViewHuang Lian Shang Qing Wan (Coptis Clearance Pill)

Dispels wind heat, clear toxic heat - generally used short-term for inflammatory conditions of the face, mouth, head - sore throat, conjunctivitis, acne, swollen gums. Can be a supportive formula fo…

ViewJia Wei Xiao Yao Wan (Free and Easy Wanderer Pills)

Derived from the base formula, xiao yao wan, an important formula for liver qi stagnation with herbs added to clear heat. Liver qi stagnation - menstrual issues, painful cycles, irregular cycles, br…

ViewNei Xiao Luo Li Wan (Internally Reducing Cervical Lymphadenitis Pills)

Phlegm obstructions - generally benign masses, lumps, swellings such as lymph nodules, breast cysts, thyroid nodules, goiter, ovarian cysts, fibroids, etc. If used, it may often be combined with dee…

ViewPian Tou Tong Wan (Migraine Pills)

Headaches and/or migraines caused by liver yang or liver fire rising.

ViewPu Ji Xiao Du Wan (Universal Benefit Decoction To Eliminate Toxin)

Acute febrile disorder (wind-heat & damp-phlegm) of the head - strong fever and chills, burning pain of head and face, red and/or swollen eyes, sore throat, aversion to cold, dryness, thirst.  …

ViewXiang Yin Wan (Golden Voice Pills)

Benefits the yin and qi of the lungs, clears heat and wind - acute and/or chronic throat and/or voice issues from overuse, illness, smoking, etc.  Symptoms may include difficulty speaking, hoarseness…

ViewYin Qiao Wan (Honeysuckle and Forsythia Formula)

Common cold or flu presenting with fever w/slight or no chills, headache, desire for fluids, cough, sore throat. Acute respitory infections, acute fever, tonsillitis, canker sores.

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. )".

All Content 1999-2022
Chad J. Dupuis / Yin Yang House
Our Policies and Privacy Guidelines
Our Affiliated Clinics