Xia Ku Cao - Selfheal Spike, Prunella

TCM Materia Medica

Xia Ku Cao TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "xia ku cao" which in english is "selfheal spike, prunella", is categorized within the "herbs that drain fire" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the gall bladder and liver channels and exhibits acrid, bitter (ku) and cold (han) 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: 9-15g
  • When used alone, up to 30g

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

  • Clears liver and brightens the eyes - ascending liver fire with red, painful, swollen eyes, headache, dizziness (stronger than Mi Meng Hua, Jue Ming Zi, Qing Xiang Zi in clearing heat).
  • Clears heat and dissipates nodules - neck lumps, scrofula, lipoma, goiter, swollen glands due to phlegm fire.
  • Hypertension accompanied by liver fire or yang rising.

Xia Ku Cao has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

  • Avoid in patients with stomach or spleen deficiency.

Our clinical staff have made the following notes, regarding xia ku cao:

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, xia ku cao is generally included in the following 2 formulas:

ViewJiang Ya Wan (Repress The Blood Pressure Pills)

Hypertension particularly with ascendent yang and heat signs - red face, red tongue, headaches, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, etc.

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 deeā€¦

As noted above, xia ku cao is within the herbs that drain fire functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

(truncated intro "... very cold - for high fever, irritability, thirst, delirium associated with febrile disease. qi level or yang ming level disorders. )".

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