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Abalone Shell (shi jue ming)
Abutilon Seed (dong kui zi)
Acanthopanax Bark (wu jia pi)
Achyranthes (niu xi)
Aconite (fu zi)
Acorus (shi chang pu)
Adenophora Root (nan sha shen)
Agkistrodon (bai hua she)
Agrimony (xian he cao)
Ailanthus Bark (chun pi)
Akebia Fruit (ba yue zha)
Albizzia Bark (he huan pi)
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Aloe (lu hui)
Alum (bai fan)
Amber (hu po)
Ampelopsis (bai lian)
Andrographis (chuan xin lian)
Anemarrhena (zhi mu)
Antelope's Horn (ling yang jiao)
Apricot Seed (xing ren)
Areca Peel (da fu pi)
Areca Seed (bing lang)
Arisaema (tian nan xing)
Ark Shell (wa leng zi)
Arnebia (zi cao or ying zi cao)
Arnica (arnica montana)
Artichoke Leaves (Cynara scolymus)
Ash bark (qin pi)
Ashwagandha (withania somniferum)
Aster (zi wan)
Astragalus (huang qi)
Aurantium (zhi ke [qiao])
Bamboo Juice (zhu li)
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Belamcanda Rhizome (she gan)
Benincasa Peel (dong gua pi)
Benincasa Seed (dong gua xi/ren)
Benzoin (an xi xiang)
Bilberry (yue ju)
Biota Leaf (ce bai ye)
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Bitter Orange Peel (ju hong)
Black Cohosh (sheng ma)
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Black Sesame Seed (hei zhi ma)
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Capillaris (yin chen hao)
Cardamon Seed (sha ren)
Carpesium (he shi)
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Prinsepia Seed (rui ren/zi)
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Tsaoko Fruit (cao guo)
Turmeric (jiang huang)
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Valerian (jie cao)
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Viola (zi hua di ding)
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Watermelon (xi gua)
White Atractylodes (bai zhu)
White Mustard Seed (bai jie ze)
White Peony (bai shao)
Wild Asparagus (tian men dong)
Windmill Palm (zong lu pi/tan)
Xanthium (cang er zi)
Zedoary (e zhu)

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Capillaris (yin chen hao)

What is capillaris? What is it used for?

Capillaris is a species of plant that belongs to the asteraceae family, and is related to the artemisia. It resembles a shrub, which can reach a height and diameter of approximately two feet.

In China, capillaris is grown mainly in the Shanxi and Anhui provinces. The entire plant (leaves, stems, flowers, etc.) is used in herbal preparations. Capillaris is usually harvested in the late spring, with the old stems removed before it is dried in the sun for later use.

According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, capillaris has bitter, spicy and cool properties, and is associated with the Liver, Spleen Gallbladder and Stomach meridians. It treats infections of the liver and gallbladder, and is considered an excellent remedy for jaundice. Capillaris also lowers blood pressure levels, and is believed to help reduce blood cholesterol levels. The leaves are sometimes burned to repel mosquitoes and other insects.

How much capillaris should I take?

Capillaris can be taken either internally or externally. An infusion is used internally in the treatment of jaundice, hepatitis, gall bladder complaints and fevers. Externally, it has been applied in the form of a plaster for treating headaches. The typical dosage of capillaris is between nine and 15 grams. Capillaris is often used with other herbs; one well-known herbal remedy combines capillaris with gardenia fruit and rhubarb.

What forms of capillaris are available?

Dried capillaris can be found at most Asian markets, herbal shops and specialty stores. Some suppliers also sell capillaris infusions, pills and powders. Capillaris can also be found as part of a larger herbal formula.

What can happen if I take too much capillaris? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

Although no reports of toxicity have been reported with capillaris, skin contact can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people. In addition, the American Herbal Products Association has given capillaris a class 2B rating, meaning that it should not be taken by women who are pregnant. It also should not be taken by patients diagnosed with jaundice caused by qi deficiency. As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before taking capillaris or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.


References

  • Bown D. Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1995. ISBN # 0-7513-020-31.
  • Chevallier A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1996. ISBN # 9-780751-303148.
  • McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, et al. (eds.) American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997, p. 15-16.
  • Tillotson A, Tillotson NH. TCM treatment of jaundice. Available online.
  • Yano K. Insect antifeeding phenylacetylenes from growing buds of artemisia capillaris. J Agric Food Chem 1983;31:667-668.
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