Traditional Chinese Medicine/Xia Ku Cao

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Name Means:

  • Xia-Summer
  • Ku-Withered
  • Cao-Grass/Weed

English Name:

  • prunella
  • selfheal spike

Chinese Name:

  • 夏枯草 (Pinyin: xià kū căo)

Latin Name:

  • Spica Prunellae Vulgaris [1]

Modern Research[2]

  • Xia Ku Cao is "one of the most important herbal medicines in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, mastitis, infectious hepatitis, and hypertension". [3]
  • It contains several active components including "triterpenic acids and their glycosidic derivatives, phenolic acids, and saponins". Among these components, triterpenic acids "have demonstrated antiinflammatory, diuretic, antitumor, hepatoprotective, and anti-HIV properties". [4]

Taste & Temperature:


  • Foot Shao Yang of Gall Bladder
  • Foot Jue Yin of Liver

Actions & Indications:

  • Clear Heat & Drain Fire
  • Clear Liver Heat, brighten eyes
  • clear Heat and dissipate nodules
  • treat hypertension due to Liver Fire, Liver Yang Rising
  • treat hypertension


  • Spleen/Stomach Deficient Cold


  • Spleen/Stomach deficiency


  • 2-5 qian (9-15 grams)

back to:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Hong-Xiang Sun, Feng Qin, Yuan-Jiang Pan, "In vitro and in vivo immunosuppressive activity of Spica Prunellae ethanol extract on the immune responses in mice", Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 101, Issues 1-3, 3 October 2005, Pages 31-36
  2. Mi Kyoung Lee, Young Min Ahn, Kang Ro Lee, Jee H. Jung, Ok-Sang Jung, Jongki Hong: "Development of a validated liquid chromatographic method for the quality control of Prunellae Spica: Determination of triterpenic acids", Analytica Chimica Acta, Volume 633, Issue 2, 9 February 2009, Pages 271-277.
  3. Y.P. Zhu, "Chinese Materia Medica: Chemistry, Pharmacology and Applications", Harwood Academic Publishers, Amsterdam, 1998, pp668.
  4. M.E. Alvarez, A.E. Rotelli, L.E. Pelzer, J.R. Saad, O. Giordano, Il. Farmaco 55 (2000) pp502.