Heat Clearing Herbs to Clear Heat and Toxics

  




Wild Chrysanthemum 

 
Latin: Flos Chrysanthemi Indici
 
Origin:
Wild chrysanthemum is the flower head of Chrysanthemum Indicum L., of the family Asteraceae/Compositae. Native to India, as 'indicum' means 'Indian,' the flower can be found wild in most habitats in India, China, Japan, Indochina, Portugal, and other temperate and subtropical regions.

The flower head of wild chrysanthemum is smaller than florist's or garden chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat./Dendranthema morifolium (Ramat.) Tzvel. The flower plant grows to 1 m tall. It is in flower from September to November, in fruit from October to November. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. It cannot grow in the shade and requires moist soil.

As an herb, it is harvested in autumn and early winter when the flower is in full bloom. Dry it in the sun or bake it until dry and save it for later use.

Also called Indian Dendranthema Flower.

See also Herbs, Herbs for Relieving Exterior Syndromes, Herbs for Dispelling Wind and Heat, Chrysanthemum.
 
Properties:
Bitter and pungent in flavor, slightly cold in nature, it is related to the lung and liver channels.
 
Functions:
Clears away heat and removes toxic substances.

The plant to treat eye ailments. In conjunction with black pepper it is used in the treatment of gonorrhoea.

The leaves are depurative. They are used in the treatment of migraine.
 
Applications:
1. To treat boils, carbuncle, furuncles, scabies and erysipelas:

This herb can be used alone or the fresh herb can be mashed for application onto the affected part. It can also be used with dandelion (Herba Taraxaci), Chinese violet (Herba Violae), honeysuckle flower (Flos Lonicerae), etc., e.g., Wuwei Xiaodu Yin.

2. To treat sore throat and acute conjunctivitis due to upward attacks of toxic heat:

(A) Sore Throat:

Use it with dandelion (Herba Taraxaci), Chinese violet (Herba Violae), weeping forsythia fruit (Fructus Forsythiae), etc.

(B) Acute conjunctivitis due to wind and fire mutually stirred up:

Use it with honeysuckle flower (Flos Lonicerae), pale butterflybush flower (Flos Buddlejae), selfheal spica (Spica Prunellae), etc., e.g., Jinhuang Xigan Tang in the book "Proven Recipes".

3. Miscellaneous:

In addition, this herb can also be taken orally and decocted for external washing for the treatment of skin itching, such as eczema.
 
Dosage and Administration:
10-15 g.

Decoct the ingredients for drinking. Use an adequate amount externally.
 
Cautions on Use:
 
Reference Materials:
Corpus of Discussions on Herbals : "Removing blood stasis, soothing the liver, relieving furunculosis, expelling toxic substances, dispersing the blood accumulated in a woman's abdomen, relieving erysipelas due to fire-toxin, washing boils and scabies, dispelling wind and killing parasites."
 
Toxic or Side Effects:
 
Modern Researches:
Wild chrysanthemum contains volatile oil, in which there are chrysol, chrysanthenone, \-pinene, camphor, borneol, camphorene, etc.; it also contains yejunua lactone, artoglasin-A, acaciin, linarin, chrysanthemin, luteolin, vitamins A and B, etc.

The whole plant is antiphlogistic, blood tonic, depurative, febrifuge and vulnerary. It is obviously antihypertensive.

The flowers have an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of staphococcus, E. coli, streptococcus, C. diphtheriae, Bacillus dysenteriae.

The essential oil obtained from the plant contains chrysanthenone, which is active on the brain centre affected by Parkinson's disease. The essential oil in wild chrysanthemum can also protect gastrointestinal organs and the liver.

For self protection, the outer skin (bark) of many plants contains essential oil, which in turn has elements that serve as an immediate chemical defense against herbivores and pathogens. How? There is an element called hydroxynitrile glucoside in essential oil. This element will release toxic hydrogen cyanide by endogenous plant glucosidase upon tissue disruption (see Anne Vinther Morant, Kirsten Jorgensen, Charlotte Jorgensen, Suzanne Michelle Paquette, Raquel Sanchez-Perez, Birger Lindberg Moller, and Soren Bak, "beta-Glucosidases as Detonators of Plant Chemical Defense," Phytochemistry Vol. 69, Issue 9 (June 2008), pp. 1,795-1,813).

Glucosidase is a catalyzing enzyme that improves healthy functions of our body. It is a lipase that decomposes fat; it can also check inflammation and improve memory (see Mikako Sakurai, Masayuki Sekiguchi, Ko Zushida, Kazuyuki Yamada, Satoshi Nagamine, Tomohiro Kabuta and Keiji Wada, "Reduction in memory in passive avoidance learning, exploratory behaviour and synaptic plasticity in mice with a spontaneous deletion in the ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 gene," European Journal of Neuroscience Vol. 27, Issue 3 (February 2008), pp. 691-701).

The seed contains about 16% of a semi-drying oil, but no information is given as to its uses. The seed is rather small, commercial extraction is probably not viable.
 
 
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