Friday, November 28, 2008

Medicinal Plants: King of Bitters

King of Bitters : Andrographis Paniculata or Chuan Xin Lian in Chinese. Chuan Xin Lian (穿心蓮) ...

No, it is not the kind you buy in the pub or bar, but a small Chinese medicinal herb.
As the name implies, a tea made from the leaves is very very bitter. Used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine.

It contains ingredients which possess astringent, anodyne, tonic,and alexipharmic properties.

It has been traditionally used in healing dysentery, cholera, and diabetes. Influenza, bronchitis, piles, gonorrhea, hepatomegaly, skin disorders, fever and worm infestation. Useful in healing wounds, ulcers,leprosy, and diarrhea. For red eyes, sore throat, tooth ache.

This little herb has been in my great grand mother's garden as long as I remember. I used to dread to take the concoction, and now, in turn my kids won't touch it.

The Chinese SING SAY or doctor says, according to the herb grower, you must use, 3, 5, 7 leaves, always in single form. I don't really believe, I just use some when I feel heaty or general unwell. It keeps your mouth fresh and rids the flurry feeling.

My friend B says, " It is very good for sore eyes , Just make a tea, and wash your eyes.
Most Chinese say it is good as a gargle for sore throat.

My younger sister Margaret. who is a professor in plant pathology remembers, “ Whenever we complained about headache, Mother would ask us to go downstairs and pick a few leaves of the bitter leaves. Then we said, "No more headache" But Mother would prepare for us and we took with a spoonful of sugar after that. “

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