Fish Mint; Fish Leaf; Chinese Lizard Tail; Chameleon Plant
Whether applied topically or ingested, Yu Xing Cao is best known for its anti-inflammatory and potential anti-bacterial properties (specifically with staph infections and bacterial pneumonia).
When applied topically, Yu Xing Cao can reduce skin inflammation and extract pus from sores while fighting some bacterial infections, so it may work as an acne mask/serum and shows promise as a topical treatment for cold sores, ear infections, and mild conjunctivitis. It may also make a good infection-preventing mouthwash for those who don’t love alcohol-based rinses.
When ingested, Yu Xing Cao may help balance gut microbiota in people with gluten sensitivities. It may also help clear lung congestion from smoking, bronchitis, and pneumonia as it’s an expectorant, making you cough up any mucus that’s in your lungs. Though, if you’re having difficulty breathing, you should still see a physician.
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
The whole Yu Xing Cao plant is used in medicinal preparations and is often available for purchase already dried, chopped, and/or powdered. In any form, it’s easy to decoct for both oral and topical administration. That said, because it contains volatile oils, it’s not ideal to leave it decocting for long periods. That is, letting it steep for longer than recommended won’t make its properties any stronger; it’ll just make it taste a little gross and act a lot less effective.
Yu Xing Cao may impact insulin resistance and uptake, so if you have diabetes you should exercise care when considering taking it. It’s also not recommended for use by women who are pregnant or nursing.
You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking Yu Xing Cao.
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