Tou Gu Cao – Garden Balsam – Caulis Impatientis

Tou Gu Cao

English Name: garden balsam

Literal Translation: “penetrate the bone herb”

Pharmaceutical Name: Caulis Impatientis

Medica Category: Wind Damp Dispelling Herbs – Pain Relieving Herbs

Properties: Tou Gu Cao enters the Liver, Spleen, and Kidney Channels; it is bitter, slightly sweet, and acrid in nature and cool in temperature.

What is Tou Gu Cao?:

The Chinese Herb Tou Gu Cao is the dried caulis of the garden balsam (Impatiens balsamina Line). Native to India and Myanmar, it is now widely distributed throughout the world. It has a variety of uses in various folk medicinal traditions; in TCM, the caulis (stalks and stems) are juiced or dried and pulverized for use as medicine. Its uses in the TCM tradition are listed below.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Tou Gu Cao:

Tou Gu Cao dispels wind and dampness and is used to alleviate muscle cramps and relax tendons.

Tou Gu Cao invigorates blood and breaks stasis to treat trauma-related pain and bleeding.

Tou Gu Cao clears heat-toxins, cools blood, and relieves pain; it is used topically for infected sores, burns and carbuncles and can also be used internally for various forms of bleeding due to excess heat.

Tou Gu Cao drains damp heat to treat acute jaundice with hepatitis, fever, poor appetite and hepatomegaly.

**safety note: Tou Gu Cao is contraindicated for pregnancy.