Xia Ku Cao – Prunella – Spica Prunellae

Xia Ku Cao

English Name: prunella, selfheal spike

Literal Translation: “withered flower/weed in summer”

Pharmaceutical Name: Spica Prunellae

Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Fire-Purging Herbs

Properties: Xia Ku Sao enters the Liver and Gallbladder channels; it is bitter and acrid in nature and cold in temperature.

What is Xia Ku Cao?:

The Chinese Herb Xia Ku Cao is the dried spikes of the perennial herbaceous plant Prunella vulgaris, a common herb also known as selfheal or allheal in the Western tradition. The square stem of this plant has dense, cylindrical, terminal spikes of purple flowers. The spikes elongate after flowering; and once its purple-flowered spikes turn reddish brown, they are collected and dried for use as medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Xia Ku Cao:

Xia Ku Cao clears heat and sedates fire in the Liver to address redness and inflammation of the eyes or infections of the skin.  It is also regulates the circulation of qi in cases where Liver qi is stagnant

Xia Ku Cao clears phlegm-heat and heat toxins and is useful for resolving accumulations and masses from the body; being of light nature, it is especially used for accumulations in the upper body (chest (lung abscesses), throat, and head).

Xia Ku Cao is used to treat hypertension associated with Live Fire/Liver Yang rising.