Xiao Ji – Field Thistle – Herba Cirisii

Xiao Ji

English Name: cirsium, cephalano, field thistle

Literal Translation: “small thistle“

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Cirsii

Medica Category: Stop-Bleeding Herbs

Properties: Xiao Ji enters the Liver and Heart channels; it is sweet in nature and cool in temperature.

What is Xiao Ji?:

The Chinese Herb Xiao Ji is the dried aerial parts of bristly thistle (Cirsium Setosum (Willd.); and 2 others). Also known as  “field thistle” or “big thistle”, it is widely distributed throughout the forest and steppes of Central Asia along riverbanks and other inundated areas. In more settled areas, is grows in fallow fields, meadows, and pasturelands and has been used medicinally in China for over 1500 years.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Xiao Ji:

Xiao Ji cools the blood and stops bleeding and is used to treat lin zheng (dysuria syndrome) with blood in the urine. Xiao Ji also cools blood in the ren (conception) and chong (thoroughfare) channels to address metrorrhagia (abnormal spotting or bleeding between periods).

More generally, Xiao Ji is appropriate to stop many different manifestations of bleeding in which the blood is bright red (due to blood heat) such as hemoptysis (coughing up blood), nosebleeds, hemorrhoidal bleeding etc…

Xiao Ji has similar properties to Da Ji (Japanese thistle), and they are often used together as they have a synergistic effect to clear heat and cool the blood.

Xiao Ji is used both topically and internally to address abscesses and swellings due to blood statis and toxic heat. Fresh juice of Xiao Ji is best for this purpose.

Xiao Ji enters the Liver channel and can be used to address damp-heat jaundice arising from Liver heat/Fire.