Xing Ren – Apricot Seed – Semen Armeniacae Amarum

Xing Ren

English Name: apricot seed, bitter apricot kernel

Pharmaceutical Name: Semen Armeniacae Amarum

Medica Category: Cough- and Wheezing- Relieving Herbs

Properties: Xing Ren enters the Lung and Large Intestine channels; it is bitter in nature and slightly warm in temperature.

What is Xing Ren?:

The Chinese Herb Xing Ren is the dried inner seed of the fruit of the apricot tree (Prunus armeniaca L.; and 2 others), which has been cultivated since prehistoric times as a source of food. Its use in TCM to relieve cough and wheezing goes back at least 2000 years.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Xing Ren:

Xing Ren both moistens and drains the Lung to redirect abnormally rising qi that according to TCM theory causes coughing. It is one of the most widely used herbs to address cough, dyspnea, and wheezing as it can treat the initial, acute, and chronic stages of cough depending on the herbs with which it is combined in formula.

Xing Ren lubricates the bowels and promotes bowel movements to address constipation/dry stools form deficiency and/or dryness.

–additional notes/safety concerns:

Xing Zi (apricot fruit) is sour and sweet in nature and hot in temperature; it enters the lung and heart meridians. Actions: moisten the lung, relieve asthma, promote the secretion of saliva and relieve thirst when body fluids are damaged/impaired.

Because apricot seed is mildly toxic, large doses should be avoided; overdosing can lead to dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea.

Use with caution with infants or for persons with loose stools.

Not suitable to address cough from qi or yin deficiencies.