Ze Qi – Euphorbia – Herba Euphorbiae Helioscopiae

Ze Qi

English Name: euphorbia, sun spurge

Literal Translation: “marsh lacquer”

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Euphorbiae Helioscopiae

Medica Category: Water-Regulating and Damp-Resolving Herbs

Properties: Ze Qi enters Large Intestine, Small Intestine, and Lung channels; it is sweet, bitter, and acrid in nature and cool in temperature.

What is Ze Qi?:

The Chinese Herb Ze Qi comes from an annual, herbaceous plant native to Europe, Central Asia, and North Africa called euphorbia (aka sun spurge– Euphorbia Helioscopia L.). Sun spurge is an annual belonging to the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) that can grow up to 10-30 cm in height with base branched and sparsely hairy stems and blooms with tiny, yellow-green flowers throughout the growing season. The milky white sap is used medicinally (and is considered slightly toxic (see safety note below)).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Ze Qi:

Ze Qi promotes the circulation of water/regulates the water cycle to treat edema and ascites.

Ze Qi enters the Lung channel and dissolves phlegm to address cough with wheezing and production of sputum. Ze Qi also dissolves nodules and hardness caused by/consisting of hardened, accumulated phlegm and can be used internally or topically in this regard.

–safety note: Ze Qi is considered to be slightly toxic. Direct contact to the skin or mucous membranes can cause irritation, redness, and discomfort. This herb is considered to be for short-term use only and should be used in small doses (i.e. monitor dosage levels to avoid problems—each person is different). Furthermore, its use is contraindicated for use in those with Qi and Blood deficiencies.