Tang Kuei, Lisustrus and Cuscuta: What Are They and How Are They Used?
Answered by: Zhongfa Wu
Question from: Donna Ruderman
Posted on: June 20, 2007

Please tell me what the following herbs are and what the common uses are: Tang Kuei, Lisustrus, and Cuscuta seeds.

The three herb names you gave are incomplete. "Tang Kuei" is probably Cantonese for the herb known as "dang gui" in Mandarin. This is known in the West as "dong quai". The botanical name is Angelica polymorpha sinensis or just Angelica sinensis. This is one of the most important herbs in China. The root lowers blood pressure, strengthens the heart, increases blood flow, and improves circulation. It is also antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic. It is widely used to regulate menstruation, and it is used to treat hepatitis, cirrhosis, rheumatism, shingles.

The other two names are botanical names, and I know what they are even if you didn’t give me the complete names because they are popular herbs.

"Lisustrus" is nuzhenzi (in Chinese), or glossy privet fruit (in English). It is the fruit of Ligustrum lucidum, in the olive family, Oleaceae. The herb is mainly produced in south areas to the Yangtze River. Application: 1. for deficiency of liver-yin and kidney-yin manifested as blurred vision, eyesight being falling, whitening of hair, soreness of waist and tinnitus. 2. It is also used for fever due to yin-deficiency, hectic fever and vexation.

Cuscuta seeds: tusizi (in Chinese), or semen cuscutae (pharmacy name), or dodder in English. It is the ripe seeds of Cuscuta chinensis (family Convolvaceae). The medicinal material is produced in most parts of China. Application: 1. it is applied for deficiency of the kidney manifested as lumbago, impotence, emission, enuresis, or leucorrhagia because of its action of nourishing both kidney-yin and kidney-yang and that of arresting seminal emission and reducing urination with astringent drugs and stopping leucorrhagia. 2. It is applied for insufficiency of the kidney and liver and malnutrition of eyes with manifestation of blurred vision and weakness of eyesight.

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