Herbs & Botanicals
Albizzia Bark (he huan pi)
What is albizzia bark? What is it used for?
Albizzia bark comes from the albizzia tree, which is also known as the mimosa. The tree can reach a height of 30 feet, with whitish-pink flowers. Like most other trees, albizzia bark is grey-brown in color, with a rough exterior and a whitish or yellowish interior. The bark is collected from the tree during the summer and autumn, then cut into small pieces for medicinal use.
According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, albizzia bark has sweet and neutral properties, and is associated with the Heart and Liver meridians. It is most commonly used as a tonic to help tranquilize the mind, reduce fatigue and ease tension. Albizzia bark also treats skin conditions such as carbuncles and acne, reduces pain swelling, and stimulates blood circulation. It can be used either externally or internally.
How much albizzia bark should I take?
The typical dose of albizzia bark is between 10 and 15 grams, ground down into a powder and served as a decoction. Albizzia extracts can also be used, but at much lower doses. Albizzia bark can also be mixed with other herbs and used externally as a poultice.
What forms of albizzia bark are available?
High-quality, sliced albizzia bark is widely available at most Asian markets, specialty stores and herbal shops. Powdered albizzia bark, along with albizzia extracts, pills and capsules, can be found at many locations.
What can happen if I take too much albizzia bark? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?
While there is no evidence that albizzia bark causes drowsiness or can impair one's judgment, most practitioners recommend that patients taking albizzia bark refrain from driving or operating heavy equipment within an hour of ingestion. The American Herbal Products Association has given albizzia bark a class 2B rating, meaning that it should not be used by women who are pregnant. In addition, it should be given to children only with extreme caution. As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before using albizzia bark or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.
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