Herbs & Botanicals

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Lophatherum (dan zhu ye)

What is lophatherum? What is it used for?

Lophatherum is a type of bamboo native to Asia. Instead of having a rigid, cane-like stem like most bamboos, lophatherum grows as a type of long-leaf grass. The parts of the lophatherum used in herbal formulas are the leaves, which are gathered in the summer, dried in the sun, and cut into pieces.

In traditional Chinese medicine, lophatherum is considered to have sweet, bland and cold properties, and is associated with the Heart, Small Intestine and Stomach meridians. Lophatherum helps to clear heat in the stomach or heart (manifested as irritability, canker cores and swollen gums), remove heat in the small intestine, and promote urination.

How much lophatherum should I take?

The typical dose of lophatherum is between six and nine grams, decocted in water for oral administration.

What forms of lophatherum are available?

Dried, cut lophatherum leaves can be found at many Asian markets and specialty stores. Some shops also sell lophatherum as part of a larger herbal formula.

What can happen if I take too much lophatherum? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions or side-effects associated with taking large doses of lophatherum leaf. However, lophatherum should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


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