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决明子 Jue Ming Zi
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Stir-baked Jue Ming Zi
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Jue Ming Zi (Semen Cassiae) ——Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nong’s Herbal)

  1. Jue Ming Zi
  2. Semen Cassiae
  3. 草决明
  4. Cao Jue Ming
  5. Sickle senna seed
  6. 決明子
  7. Cassia Seed
  8. 草決明

The Processing of 决明子


The ripe seed of annual herb Cassia obtusifolia L. or C. tora L. of family Leguminosae.


Everywhere in China.


Collected when fruits are ripe in autumn.

The actual smell and taste

Light smell, light bitter taste.

Best quality

Full one in brown-greenish.


Unprocessed or slightly stir-baked.

The Effect of 决明子


Bitter, sweet and slightly cold; liver and large intestine meridians entered.


Clear liver, improve vision and slightly relax the bowels.


A. All syndromes of eye diseases

Being bitter and cold, it can purge liver fire and improve vision by entering liver. Because it is not drasticly bitter and cold, and yet being sweet and moisture without concerns of damaging yin, it is a common herb for various eyes diseases, such as the eye diseases caused by liver fire, wind-heat, or liver deficiency. For blood-shot painful eyes, photophobia and lacrimation, nebula due to liver fire flaming up, it is combined with Che Qian Zi, Qing Xiang Zi for clearing liver and improve vision, such as Jue Ming San from Yi Zong Jin Jian. For eye diseases due to win-heat, it is combined with Ju Hua and Man Jing Zi to clear heat and dispel wind, such as Jue Ming Zi San from Sheng Hui Fang. For blurred vision, it is often combined with Gou Qi Zi, Tu Si Zi , Wu Wei Zi to tonify liver and kidney, such as Bu Gan Wan from Zheng Zhi Zhun Sheng (Standards for Diagnosis and Treatment) so as to strengthen the action of improving vision.

B. Constipation due to dryness of large intestine

For its actions of laxation and relaxing the bowls, it is commonly combined with herbs of laxation such as Huo Ma Ren, Gua Lou Ren, for constipation caused by internal heat and dryness.

Furthermore, modern research showed that it has the action of lowering blood pressure and blood lipid. It is often indicated for hypertension and hyperlipidemia with some effects.

Dosage and Administrations

Decoct 10~15g. Long-time decoction will damage consolidated antraqunone and weaken the action of relaxing the bowels. Long-time decoction is not wise for treating constipation, and the raw one in form of balls or powder is recommended instead.


It is contraindicated for deficiency-cold syndrome, especially in case of loose stool due to spleen deficiency.