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Yuan Hua

Yuan Hua
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Yuan Hua (Flos Genkwa)——Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nong’s Herbal)

  1. 芫花
  2. Flos Genkwa
  3. Lilac Daphne Flower Bud

The Processing of Yuan Hua


The flower buds of Daphne genkwa Sieb. et Zucc. of family Thymelaeaceae.


Mainly in Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, etc. of China.


Collected in spring before blossom.

The actual smell and taste

Light smell, sweet and slightly pungent taste.

Best quality

Flower bud in lilac or grayish purple without impurity.


Unprocessed or processed with Vinegar.

The Effect of Yuan Hua


Bitter, pungent, warm, toxic; large intestine, lung, and kidney meridians entered.


Drive out accumulated water, kill parasites and cure wound in topical application.


A. Hydrothorax, edema and tympanites

It has a similar but less drastic action compared with Gan Sui and Jing Da Ji, and is often combined with those two herbs to reinforce one another, as in Shi Zao Tang from Shang Han Lun. Because of the combined action of dispelling phlegm to relieve cough, it excels in discharging hydrothorax, especially in treating cough and asthma with profuse sputum and pain of chest and hypochondrium.

B. Scalp infection, neurodermatitis and abscess

It can kill parasites and cure wound when being used topically. For scalp infection, neurodermatitis and abscess, its fine powder is used alone or mixed with realgar powder and lard to make an ointment for topical application.

Dosage and Administrations

1.5~3 g used in decoction; 0.6 g used in powder or pill. Proper dosage is for topical administration. It should be processed with vinegar to weaken its toxins when taking orally.


It is contraindicated to pregnancy and valetudinarian, and antagonistic to Gan Cao.