Bo He – Chinese Field Mint

Nature: acrid, cool

Enters: Liver, Lung

Actions: Disperses wind-heat; eases the head, eyes and throat; expresses skin eruptions; promotes Qi circulation on the surface and frees liver Qi.

• Wind-heat: headache, fever, slight aversion to cold, sore throat, red eyes, cough, nasal congestion.
• Liver Qi stagnation: distention, pain or pressure in the chest, costal region, or hypochondrium, emotional instability, gynecological problems.
• Wind-heat: slow skin eruption in early-stage measles, or other early-stage rashes.
• Add to a decoction in the last five minutes of cooking.
HF: A San Du, scattering toxin medicinal, typically found in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
Li Dong Yuan: Upbears Yang Qi.
Li: Can be warming in a large dose.
Yoga: Phudina: P, K-; V+ (in excess)
Sattvic herb, very ethereal: soothing, cooling, clarifying, expanding.
• Relieves tension, congestion; mild; harmonizer.
• Pungent/cooling (slightly)/pungent.
• Affects respiratory, nervous, digestive, and circulatory systems.
• Stimulant, diaphoretic, carminative, nervine, analgesic.
• Same indications as TCM plus earache, dysmenorrhea.
MLT: Similar to Lemon Balm and Spearmint (these herbs can be substituted).
• Do not boil. Infuse in the boiled water only after the rest of the decoction is prepared.

Dose: 1.5-6g

JC: on Spearmint (likely pretty similar to Bo he):
• Diaphoretic (gentle), diuretic (lithotriptic), stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, aromatic, nervine (sedative), condiment, nephritic, anti-emetic.
• Beneficial to the kidneys and bladder as a diuretic, especially for suppressed, painful, or scalding urination, and bladder/kidney inflammation.
• Soothing and quieting to the nerves and stomach.
• Colic, flatulence, dyspepsia, spasms, dropsy, nausea, vomiting, gravel in bladder, hemorrhoids (shallow enema).
• Ginger intensifies and accelerates its action.
• Vomiting and nausea of pregnancy: 14g spearmint, 2 teaspoons cloves (ding xiang), 2 teaspoons cinnamon (rou gui), 2 teaspoons rhubarb (da huang). Infuse in 1 pint boiled water, cover 20 minutes, strain, take 3-4 tablespoons every 30 minutes.
PLB: Peppermint (the most pungent mint) is, overall, stronger/sharper than Spearmint, and is probably less similar to Bo he.
BII: For irritable bowel syndrome, GB disease (studies used enteric coated capsules of peppermint oil).
• Not for heartburn or esophageal reflux as it relaxes the esophageal (cardiac) sphincter (use licorice/DGL instead).

2 comments on “Bo He – Chinese Field Mint

  1. Anonymous says:

    Does Bo He also enter the Stomach meridian? Especially, if combined with Huo Xiang and Zi Su Ye for indigestion and halitosis?

  2. Peter Borten says:

    No, not according to any source I’ve seen. The closest hint of this would be that is Chen & Chen say it can help disperse “turbid Qi” – damp-heat – in the abdomen due to summerheat or bad food. Though for this it must be combined with other stronger herbs. Despite peppermint’s use in the West for stomach issues (actually more intestinal), Chinese field mint apparently doesn’t directly enter the stomach meridian. You might consider Pu Gong Ying (dandelion), Zhu Ru (bamboo shavings), Lu Gen (phragmites), or a tiny bit of Huang Lian (coptis) or Long Dan Cao (gentian), or another herb if you are specifically looking for a cooling herb with digestive-settling properties that enters the stomach meridian. And I would guess that in many cases of halitosis, there is stomach heat – meaning the warm aromatic herbs you mentioned wouldn’t be adequate.

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