Pogostemon Cablin Extract Powder (Guang Huo Xiang) 广藿香精华浓缩粉 100g
Patchouli, also known as Pogostemon cablin in scientific name and Guang Huo Xiang in Chinese, has a reputation for being one of the best summertime medicines. It is a Chinese medicinal herb to clear dampness, dispel cold, harmonize the stomach and benefits vital energy. Huo Xiang benefits digestive health and may boost the immune system. It has antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, astringent, diuretic and sedative effects.
One of its most popular modern preparations is the Regular Care Herbal Supplement (Huoxiang Zhengqi Shui), which is so versatile that it is always one of the must-haves in the Chinese family’s medicine cabinet checklist. This is one of the classic herbal formulas frequently used in TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). But don’t mistake it for a specific medicine for relieving summer-heat only. Instead, this formula has an extensive medicinal uses, especially on regulating vital energy, clearing dampness, and dispelling cold.
Common Names: Patchouli, Herba Agastaches Rugosus, Agastache, Pogostemon, Korean Mint, Herba Pogostemonis, Pachi, Pachauli
Botanical Name: Agastache rugosa, Pogostemon cablin
Huo Xiang Properties: Acrid, Slightly Warm
Huo Xiang Channels / Meridians: Spleen, Stomach, Lungs
Huo Xiang Naturally Occurring Components: patchoulol, norpatchoulenol, α-patchoulene, β-patchoulene, γ-patchoulene, α-guaiene, α-bulnesene, pogostone, caryophyllene, eugenol, patchoulipyridine
Common Usages and Indications
- Aromatically transforms turbid dampness - abdominal distention, nausea, vomiting.
- Harmonizes middle burner, stops vomiting due to dampness.
- Releases the exterior (wind-damp-cold, summer heat), stomach flu.
Selected herbal remedies of Pogostemon cablin
The Chinese Materia Medica believes that it is pungent in taste and slightly warm in nature and enters three channels of spleen, stomach, and lung. Essential functions are resolving damp with aromatics, harmonizing the stomach to prevent vomiting, and dispelling summer-heat to relieve superficies syndrome. Vital patchouli uses and indications include bloating and fullness of the stomach due to damp retention in middle-Jiao; loss of appetite; vomiting; diarrhea; chills, fever and headache by exogenous summer-heat and damp; fever and fatigue in the early stage of damp-warm syndrome; Chest tightness and nausea; nasosinusitis; and tinea of feet and hands. Recommended dosage is from 5 to 10 grams (fresh herb) or 10 to 20 grams (dried herb) in decoction, teapills and powder. And cooking it for too long is inadvisable.
1. Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San. From Tai Ping Hui Min He Ji Ju Fang (Formulas of the Peaceful Benevolent Dispensary), this is a formula mainly used for typhoid fever induced headache, chills and fever, cough, crymodynia in heart and abdomen, nausea and vomiting, vomiting and diarrhea in cholera, deficient singing in viscera, malignant malaria, overall puffiness, prenatal and postpartum blood-qi tingling, and pediatric indigestion. Other major herbal ingredients are Da Fu Pi (Areca Peel), Bai Zhi (Angelica Root), Zi Su Ye (Perilla Leaf), Fu Ling (Poria), and so on.
2. Hui Sheng San. From Bai Yi Xuan Fang (Precisely-selected Prescriptions), this prescription combines patchouli leaf with Chen Pi (Tangerine Peel) to treat profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting in cholera.
3. Huo Xiang San. From Ji Feng Pu Ji Fang (Jifeng’s Formularies for universal relief), this recipe uses it along with Gao Liang Jiang (Galangal Root) for the treatment of malaria.
4. Bu Huan Jin Zheng Qi San. From He Ji Ju Fang, it is usually made for distention and fullness in stomach, reduced appetite and nausea, and sleepiness and fatigue due to cold-damp affecting spleen. Other major herbs are Cang Zhu (Atractylodes), Hou Po (Magnolia Bark), and more.
5. Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan. From Wen Re Jing Wei (Compendium of Epidemic Febrile Diseases), it is mainly designed for equal damp-heat in the early stage of damp-heat syndrome. The rest chief herbs include Huang Qin (Scutellaria), Hua Shi (Talcum Powder), Yin Chen Hao (Capillaris), etc.
Patchouli side effects and contraindications
Generally this herb is considered safe when used in food amounts. As of the writing of this article there is no known patchouli essential oil side effects reported. In spite of the extensive patchouli oil uses, TCM wise it shouldn’t be used in the cases of yin deficiency with blood dryness, fire excess from yin deficiency, and constipation due to excessive pathogen.
Pharmacological actions of patchouli oil:
1. It can promote the secretion of gastric juice, enhance the digestion, and relieve gastrointestinal spasm;
2. It has antiseptic and antibacterial effect;
3. It astringes to arrest diarrhea, dilates capillaries, and induces perspiration slightly.
How was extract powder made and what was the ratio:
Sometimes referred to as the “industry standard”, 5:1 signifies the yield ratio. Yield is the amount of product obtained as a result of the extraction process. A five to one yield means that if you cook 500 kg of herbs, you can expect 100 kg of powder/granules. In this case, the
resultant powder represents a 20% yield and thus, a 5:1 yield ratio. Moreover, even though 5:1 is the “industry standard”, most herbs will not necessarily provide a five to one
yield ratio. Sometimes, the yield will be 7:1 or 10:1, for example. A 7:1 extract means that it takes 700kg to obtain 100kg of product. A 10:1 extract means that it takes 1000kg to obtain 100kg. These are poorer yields than 5:1, and certainly do not represent a stronger concentration. One is simply getting less out of the extraction process. Another way to understand a 7:1 yield
ratio is that if you start with same 500kg of raw herbs in the example above, you will only get 71.4 kg of finished product. With a 10:1 yield ratio, 500kg of raw herbs will
yield 50kg, etc. We think that it is important to reiterate, 7:1 and 10:1 are not stronger than 5:1. It’s a little counterintuitive, but 7:1 and 10:1 extracts are less efficient because the yield was smaller.
A Glimpse of recent Western lens paper that mentioned Huo Xiang in fighting COVID-19:
"Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Patients Infected with 2019-New Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): A Review and Perspective" <https://www.ijbs.com/v16p1708.htm>
"Positive SARS-Cov-2 test in a woman with COVID-19 at 22 days after hospital discharge: A case report" <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7144858/>
"China is encouraging herbal remedies to treat COVID-19. But scientists warn against it." (Herbal-Pal doctor editor note: of course, these so-called scientists do not understand how it works, hence have to be responsible by warning people of things they don't understand.) <https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/china-encouraging-herbal-remedies-treat-covid-19-scientists-warn-against-n1173041>