Xanthium

Latin name: Fructus xanthii sibirici
Chinese name: cang er zi
Other name: cocklebur fruit

What is Xanthium?

Xanthium is another name for the cocklebur, a common bush native to Europe, the Americas, and Asia. The name xanthium comes from the Greek xanthos, meaning yellow, and refers to the bush’s seedpods, which turn from green to yellow as they ripen. This plant is beneficial, repelling armyworms and other pests from nearby domesticated plants. Cocklebur seeds are covered with stiff, hooked spines, which sticks to fur and clothing and can be quite difficult to extract. These remarkable burred seeds have allowed this plant to be carried all over the world by unsuspecting travelers.

What are the health benefits of Xanthium?
Xanthium is an herb known in many traditions for opening the nasal passages. The pods, or fruit, are used in Chinese medicine to treat sinus congestion, chronic nasal obstructions, nasal discharges, and respiratory allergies. It is also used to treat splitting headaches that radiate to the back of the neck. In the West, xanthium is employed as an analgesic to relieve aches, pains, and headaches that are associated with nasal congestion and sinusitis. Xanthium is commonly combined with other herbs to make tea in traditional Chinese medicine.

Are there any precautions for taking Xanthium?
Overdose may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. It is not to be used for headaches in anemic people.

Where can I find Xanthium?
Xanthium can be found online through herb suppliers or at the offices of Chinese medical practitioners.

You can find this herb combined with other herbs in the Traditions of Tao formulas:
Allergy Tamer, which provides temporary relief from nasal congestion, sneezing, itchiness, and watery eyes.
Sinus, which is used for allergies and to unblock nasal and sinus congestion.
Spring Tea, which is useful for alleviating fatigue, indigestion, early morning grogginess, and poor concentration.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.