The herb Schizonepeta and its uses have been known in the annals of Chinese traditional medicine as being able to help expel heat and wind, thus helping the body revert to a more balanced state. The plant is also quite known for helping alleviate itching, as well as for its chemical content that is known to help enable the accelerated clotting of blood.
Schizonepeta is an herb that is native to East Asia, particularly Japan and China, where it grows extensively in the Jiangsu , Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces. Known by its scientific name of schizonepeta tenuifolia and by various other names such as Jing Jie, Japanese catnip or mint, schizonepeta possesses petite lavender-colored flowers that grow in bunches.
It has a pleasant aroma and its foliage is extremely disjointed. This plant is a member of the same family as catnip, but its difference from plants of this family is that it is an annual plant that has a scent to that of the pine. The above ground parts of the schizonepeta plant – the leaves, stems and flowers – impart many valuable remedial properties. As such, the entire plant is used in preparing and making herbal medications.
Schizonepeta plants are typically harvested in the autumn and winter. The useful parts of the plant are then dried in the shade and cut into pieces. These are then infused or decocted into schizonepeta tea, or extracted and turned into creams and lotions for topical use. These preparations are used primarily for their carminative, diaphoretic, and antipyretic properties.
Schizonoepeta tea, creams and lotions should not be prescribed for pregnant and nursing women. The cream should not be used on bare skin for it may cause certain side effects. Individuals with anemia should likewise avoid the use of products containing this herb.
Schizonepeta tea benefits are derived from the chemical compounds found in the relevant above-ground parts of the plant. These include menthol, menthone, caffeic acid, schizonodiol, cineole and hesperidin.
As a decoction, schizonepeta tea can be made by placing the leaves, stems and flowers in a vat of boiling water and left for about 10 minutes. Take the vat out of the fire, let it simmer and cool. An infusion of the tea can likewise be made for a milder effect. It can be made by placing these same parts in newly-boiled water and then allowed to steep for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Beneath are some of schizonepeta tea’s benefits:
- Often used as a remedy for measles. For this purpose, it is often combined with peppermint, cicada slough and arctium fruit.
- Thought to be useful as a treatment for fever.
- May assist in the treatment of hemorrhages, notably post-natal bleeding and excessive menstruation. The carbonized form of schizonepeta is typically used for conditions such as uterine hemorrhage, vomiting blood and hemafecia, a serious bowel disease.
- When applied topically may help ease skin conditions such as boils and rashes. It is often used in conjunction with honeysuckle, forsythia and ledebouriella root for treatment of pus-generating infections on the surface of the body.
- Said to help fight against allergic reactions.
- Claimed to be helpful against itching, especially in the nose, throat and palate.
- May help combat mastitis and carbuncle.
- Believed to help lessen inflammation and swelling.