Chinese Name : 王不留行
Latin Name : Semen Vaccariae
This herb is the dried ripe seeds of Vaccaria segetalis (Neck) Garcke of the family Caryophyllaceae. It grows mainly in the Hebei, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, and Shandong provinces of China. The herb and its seeds are harvested during the summer months, dried in the sun, and used unprocessed.
Traditionally, vaccaria seed was used to cure gynecological disorders, promote menstrual flow (emmenagogue), relieve menstrual pain, and promote the production of milk (galactagogue) after childbirth.
Use of Vaccaria Seed in TCM
Acrid and sweet in taste, and neutral, it acts on the liver and stomach meridians.
Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combinations
- Invigorates blood circulation and regulates menstruation: For amenorrhea and menstrual disturbances, vaccaria seed is combined with cnidium rhizome, carthamus, Chinese angelica root, and cyperus seed.
- Promotes production of milk: for deficiency of lactation after childbirth, vaccaria seed is used in combination with Chinese angelica, trichosanthes root, and akebia stem. The seed is also blended with dandelion, prunella spike, and trichosanthes seeds for mastitis (inflammation of the breast).
- Promotes urination and helps remove stones in the urinary system: to treat calculus formation in the urinary system, such as kidney or bladder stones, vaccaria seed is dispensed with achyranthes, lygodium spores, and lysimachia in a decoction.
- Relieves inflammation of the prostate glands: for prostate inflammation, vaccaria seed is mixed with peach kernel, carthamus, patrinia herb (bai jiang cao), and lycopus (ze lan) in a decoction
- Vaccaria seed is also useful in treating uterine fibrositis and to relieve shingles pain.
In a decoction of 6 to 15 g.
Pregnant women should avoid using this herb.
Side Effects and Toxicity
No undesirable side effects or toxicity were reported at the therapeutic dose in classical Chinese materia medica.
Vaccaria seed contains vaccaroside, lactosin, vacsegoside, gyosogenin, glucoronic acid, glucone, arabinose, xylose, rhamuose, isosaponarin, saponaretin, and vitexin.
- Stimulatory: the water or alcohol extract of the herb was significantly stimulatory on the uteruses of rats.
- Antitumorous: demonstrated inhibitory action on lung and intestinal cancer.
- Promotes the production of milk.
Powdered toasted vaccaria seed made into a paste with sesame oil was applied on the skin of patients with herpes zoster, twice a day, and left in place for thirty minutes. The pain stopped and the condition cleared within five days. Extract of vaccaria seed has been shown to be inhibitory on lung cancer cells.