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Chinese Herbs In Western View - Yi Yi Ren (Semen Coicis Lachryma-Jobi) Health Benefits and Side Effects

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Home of Kyle J. Norton for The Better of Living & Living Health Yi Yi Ren is also known as Coix Seed. The sweet, bland and slightly cool herb has been used in TCM as sedative, analgesic and antipyretic agent and to treat  spastic muscles, arthritis pain,  edema, vagina yeast infection, difficulty in urination, lung abscess, gonorrhea, restless leg syndrome, etc., as it eliminates Water and obstruction, strengthens the Spleen, clears Heat, etc., by enhancing the functions of spleen, lung and stomach channels.

1. Palmitic acid
2. Myristic acid
3. Coixenolide
4. Etc.

Health Benefits
1. Obeisty
In the study to investigate the effects of Chang-Chul-Eui-Ee-In-Tang ([see text], CCEET), modififi ed CCEET (MCCEET), and Semen Coicis (SC, a major component of CCEET) on energy and glucose homeostasis, found that Both CCEET and MCCEET safely exerted anti-obesity effects by enhancing energy balance in female rats with diet-induced obesity; MCCEET showed a better effect on glucose homeostasis(1).

2. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
In the study to assess the apoptosis in the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line HepG2 induced by an injectable extract from the seed of Coix lacryma-jobi (Semen coicis, SC), and monitored the expression of Bcl-2 and caspase-8, found that SC induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, and the expression of caspase-8 was elevated and prolonged. However, it did not significantly influence the expression of Bcl-2(2).

3. Rheumatoid arthritis
In the study of eighteen patients with early active RA were randomized into the BZXD group and the methotrexate (MTX) group, nine in each group, treated with BZXD (contained 15 Chinese herbs, as Herba Hedyotis diffusae, Herba Sarcandrae glabrae, Radix Salviae miltiorrhizae, Caulis Trachelosperi, Rhizoma Drynariae, Semen Coicis, etc.) and MTX combined with nimesulide Tablets respectively, showed that some differentially expressed proteins exist in the PBMCs of RA patients, which may play a potential role in the pathogenesis of RA; BZXD may treat RA by way of regulating the expression of some differential proteins in patients(3).

4. Anti ovarian cancer
researchers at the Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fudan University, Shanghai, in the study of the anti ovarian cancer indicated “Some components of traditional Chinese medicine, such as genistein, semen Coicis, phytosterols, curcumin, quercetin, ginsenoside, etc. have been found to exert anticancer actions of inhibiting proliferation and inducing apoptosis of cancer cells”(4).

5.  Analgesic effect 
The extracts of Moutan cortex and Coicis semen dose-dependently alleviated the PGF2alpha-induced allodynia by oral administration 1 h before intrathecal injection of PGF2alpha. When orally administrated every day for 7 days, these extracts attenuated neuropathic pain in the ipsilateral side, but not in the contralateral side, day 7 after L5 spinal nerve transection. The increase in NADPH diaphorase activity in the spinal cord associated with neuropathic pain was also blocked by these extracts, according to the study of Dr. Tatsumi S and researchers at the Osaka Medical College(5).

6. Etc. 

Side Effects
1. Do not use in case of spleen deficiency with diarrhea
2. Prolonged period of usage can cause body deficiency and weakness
3. Do not use the herb in newborn, children or if you are pregnant or breast feeding without first consulting with the related field specialist.
4. Etc.

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For other Chinese herbs in western view, visit

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