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Yin Chen (Yinchenhao Shoots and Leaves, Capillaris)

Previous Herb in CategoryNext Herb in Category Herb 26 of 28 in Herbs that Regulate Water and Drain Dampness

Cool Yin Chen (Herba Artemisiae Yinchenhao)
Bitter, Spicy, Cool
Herba Artemisiae Yinchenhao
Tone Marks:
yīn chén
Alt Names:
Yin Chen Hao, Main Yin Chen, Mian Chen


  • Clears Damp-Heat, Treats Yang Type Jaundice
    This is the best herb for treatment of jaundice due to damp-heat or damp-cold. Most commonly used for jaundice with bright orange-yellow skin usually referred to as yang-type. Also used with other herbs for yin-type jaundice with yellow, dull, and lusterless appearance although it is traditionally contraindicated for this type.
  • Clears Damp-Heat from the Skin
    Especially for lower body skin diseases including sores, rashes, eczema, oozing sores, and urticaria due to damp-heat on the exterior.
  • Treats Febrile diseases with Damp-Heat
    For fever, body aches, oppression in the chest, constipation, yellow urine and abdominal distension due to damp-heat.
  • Promotes Urination
    Weakly promotes urination

Contraindications and Cautions

  • Use caution in cases without Damp-Heat.
  • Do not use in cases with jaundice due to blood accumulation.

Herb-Drug Interactions

  • None noted, but caution should be used when combining with diuretic drugs.

Toxicity and Overdose

  • Overdose can lead to rare toxic side effects including fainting, dizziness, headache, numb upper extremities with tremors, palpitations and feelings of chest oppression.


  • 10-30 grams in decoction 12
  • 9-30 grams in decoction 13


  • This herb is the primary herb for treatment of jaundice due to its bitter and slightly cold nature. When treating Yang jaundice with signs of heat bitter cold herbs should be included like Zhi Zi. When treating Yin jaundice with signs of cold warming herbs like Fu Zi should be included.

Clinical Studies and Research

This Herb Appears in the Following Formulas: