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Coix seed


Coix seedThis herb is the seed of Coix Lacryma – jobi (family Cramineae) produced mainly in Fujian, Hebei and Liaoning provinces. Whole plant is har-vested in autumn when fruit is ripe. The fruit is picked,husked and dried insunlight. It is usedunprepared or stir-baked until slightlyyellow.


Sweet and bland in flavour, cool in pro-perty, acting on thespleen,lung and kidneychannels.


Strengthening the spleen and lung, excreting dampness and inducing diuresis, clearing away heat to drain pus.


  • 1. Cancers ofdigestive tract, lungand ovary, and cho-rioepithelioma.
    • (1)For deficient spleen,excessive dampness and disorderly diges-tion in carcinoma of digestive tract, it is used with olden-landia, white atrac-tylodes rhizome , poria, greenbrier rhizome, shell of areca nut and others.
    • (2) For phlegm- heat accompanied with dampness in lung cancer, it is used together with lepi-dium seed , trichosanthes fruit, dandelion, hout-tuynia, poria and others.
    • (3) For accumulation of dampness and excess toxin in cancers of uterine cervix and ovary, it is used with phellodendron bark, seven-lobed yam, Hindu lotus stamen and toona.
    • (4) For chorioepithelioma, it is used with houttuynia, adsuki bean seed, patrinia, astragalus root, rubia rot, waxgourd seed, chinese ange-lica root, danghsen, donkey-hide gelatin,licorice root, etc. It induces antitumour and en-hances immunologicfunction. The extract and decoc-tion of coix seedinhibit various tumourcells. Its active component, coixeno-lide, promotes cellu-lar immunity and humoral immunity.
  • 2. Diarrhea dueto spleen deficiency,arthralgia caused by wind-dampness, edema, jaundice,lung abscess,appendicitis, chy-luria, leukorrhea,etc.

Chinese medicine

Coix seeds, a Chinese medicine have been used in Japan and reported to be effective in patients with verruca vulgaris and verrucae planae juveniles. We investigated thein vivo effects on lymphocyte subsets in seven healthy volunteers who took six tablets of Coix seeds three times a day (a typical dose) for four weeks. Leukocyte counts and the percentage of total lymphocytes did not change but the percentages of CD3–CD56+ cells and CD16+CD57– cells increased significantly. These results indicate that Coix seeds increase peripheral cytotoxic lymphocytes and may be effective to viral infection through the enhancement of cytotoxic activity.

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