The Remarkable Healing Herb Known as Who's Firewood
Hare's Ear, also known as "Who's Firewood," is a fascinating and versatile herb with a unique history. Originating from a story involving a governor named Who and his young domestic servant, this herb has become known for its powerful healing properties. In this article, we will delve into the history, family, and applications of Hare's Ear, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of this remarkable plant.
The Origin of Hare's Ear: A Governor and His Servant
The story of Hare's Ear begins with a governor named Who, who employed a young servant suffering from a debilitating disease. With symptoms such as alternating fever and chills, and profuse perspiration, the servant was unable to work and was dismissed by Governor Who. Desperate and without a place to go, the servant wandered to a nearby pond and began consuming the water and plants found there.
Miraculously, after a week of this unconventional diet, the servant regained his strength and returned to work for Governor Who. When the governor's son later fell ill with the same symptoms, the servant shared the healing plant with him, and the young boy experienced significant improvement. Governor Who named the herb "Who's Firewood" in honor of himself and the plant's dual purpose as both an edible and a source of fuel.
Hare's Ear: Botanical Details and Usage
- Family: Umbelliferae
- Chinese name: Wood and vegetable, referring to the roots being edible when young and tender, and used as an herb when older.
- Scientific name: Bupleurum chinense DC. and Bupleurum Scorzonerifolium Willd
- Pharmaceutical name: Radix Bupleuri
- Part used: Root
- Dosage: 6g
- Flavor: Bitter
- Energy: Slightly cold
- Class: Herbs to induce perspiration
- Channels: Liver, gallbladder, pericardium, and sanjiao (including thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities)
- Actions: Elevate yang, disperse heat, relieve congestion, and disperse liver energy
- Indications: Malaria, rib pain, irregular menstrual flow, and prolapse of the anus
Key Benefits and Combinations
Research on Hare's Ear has demonstrated six major actions:
- Reinforce the resistance of capillary vessels
- Protect the liver
- Benefit the gallbladder and reduce jaundice
- Promote liver bile production and bile excretion
- Support the treatment of fatty liver
- Soften and shrink the liver and the spleen
Hare's Ear is primarily a yang herb, making it a versatile component in various herbal combinations. For example, it can be combined with radix puerariae to induce perspiration and relax the superficial regions, radix dichroae to alleviate malaria symptoms, and radix scutellariae to relax the superficial regions and sedate heat.
Hare's Ear, or "Who's Firewood," is a powerful and adaptable herb with a rich history. Its numerous health benefits make it an invaluable addition to any herbal medicine cabinet. However, it's important to note that excessive use of Hare's Ear can lead to negative effects. As always, consult a qualified herbalist or healthcare professional before using Hare's Ear or any other herbal remedy.