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Xìng Rén 杏仁

Pharmaceutical name Armeniacae Semen Apricot seed/kernel
Category Stop Cough, Calm Wheezing
Key Properties Directs LU Qi downward
Disperses Wind-Cold
Moistens Intestines
Slightly Toxic
Properties Bitter
Sl. Warm
Sl. Toxic
Tropism LU, LI
Actions & Indications 1) Stops cough, calms wheezing: especially for dry cough (exogenous)
2) Moistens intestines, unblocks bowels
Dosages 3-9g
Contraindications (TCM) CI: cough from Qi or Yin Def
Caution with infants and patients with diarrhea
Toxicity can be reduced by cooking, removing outer coating, and mixing seed with sugar
Contraindications (Western)
Chemical Composition Amygdalin, emulsin, hydroxynitrile lyase, amygdalase, punnase, cholesterol, estrone, α-estradiol
Pharmacological Effects • Antihypertensive: intravenous injection of 20% water extract has marked and sustained antihypertensive effect
• Antitussive and antiasthmatic: after ingestion, amygdalin and emulsin are metabolized in presence of gastric acid to hydrocyanic acid; in small doses, hydrocyanic acid has mild inhibitory effect on respiratory center in brain, thereby exerting its antitussive and antiasthmatic effects
• Antineoplastic: oral administration has marked inhibitory effect on liver cancer cells in mice
Herb-Drug Interactions
Classical Formula(s)

Ren Shen Ge Jie San (Ginseng and gecko powder) 人參蛤蚧散

Ding Chuan Tang (Arrest Wheezing Decoction) 定喘汤

Ma Huang Tang (Ephedra Decoction) 麻黃湯

Ma Xing Shi Gan tang (Ephedra, Apricot Kernel and Lucorice Decoction) 麻杏石甘湯

Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan (Clear the Qi and transform Phlegm Pill) 清氣化痰湯

Qing Zao Jiu Fei Tang (Eliminate Dryness and Rescue the Lungs Decoctions) 清燥救肺湯

San Ren Tang (Three Nut Decoction) 三仁湯

Sang Xing Tang (Mulberry Leaf and Apricot Kernel Decoction) 桑杏湯

Sang Ju Yin (Mulberry Leaf and Chrysanthemum Drink) 桑菊飲

Da Huang Zhe Chong Wan (Rhubarb and Ground Beetle Pill) (delete gan qi, qi cao, meng chong) 大黃蛰虫丸 (減乾漆,蠐螬,虻虫)

Da Qing Long Tang (Major Bluegreen Dragon Decoction) 大青龍湯

Liu He Tang (Harmonize the Six Decoction) 六和湯

Ma Zi Ren Wan (Hemp Seed Pill) 麻子仁丸

Xiao Xu Ming Tang (Minor Prolong Life Decoction) 小續命湯

Xing Su San (Apricot Kernel and Perilla Leaf Powder) 杏蘇散 (杏苏散)

Xuan Bi Tang (Disband Painful Obstruction Decoction) 宣痺湯


This information is a reference tool for Chinese herbal studies. It is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Please consult a primary health professional if you require health advisory.