Biota Seed (Bai Zi Ren)
Botanical Name: Platycladi orientalis
Biota seed is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help calm the mind and open the heart. It is often combined with Wild Asparagus Root (Tian Men Dong) and Reishi (Ling Zhi). It is calming, mildly sedating and helps support digestion. In China, it is associated with long life and vitality. The wood is used in Buddhist temples both for construction work and as incense for burning during ceremonies. Biota seed should not be confused with Biota Leaf (Ce Bai Ye) which is used instead to treat bleeding disorders.
Below is an overview of Biota Seed (Bai Zi Ren), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Biota Seed (Bai Zi Ren).
Western Name: Biota Seed (Cyprus)
Also Known As: Arborvitae (meaning “Tree of Life” in Latin), Arbor-vitae seed
Organs/Systems: Nerves, Intestines
Key Western Actions: Sedating.
Medicinal Uses: Insomnia, anxiety, constipation.
Pin Yin: Bai Zi Ren
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Heart, Kidney, Large Intestine, Spleen
Key TCM Actions: Nourishes the Heart/Calms the Spirit (Shen), Moistens the Intestines/Unblocks the Bowels.
Medicinal Uses: Insomnia, poor memory, anxiety, palpitations, onstipation in elderly, sick or postpartum women, relaxes the bowels, treats bloody stools, menstrual constipation with heavy or irregular menstrual flow, burns and hair loss.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Seeds, Branches
Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Neutral
Caution: Considered safe, with no known side effects. According to some traditional Chinese texts, biota seeds antagonize Chrysanthemum (Ju Hua).
History/Folklore: Biota Seed (Bai Zi Ren) is not to be confused with Biota Leef (Ce Bai Ye). The seeds are known for calming and sedating and the leaves are known for cooling the blood and stopping bleeding.
The most common varieties are American Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), Japanese Thuja (Thuja standishii) and Chinese arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis).
The common name, “Arborvitae” is from the Latin, meaning “Tree of Life” and is based on the plants association with long life and vitality in Buddhist thought. The tree is famous for its unchanging evergreen nature in cold dry climates of Northwest China and for living to be thousands of years old.
Like Bonsai, the trees are commonly grown along walkways into shapes and designs or as a privacy fence. In the wild they can grow to be 45 feet tall.
The difference between biota seed and other sedating herbs such as Ziziphi spinosae [Sour Jujube Seed (Suan Zao Ren)] or Polygala senega [Senega Root (Yuan Zhi)] is firstly, biota seed emphasizes nourishing the heart where as sour jujube seed focuses on tonifying the liver. Secondly, biota seeds moisten dryness in the intestines while senega root astringes Yin to promote fluid production for quenching thirst.
Good quality biota seed is full, oily and yellowish-white.
Biota seeds are used topically to treat hair loss.
Biota Seed Oil
An extract oil from the seeds is thought to prolong life.
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