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Common Name: She Chuang Zi
Cnidium monnieri is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
One report says that the plant is slightly toxic[
E. Asia - China, Korea, Mongolia, Russia. Previously naturalized in the warmer areas of Europe[
Field edges and the sides of ditches in China[
]. Riparian meadows and field margins in most of China[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. Judging by the plants native habitat it is likely to require a well-drained soil in a sunny position. One report says that it is an annual whilst another says that it is perennial[
The leaves are used as a condiment[
]. No further details are given, but some caution is suggested because of a report of slight toxicity.
She Chuang Zi has been used for thousands of years in Chinese herbal medicine. It is mainly used externally as a lotion, powder or ointment for skin conditions such as eczema, ringworm and scabies[
The seed is antipruritic, aphrodisiac, antirheumatic, astringent, carminative, discutient, sedative, vermifuge and vulnerary[
]. A decoction is used internally in the treatment of Trichomonas vaginitis, leucorrhoea and uterine displacement[
]. The seed is also used in the treatment of impotence, often in conjunction with Schisandra chinensis[
]. It has been shown to have an action similar to the sex hormones, prolonging and reviving the copulation period, increasing the weight of the uterus and ovary, prostate gland and testicle[
]. A decoction of the seed or whole plant is applied externally to skin problems including weeping eczema[
Seed - we have no details for this species but suggest sowing it as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Alternatively, sow stored seed in late winter in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.