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ai ye 艾葉          (in English and Chinese 中英文)

By: Joe Hing Kwok Chu

Click here to see picture of herb. 按此看艾葉圖。

Pharmaceutical name:


Folium artemisiae argyi

Biological name:


Artemisia argyi Vant.

Artemisia vulgaris

Artemisia lavandulaefolia DC

Pron. in Japanese:



Pron. in Korean:



Pron. in Cantonese:


 ngaai6 jip6

Other Name:


Prescription names:

ai ye 艾葉,qi ai 蘄艾,ai rong 艾絨,cu ai ye 醋艾葉,cu ai rong 醋艾絨,ai tan 艾炭,qi ai 祁艾,chen ai ye 陳艾葉,chen ai 陳艾,ai ye tan 艾葉炭,chao ai ye 炒艾葉。

 Clink here to read the explanantion on prescription names.

按此看處方名 解釋。

Common Name:


 mugwort leaf



 throughout China, especially in Anhui, Shandong Hubei and Hebei provinces and in most parts of south east Asia.



Properties (characteristics)


 bitter, acrid, warm


Channels (meridians) entered:


 spleen, liver, kidney.



Medical Functions:


Medical Functions:

  1. relaxes the smooth muscles of bronchi

  2. antibiotic

  3. antivirus

  4. stop bleeding


  1. 平喘,能鬆弛支氣 管平滑肌

  2. 抗菌﹐

  3. 抗病毒

  4. 止血。.

Actions & Indications:



Actions & Indications:

  1. warms the womb and stops bleeding, (usually made into almost like burnt carbon by stir frying)

  2. pacifies the fetus,

  3. for infertility due to cold womb,

  4. improve blood forming.

  5. As material for moxibustion.


  1. 温經止血:用于虚 寒證子宫出血。為加强止血常炒炭 (艾炭)用。

  2. 安胎

  3. 暖宫散寒:用于子 宫虚寒不孕﹐虚寒痛經 。

  4. 補血

  5. 作灸治燃料

Chemical ingredients:


Volatile oils:

alpha -phellandrene, camphenbe, alpha-cedrene, transcarveol, bornyl acetate, elemol, isoborneol, alpha-terpineol, beta-caryophyllene, carvone[1], cadinene, thujylalcohol[2].


alpha-amyrin, beta-amyrin, friedelin, 9beta,methoxy-9beta, 10 cylolanost -23 (E)-en25, 26-diol[3]

Terpenes of 1.5:

matricarin, hanphyllin[4], 11,13-dihydroalteglasin A[5]


flavone alcohol, eupatilin, beta-sitostero[6], silicon and non-organic elements.



1 ~ 3 qian. Qian = 3.75 grams (traditional) or appr. 4 to 11 grams.

1~ 3 錢。(舊制,錢=3.75 克)

Samples of formulae:


For heavy mensus or bleeding during pregnancy: combine with dang gui , bai shao , di huang  3 qian each, chuan xiong  1 qian. Boil with water. Taken orally.

For vomiting blood, nose bleeding, blood in stool, bleeding in hemorrhoids: combine with sheng di huang , bo ye 3 qian each, he ye  2 qian. Boil with water. Take orally.

For chronic diarrhea: ai ye 7.5 g,  sheng jiang 12 g , chen pi 4 g ; boiled into thick extract. Taken orally while warm.

Use as fuel in moxibustion.

Boiled with water to be used as bath water.

For threaten abortion: gu shen an tai yin

經期流血過多或 懷孕流血用﹕

艾葉﹐當 歸  ,  白 芍 , 生地黃  各三錢,  川 芎 一錢﹔水煎服。


吐血﹐鼻血﹐便 血﹐痔瘡流血用﹕

艾葉三錢﹐生地黃 三錢,  柏 葉 三錢﹐荷 葉二錢﹔水煎服。



艾葉 二錢﹐  生 姜 三錢,  陳皮 一錢﹔ 煎濃湯。溫服。


先兆流產 固腎安胎飲

Modern Usage:


Modern Usage:

  • 1. chronic hepatitis

  • 2.  chronic bronchitis

  • 3. asthma

  • 4. irregular menses

  • 5. habitual miscarriage

  • 6. painful menses

  • 7. sinus inflammation

  • 8. itchy testicle area

  • 9. stubborn type of hiccups


  • 慢性肝炎

  • 慢性支氣管炎

  • 哮喘

  • 月經不正常

  • 經痛

  • 慢性鼻竇炎

  • 陰囊發癢

  • 頑固性打 呃

Cautions and toxicity:


use caution in case of yin deficiency or xue re (heat in blood) 血熱.  The effective ingredient is the volatile oil and it is the toxic ingredient which can cause inflammation of the skin mucus. Taken orally can cause irritation of the of the digestive tract. After absolving, it can arrive at the liver and can obstruct the metabolism of the liver and can cause jaundice type of hepatitis. Its effect toward the central nervous system is prominent. In toxic reaction, the central nervous system becomes over active and can induce seizure. Because of the changes of the reflex of the nerves, it can damage the walls of  blood vessels and causes hyperemia (increase of blood flow to the part of body) of the uterus and causes bleeding. Toxic range 20 ~ 30 g if taken orally. [12]

陰 虛血 熱 情形,須小心應用。其有效成份發揮油有毒能使皮膚粘膜發炎。內服能刺激消化道。吸收後會達到肝臟而影 響肝臟的新陳代謝而致黃疸。其對中區神經尤為厲害。中區神經會過度活動而引起癲癇。 因為它改變神經反應而損害血管而導致子 宮反應性充血而流血。其有毒口服劑量為20~30克。

 Note:Ai ye when used in moxibustion, stale ai ye more than a year old should be use. It is because the the fresh on contains more essential oil and it burns faster and the fumes is harmful.


 A report from Shanghai Donghua Hospital and others: Using ai ye disinfection incense, (made by Shanghai Everyday Chemical Products), which consists of 30% of cang zhu   powder and 20% of ai ye powder, smoking 4 hours, can kill off β-Hemolytic streptococcus- A group﹐Pneumonococcus﹐Hemophilus Influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus etc. Smoking 8 hours can kill off Pseudomonas aeruginosa),and can inhibit the growth of Bacillus subtilis.

上海華東醫院等單位報導,用含艾葉的消毒香(上海日用化學品試制,含蒼 朮粉30%,艾葉粉20%) 烟熏4小時能殺滅乙型 溶血性鏈球菌A群 (β-Hemolytic streptococcus- A group)﹐ 肺炎球菌 (Pneumonococcus)﹐流感桿菌 (Hemophilus influenzae)和 金黄色葡萄球菌 (Staphylococcus aureus)等,烟熏8小時能殺 滅綠膿 桿菌 (Pseudomonas aeruginosa)., 并能 抑制枯草桿菌 (Bacillus subtilis)的生長。

In prescription:

  1. When it is written as ai ye (艾葉,艾叶)it refers to raw ai ye, dry ai ye.

  2. ai rong (艾絨)is the smashed leaves and branches of the herb and is made into wooly material for moxa.

  3. cu ai ye (醋艾葉)is using rice vinegar to soak and mix with ai ye and using low heat to stir fry until slightly brown.

  4. ai tan (艾炭)is using low heat to stir fry ai ye until burning brown. Spray with water and dry under the sun. It can be used for warming the channels and ridding of coldness and for arresting bleeding.


處方中寫艾葉,蘄艾, 祁艾指生艾葉,艾葉。為原藥去梗去雜質生用入藥者。

艾絨為淨艾葉及枝碾碎 成絨者。

醋艾葉,醋艾絨又稱醋 炒艾葉或醋炒艾絨。為淨艾葉或淨艾絨用米醋拌勻,吸干後用文火炒至微焦而入藥者。以增強溫經散寒作用。

艾炭又稱艾葉炭。為淨 艾葉用文火炒至焦褐色,取出噴洒澆水,滅盡火星,然後晒干入藥者。既可溫經散寒,又可收斂止血。

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Last update: Nov 30, 2014; 3 p.m. LAH