Jing JieJing Jie - Schizonepeta Tenuifolia Japanese catnip

By Acupuncture.com staff writer

After months of cold weather, springtime is usually welcomed with open arms. We have warmer weather and a little extra sunlight in the evenings. But it is also a time that many suffer with allergies. The sweet smell of blooming blossoms in the early morning is also indication that pollen is plentiful in the air. For centuries, Chinese medical practitioners have used a handful of helpful herbs to help balance the body and, thus, relieve the symptoms of springtime allergies. One such herb is Jing Jie.

Jing Jie, also known as Japanese catnip, is widely used for allergies, normally in conjunction with other herbs. Jing Jie is a flowering plant that is cultivated in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and in Jiangxi, China. The parts of the plant that grow above ground (the stems, leaves, and flowers) are harvested in the autumn and winter and dried.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Jing Jie is warm, pungent, and aromatic. It is related to the Lung and Liver meridians. Its functions are to release the exterior and expel wind (both wind cold or wind heat). It reduces chills, fever, carbuncles or boils in the initial stages of eruption, vents rashes, and alleviates itching of measles and pruritic skin disease (such as eczema and psoriasis). It can also stop bleeding.

According to TCM theory, allergies are due to an invasion of External Wind Cold or Heat with an underlying Lung Qi deficiency. In some cases, it is further complicated by the deficiency of the Spleen or Kidney. Jing Jie is able to effectively clear wind. Its normally used in formulas with other herbs such as Fang Feng, Xin Yi Hua, and Cang Er Zi. One common formula used frequently today is Bi Yan Pian.

Related to allergies are allergic dermatitis and eczema. A recent study showed that Schizonepeta tenuifolia (Jing Jie) inhibited the inflammatory response of skin thickening and markedly suppressed the secretion of immunoglobulin E, tumor necrosis factor α, and interleukin 6 levels in the serum of DNCB-induced mice. Furthermore, the study showed that Schizonepeta tenuifolia significantly restored the upregulation of proinflammatory factors, such as nuclear factor (NF)-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase expression. Jing Jie also has a strong anti-itching property and can help relieve the itchiness of eczema and other conditions such as measles.

The typical dose of Jing Jie is between 4.5 grams and 9 grams. Pregnant and breastfeeding women must not ingest decoctions made with this herb. Also, people with anemia and other blood related illnesses must consult their doctor regarding taking this herb.


Phytother Res. 2012 Sep 4. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4833.

Featured Products

Chinese Herbs

TCM Books

TOW Store
This Month's Articles

April 2013

Volume 11, Number 4

Points of Interest

Acupuncture Point Location Center

Clinical Doctoral Program

Today's TCM Tip

For inflammation, add LI4 and LI11

Keep Informed

Sign Up for Our
FREE e-Newsletter

All Contents Copyright 1996-2015 Cyber Legend Ltd. All rights reserved. Use of this website is subject to our Terms and Conditions. All logos, service marks and trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Legal Disclaimer Notice: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.