Jue Ming Zi (Semen Cassiae or Cassia Seed)

What Is Jue Ming Zi

Jue Ming Zi commonly known as Cao Jue Ming, Semen Cassiae or Cassia Seed is the mature seed of Cassia obtusifolia or Cassia tora, which is an annual herb belonging to Leguminosae. It is a commonly used Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Shennong Ben Cao Jing> in the late Western Han Dynasty (around 100 BCE).

Cassia obtusifolia is commonly known as Senna obtusifolia, Chinese senna, American sicklepod, sicklepod, and sickle-pod senna. This plant is distributed in North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. It is considered a particularly serious weed in many places.

Cassia tora is commonly known as Senna tora, sickle senna, or sickle wild sensitive-plant. This plant is native to tropical regions of the Americas and is now widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

In the autumn of each year, people gather the mature fruits of Cassia obtusifolia or Cassia tora, dry them, pat them, take out their seeds, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Cassia obtusifolia

Jue Ming Zi contains chrysophanol, physcion, obtusifolin, chryso-obtusin, obtusin, aruantio-obtusin, emodin, aloe-emodin, alatenin-1-O-β-D-glucopy-ranoside, 1-desmethylchryso-obtusin, rubrofusarin, cassiaside, toralactone, torosachrysone, isotoralactone, rubrofusarin-6-O-gentiobioside, cassialactone, 2,5-dimethoxybenzoquinone, palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, cholesterol, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol, 1,3-dihydroxy-3-methylanthraquinone, malvalic acid, sterculic acid, campesterol, cystine, γ-hydroxyarginine, histidine, galactose with mannan, glucose, galactose, xylose, raffinose, cystine, aspartic acid, γ-hydroxyarginine, and various trace elements.

Generally, the dark brown and plump Jue Ming Zi is preferred.

According to the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, the medicinal nature of Jue Ming Zi is slightly cold, with a sweet, bitter, and salty taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the liver and large intestine meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to clear heat and improve eyesight, moisten the intestines, treat migraine, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, habitual constipation, glaucoma, night blindness, corneal softening, acute conjunctivitis, and fungal vaginitis.

There are about 100 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Xue Zhi Ning Wan, Shan Ju Jiang Ya Pian, and Qing Nao Jiang Ya Pian.


  • Anti-oxidation, scavenging hydroxyl radicals, superoxide anion radicals, and DPPH free radicals.
  • Inhibiting liver damage induced by D-galactose or CCL4 and protecting the liver.
  • Inhibiting platelet aggregation caused by adenosine diphosphate, arachidonic acid, or collagen.
  • Reducing the content of total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol (TG), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in serum and liver tissue of experimental rats, and increasing the content of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C).
  • Dilating the peripheral blood vessels and improving the blood circulation of the retina and optic nerve.
  • Clearing liver heat, treating redness, swelling, and pain of the eyes, and photophobia caused by liver heat.
  • Treating headaches and redness and congestion in the eyes caused by wind-heat attacking the upper.
  • Nourishing liver yin and kidney yin, relieving blurred vision, and improving vision.
  • Stabilizing liver Yang and treating vertigo and headache caused by hyperactivity of liver-yang.
  • Moistening the intestines and treating dry stool caused by intestinal dryness due to yin deficiency.
  • Its water extract can atrophy the mouse thymus and increase the phagocytic rate and phagocytic index of mouse peritoneal macrophages.
  • Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus Albicans, Staphylococcus orange, Bacillus diphtheria, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus typhi, Bacillus paratyphi, and Escherichia coli.
  • Studies have found that its injection can reduce the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of hypertensive rats. Its antihypertensive strength and duration are better than compound reserpine.


Side Effects

  • Modern pharmacological research shows that the anthraquinone compounds contained in Jue Ming Zi is carcinogenic. Animal studies have shown that long-term use of Cassia Seed can cause diseases such as kidney, rectum, colon, and other organs.
  • A small number of people can cause nausea, bloating, or diarrhea in the early stages of taking it. These symptoms will disappear on their own within a few days after continuing the medication.
  • Overdose may cause abdominal pain, vomiting, blood in the stool, yellowing of the skin, or coma.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Jue Ming Zi should be controlled between 10-15g.
  • It can be made into decoctions, tea, powders, or lotions.
  • People who are allergic to Jue Ming Zi should not take it.
  • It should not be used with alkaline drugs such as sodium bicarbonate at the same time.
  • Patients with deficiency-cold in the spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • Patients with loose stools, diarrhea, or chronic diarrhea should not take it.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it.
  • Patients with low blood pressure should not take it.