Xi He Liu (Cacumen Tamaricis or Chinese Tamarisk Twing)

What Is Xi He Liu

Xi He Liu commonly known as Cacumen Tamaricis or Chinese Tamarisk Twing is the twig and leaf of Tamarix chinensis, which is a deciduous tree or shrub belonging to the family Tamaricaceae. It initially appeared in <Kaibao Bencao> (Materia Medica of the Kaibao Period) around 974 AD.

There are about 70 kinds of Tamarix, which are mainly distributed in Eurasia, Africa, and North America. Such plants play an irreplaceable role in protecting the ecological environment. They are used in many countries for the treatment of saline-alkali land. Among them, only some species have medicinal value, such as Tamarix chinensis, T. juniperina, and T. pentandra.

Tamarix chinensis is commonly known as Five-stamen tamarisk, Chinese tamarisk, or Cheng Liu and is a common garden plant. They are light-loving, resistant to high temperatures and severe cold, and can grow in harsh environments such as deserts, river beaches, or saline-alkali soils.

Tamarix chinensis

They often grow on plains formed by river alluvium, seashores, beachheads, wet saline-alkali land, and sandy land. They are native to China, Japan, and South Korea, and have now been introduced into North America.

From May to June every year, when the flowers of Tamarix chinensis are not blooming, people gather their twigs and leaves, remove impurities, dry them in the shade, cut them into sections, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Xi He Liu contains rhamnocitrin, rhamnetin, isorhamnetin, kaempferol, rutin, quercetin, tamarixetin, tamarixone, tamarixol, tamarixinol, lupeol, β-amyrin, ursolic acid, gallic acid, ferulic acid, isoferulic acid, caffeic acid, methyl vanillate, methylparaben, methyl syringate, α-tocopherol, β-sitosterol, daucosterol, coumarin, lignan, stearic acid, and volatile oil.

Generally, the fragile and green Xi He Liu with a yellow-white cross-section is preferred.

According to <Ben Cao Bei Yao>(The essential notes of materia medica), the medicinal property of Xi He Liu is relatively neutral, with a pungent taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on pathological changes of the lung, stomach, and heart meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to promote eruptions, dispel wind and relieve pain, and treat influenza, upper respiratory tract infections, chronic bronchitis, rubella, measles, diarrhea, watery diarrhea, bloody dysentery, abdominal pain, indigestion, acute convulsions, and rheumatoid arthritis.

There are about 50 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Xiao Er Ling Yang San, Er Tong Hui Chun granules, and Xiao Er Jing Dan Pian.


  • Anti-inflammation and inhibiting xylene-induced ear swelling in mice.
  • Anti-oxidation, scavenging DPPH free radicals.
  • Increasing the pain threshold and reducing the number of writhing mice caused by acetic acid.
  • Inhibiting the activity of α-glucosidase and reducing blood glucose levels after meals.
  • Reducing acute liver injury induced by alcohol, CCL4, or D-galactosamine and protecting the liver.
  • Inducing apoptosis of lung cancer A549 cells and breast cancer MCF-7 cells.
  • Promoting eruptions, treating the insufficient outbreak of early measles, and invagination of measles toxins.
  • Treating itching caused by rubella.
  • Dispelling wind and eliminating dampness, treating rheumatic arthralgia.
  • Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus albicans, Proteus, Escherichia coli, Pneumococcus, Streptococcus A, Bacillus subtilis.
  • Studies have found that its decoction has a significant inhibitory effect on the cough symptoms of mice caused by ammonia spray.


Side Effects

At present, there is no literature report that Xi He Liu has toxic effects, and no data is showing that taking it at the prescribed dose can cause serious adverse reactions.

Overdose may cause upset or vomiting.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Xi He Liu should be controlled at 3-10g.
  • It can be made into decoctions, lotions, or pills.
  • People who are allergic to Xi He Liu should not take it.
  • People with a full outbreak of measles should not take it.
  • People with hyperhidrosis should not take it.
  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should take it under the guidance of a doctor.