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Coix Seed (yi yi ren)
What are coix seeds? What are they
Coix seeds come from the coix plant, which is grown in the
Fujian, Hebei and Liaoning provinces in China. The seeds are
usually oval-shaped or egg-shaped, with a milky white outer
surface and a slightly sweet taste. Coix seeds are harvested
in the fall when the coix plant ripens and are dried in the
sun. They are usually used unprepared, or they are stir-baked
until the outer shell has a yellowish color.
In traditional Chinese medicine, coix seeds serve several
functions. The stimulate function of the spleen and lung,
remove heat (which helps in the drainage of pus) and induce
diuresis. Coix seeds are also used to treat the symptoms of
diarrhea and arthritis.
How much coix seed should I take?
The amount of coix seeds taken depends on the condition being
treated. A typical dosage is between 10-30 grams, which can
be combined with water for a decoction, or ground into powder.
What forms of coix seed are available?
Unprepared and stir-fried coix seeds can be found at some
Asian markets. Coix seed decoctions and powders are more difficult
to find, but still available in some markets and specialty
What can happen if I take too much
coix seed? Are there any interactions I should be aware of?
What precautions should I take?
At present, there are no known contraindications, side-effects
or drug interactions with coix seed. However, you should always
consult with a qualified health care practitioner before taking
coix seeds or any other dietary supplement or herbal remedy.
Other Resources :
More You Know About Minerals
More You Know About Nutrition
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- Holm LG, et al. A Geographical Atlas
of World Weeds. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1979.
- Walker G. 1971. Job's tears. Lasca
- Weng W, Chen J. The eastern perspective
on functional foods based on traditional Chinese medicine.
Nutrition Reviews 1996;54(11):S11-S16.
- Yin J. A Modern Study and Clinical
Application of Chinese Medicine. Beijing:Publishing
House of Ancient Book of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1995,