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Spotlight on: Tu Si Zi (Chinese Dodder Seeds)

Tu Si Zi, or Chinese Dodder Seeds, are a very important herb in many Chinese Herbal formulas for fertility, impotence, reproductive, and genitourinary health.  From a Chinese Medicine perspective, Tu Si Zi enters the kidney energy system (which controls hormones and reproduction, low back, and ears, among other things) and the liver energy system (which controls the eyes, how we manage stress, and certain aspects of reproduction.) Tu Si Zi is unique in that it strengthens both the Yin energy and the Yang energy of the body (yin and yang being our deepest, most basic levels of energy.) Tu Si Zi is one of the primary herbs used to nourish the body’s “Jing”, or essence, which is our core genetic make-up.

Taken together, all of this means that Tu Si Zi is an excellent herb to strengthen the reproductive energy of the body, and has wide-ranging implications.

Clinically, we can use Tu Si Zi as part of herbal formulas to treat such issues as unexplained infertility, low sperm count, diminished ovarian reserve, impotence, low libido, premature ejaculation, and frequent urination. Because it strengthens the kidneys which control the low back, it can also be used for chronic low back soreness or weakness. Because it strengthens the liver which controls the eyes, we can also use Tu Si Zi, in conjunction with other herbs, to treat such issues as blurry vision, tired eyes, or floaters.

Tu Si Zi is safe to take during pregnancy, which makes it an ideal herb to include in female fertility formulas. Moreover, it has been used for thousands of years to “calm the fetus” and prevent miscarriage.

Tu Si Zi is not taken as a single herb (few Chinese herbs are), and should be taken as part of an herbal formula prescribed by a licensed practitioner. While it is a very safe herb and has few known side effects, it is not appropriate in all cases of infertility or impotence, and you should always consult with your Chinese herbalist before taking.

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