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Ilex Asprella Root

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 20, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Ilex asprella Root


Ilex asprella is a plant that is mostly found growing on lush hillsides and in wild open spaces. It can also be called Gang Mei and Mei Shi Tong Xing in traditional Chinese medicine and Rough Leaved Holly in western medicine.

This shrub is seen in subterranean regions of the world and is characterized by a woody and yellowish-white colored stem and branches. The leaves are arranged alternately and flowers during the mid spring to summer seasons. It also has small fruits or drupe globose which are colored black when ripe. Although all of the parts of the Ilex asprella may be used as an herbal remedy, the Ilex asprella root is the most common part which is often used for many herbal concoctions.

History and Origin

The practice of ancient Chinese medicine believes that the human body must achieve a state of balance to promote wellness. It is through the help of various herbal remedies like the Ilex asprella root can a person get rid of diseases and illnesses that may hinder health and wellness.

Ilex asprella root is combined with other herbs to form certain herbal formulas. Ancient Chinese medicine believes that although an herb is powerful and therapeutic on its own, it can be enhanced if combined with other herbs with the same focus.

Ancient Uses

During the ancient times, the Chinese were the first to use herbs like the Ilex asprella root for the healing and therapeutic properties that it has. Ilex asprella was known to have cooling properties and has been known to treat fevers and detoxifies the blood as well.

Modern Uses

The use of the Ilex asprella root in modern times is still a shadow of its uses in the past. It is still known to treat fevers and also to promote salivation thereby quenching thirst through production of fluids by the body. Because of the Ilex asprella’s capability to cool the body down, it is seen as a remedy for sore throat; it relieves pain, swelling and swallowing problems related to sore throats.

Ilex asprella root supplements and preparations are known to remove or resolve blood clots and have blood thinning capabilities. It is beneficial for people with laryngitis and tonsillitis. It is also considered as a promising cure for the common cold and to treat several types of upper respiratory tract infections.
The Ilex asprella root can also be applied externally on a wound to reduce pain and other symptoms of inflammation. It reduces boils and abscesses if it is applied as a fresh poultice.

Side Effects

Using Ilex asprella root extracts and decoctions on boils, wounds and abscesses must be carefully done. Always clean the wound first before application. If you wish to use this herbal remedy for your illness, consult your doctor first regarding the appropriate dose and any possible adverse reactions with your current medications.
Ilex asprella root is not intended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is also important to refrain from using this herb if you are taking blood thinning medications since it may over stimulate this therapeutic effect. Consult your doctor or a herbalist first before using Ilex asprella root on its own.

Read also: Slippery Elm

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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