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Houttuynia is available in several Forms and Sizes which are listed below

Other Names

  • Houttuynia cordata
  • Fish Mint
  • Dokudami
  • Fishy Smelling Herb
  • Chameleon Herb

Pin Yin Name

  • Yu Xing Cao

Caution / Drug Interaction

  • Do not use if pregnant or nursing

How to Use Bulk Herbs


With so many different ways to use bulk herbs, it is easy to get confused. In order to understand how to use the different parts of the plant, please see our informational chart below. We also have several helpful pages if you need additional information. Check out our How to Use Bulk Herbs page to see how to use herbs correctly. 

Parts of Plants Tincture Decoction Syrup/Gargle Topical/Facial Tea/Infusion Cooking/Soups
Hard/Dried Berries ✓  ✓  Powder first.    ✓ 
Soft Fruit ✓    ✓  ✓  ✓  ✓ 
 Leaves   ✓    ✓ 
Roots/Tubers ✓  Decoct first.  Powder first.    ✓ 
Bark ✓  Decoct first. ✓   
Stems ✓  Decoct first.  Powder first.  
Flowers    Make tea first.  Powder first. ✓   
Mushrooms/Fungus   Decoct first.  Decoct first.     

About Yin Xing Cao / Fishy Smelly Herb

Houttuynia is considered an invasive weed in the United States and Australia.  I find this a bit ironic, as Houttuynia for us is a bit difficult to obtain.  

An interesting side fact, Houttuynia is one of the ingredients in the foot pads which are placed on the feet at night to remove toxins.

The literal translation of Yu Xing Cao is "fishy-smelling herb". Fresh cut stems have a strong odor, but the smell disappears when dried. Houttuynia has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to clear heat and toxins, and to reduce swellings and abscesses.

The active components in Houttuynia myrcene, limonen, alpha-pinene, camphene, sterols, polyphenols, flavonoids, and querticin.