Yu Xing Cao

Yu Xing Cao is available in several Forms and Sizes which are listed below

Properties of Medicinal Bulk Herb

    • inflammation of the respiratory tract
    • anti-tussive
    • hemorrhoids
    • urinary antiseptic
    • over-expansion of bronchi
    • whooping cough
    • water retention
    • infection after surgery
    • lowering fever
    • bacterial diarrhea
    • jaundice
    • Lyme Disease
    • Co-infections
    • Used in cosmetic for revitalizing properties

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
  • Do not use with high potassium levels
  • Do not use with kidney disease
  • May cause anaphylacic shock

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.  It also grows easily in Japan, Korea, Southern China and Southeast Asia.

An alternative name for Yu Xing Cao is Dokudami.  The translation for Dokudami is broken down into two parts. Doku in which the meaning converts to poison.  Dami which converts to that it blocks that poison. Put the two together and the word Dokudami means 'poison blocking plant'.  This is how the medicinal plant was used in ancient times.

The Japanese name for Yu Xing Cao is Ju-Yaku, which when translated means Ten Medicines in One. In Japan, the leaves are still utilized to relieve nasal congestion.   The leaves are picked and simply crushed, then rubbed into the nostrils.

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.

Houttuynia is one of the herbs which is used when Lyme disease is present. Houttuynia  is anti-inflamatory, antipyretic, antitussive, anti-viral, anti-microbial, detoxicant, diuretic, and refrigerant. Formulas for flu, particularly the Avian flu are intergrading houttuynia with traditional formulas such as Jade Screen Formula (with astragalus as a major constituent). Formulas may includes additional herbs which benefit the lungs: the anti-infection herb houttuynia, the yin nourishing glehnia, and the congestion-alleviating centipeda (an herb, not to be confused with the insect centipede).

Among the important pharmacological activities reported for Yu Xing Cao in bulk herb form includes, anti-mutagenic, anti-cancer, adjuvanticity, anti-obesity, hepatoprotective, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, free radical scavenging, anti-microbial, anti-allergic, anti-leukemic, chronic sinusitis and nasal polyps activities. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Houttuynia is used to combat: sinusitis and chronic ear infections, lyme dysease and bartonella, fevers, indigestion, dysentery, stomach cramps, constipation, stomach ulcers, and dysuria.

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.

Yu Xing Cao is also known as Fishy Smelling Herb. It is discussed in Stephen Buhner's book, Healing Lyme.

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.  The Yu Xing Cao will be under the catagory of Leaves, which makes the Chinese Traditional Herb easy to use.

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.     


Certificate of Analysis are available upon request.
A certificate of analysis is a report which is generated when the herb is tested for several impurities for example:
Microbial Analysis

  • Mold
  • Yeast
  • E. Coli
  • Salmonella

Heavy Metals Analysis

  • Lead
  • Cadmium
  • Arsenic
  • Mercury

Pesticides Analysis

  • DDT
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane
  • Sulfur Dioxide Residues

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are guidelines that govern the manufacturing process of a product to ensure that the quality and safety of the product is consistent. To ensure compliance and traceability, each step of the manufacturing process must be documented and adhere to its defined guidelines. By documenting the manufacturing process, validating the equipment used, and following preset guidelines, we ensure the quality of each lot of our products.

Made at GMP internationally certified facilities. (Good Manufacturing Practices)
In addition to the laboratory testing required by the different GMPs, Nuherbs Co. conducts additional testing for contaminants such as heavy metals, mircobacteria, and pesticide residues.
Pharmacopeia Grade - meets or exceeds standards of Chinese Pharmacopeia guidelines. Simply put, the quality of pharmacopeia herbs is better than commonly used food grade herbs to ensure they deliver their intended effect.

Packaging and Storage
Processing and storage standards make the difference in preserving the quality of our herbs. Our herbs have a shelf life of 24-36 months. Our natural herbs retain their freshness and quality without added preservatives. Special measures are taken to store the herbal materials to maintain their optimum required conditions for humidity, temperature and protection from light.