Jin Ying Zi – Golden Tassel Seed or “Japanese honeysuckle” or Cherokee Rose Fruit
Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Rosae Laevigatae
Once upon a time in northern China, there were 3 brothers who lived together with their wives. But only one of the couples had a child and this child grew up as the only son in the family.
After some time, all the members of the family were very anxious for this only son in the family to get married and have children. But no girl would marry him because he had a problem – bed-wetting (enuresis). And so the family tried to find a cure for it.
One day an old herbal doctor, carrying a bag with a golden tassel, came to the village to sell some herbs. One of the brothers asked the herbalist if he had any herbs in his bag that could cure bed-wetting. The herbs doctor said he didn’t, but he knew of one herb that could cure it that could be found in southern China.
He further explained that since it would require a long journey to travel there to get the herb, they would have to pay him a huge sum of money. The family agreed and the old herbal doctor undertook the journey.
Many months passed, but the old herbalist didn’t return and the family had virtually given up hope, when one evening there was a knock at their door. One of the brothers opened the door and was astonished to see the old herbal doctor, who had fainted beside the door. He immediately carried the old doctor into the house.
Once he regained consciousness, the doctor told the family that the herb he got in southern China was in his bag, but his voice was so low that the family could barely hear him. The herbal doctor died a few days later from physical exhaustion.
Nevertheless, the family decocted the herb, which successfully cured their son’s bed-wetting. They didn’t know the name of the herb, nor did they know the name of the old herbal doctor, so they decided to call the herb, “golden-tassel seed”, after the golden tassel attached to the old man’s bag, and because it was the seed of the plant used as the herb.
In TCM, bed-wetting is linked to kidney essence deficiency. In this case, the kidneys are unable to control the gate of urine (i.e. the bladder, its paired yin-yang organ), so urinary incontinence occurs, especially at night when kidney yin should be strong enough to prevent leakage.
Jin Ying Zi does not tonify kidney deficiency, but it binds the essence, thereby stabilizing the kidneys to prevent leakage of sperm in men, excessive vaginal discharge in women, bed-wetting and other leaky conditions. It is often combined with other herbs that treat the underlying weakness in order to treat the root problem.
For a Western pharmaceutical view of this TCM herb, visit Jin Ying Zi.