Yi Yi Ren

Seminar room with Andrew Flower - Yi Yi Ren



  • Coix lachrymal jobi
  • Seed


  • Sweet
  • Bland
  • Cold

Channels entered

  • Lungs
  • Spleen
  • Stomach
  • Kidney


  • 9 - 30g


  • Strengthens the Spleen and resolves Damp
    • Particularly useful for Lin Zheng
      • Heat dysuria: with Che Qian Zi and Hua Shi
      • Stone dysuria: with Jin Qian Cao and Hai Jin Sha
    • Used for diarrhoea with a weak Spleen in, e.g. Shen Ling Bai Zhu San
  • Resolves Damp and relieves pain in Wind-Damp painful obstruction
    • The representative formula is Yi Yi Ren Tang
    • With atrophy or weakness in the legs caused by Damp Heat, it is used in Si Miao San
  • Clears Heat and dispels pus
    • For lung, intestinal and skin abscesses or pus filled lesions
  • Clears Damp-Heat digestive disorders
    • With herbs which aromatically transform Damp and those which clear Damp-Heat such as Cang Zhu, Bai Dou Kou and Huang Bai

Other considerations

  • The unprepared form is best for the draining functions
  • The dry fried form, Chao Yi Yi Ren, is best for supplementing the Spleen and is used, in particular, for diarrhoea
  • Frequently appears in cancer formulas
    • Has in vivo and vitro anti-neoplastic effects shown, especially, against colon cancer cells
  • Yi Yi Ren is used alone as a folk medicine for acne (as a porridge)
  • It is not the same as pearl barley, although that has a similar function to drain Damp in western folk medicine
  • Yi Yi Ren does not cause dryness in the way that, for instance, Cang Zhu can
    • It is an essential herb for deficient Spleen Yin – if you embrace that concept



Key points

Yi Yi Ren

Yi Yi Ren

  • Tonifies the Spleen and supplements the Lungs
  • Drains dampness from the joints and muscles in painful obstruction and expels pus from the skin