Integrative Medicine Blog

Herb of the Month: Bo He

Rebecca Rice L.Ac., MSAOM Sunday, July 10, 2016
Istock peppermint

Bo He - AKA peppermint - is used in Chinese Medicine to refresh the mind and move stagnant liver energy.

If you have an herb garden you probably have some variety of mint flourishing in the summertime. Commonly coveted for its uplifting flavor and aroma, peppermint is used for things such as teas, soaps, delicious baked items and other edibles. Peppermint, named ‘bo he’ in Chinese medicine, also has medicinal uses.

Peppermint is used to ‘move liver qi.’ This is seen in cases of headache, muscle aches and pain, stress, PMS, reflux and digestive upset. These symptoms arise because the liver is not performing its role of regulating the qi. When qi becomes stagnant there can be pain and unresolved emotions. Peppermint refreshes the mind and moves the stagnant liver qi to release these discomforts.

Another common use of peppermint is to ‘release the exterior’. This use is applied in common colds that present with a sore throat, headache, and nasal congestion.