Cnidium seeds grow throughout China and are prescribed typically for skin complaints. A good specimen is round, dusky yellow and fragrant. Chinese medicine practitioners, following the tenets of their traditional medicine, categorize the seeds as acrid, bitter and warm.
Over the counter:
Cnidium seeds are available in bulk at Chinese pharmacies, Asian markets and some Western health food stores. They can occasionally be found in pill and powder form in combinations.
For eczema and other skin disorders, the skin is soaked with a cnidium seeds solution, or used as a douche for vaginal problems.
Combinations: A mixture with the roots of the sophora and stemona herbs is prescribed for itchy, weeping skin lesions. Another preparation, containing cnidium seeds and calomel, is often applied to skin lesions associated with acute flareups of eczema, genital eczema, and scabies. Chinese herbalists also recommend an oral preparation of cnidium seeds mixed with cuscuta and schisandra for impotence or infertility. Consult a Chinese medicine practitioner for advice about dosages and other herbal combinations.
Chinese herbalists caution against prescribing cnidium seeds at the same time as bark of the tree peony root, croton seed or fritillaria.