Xia ku cao (Spica prunellae vulgaris) used in Chinese medicine, UK, 2005
Known in Chinese as Xia ku cao, the plant Spica prunellae vulgaris is used in Chinese medicine to treat redness, swelling and eye complaints. The bitter tasting plant is administered with the intent of targeting the liver and the lungs. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the taste of a herb or plant is thought to indicate its use. Xia ku cao is also used with other ingredients to treat a wide range of conditions. The package was purchased in London from Beijing Tong Ren Tang, a maker of Traditional Chinese Medicines.