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Biota Leaf (ce bai ye)

What is biotal leaf? What is it used for?

Different parts of biota are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Biota seed (bai zi ren) will be discussed on another section of this site; this section pertains strictly to ce bai ye, which is made of the leaves and branches of the biota tree.

The leaves of the biota tree are small, scaly and triangular-shaped, with a grayish-green color and a fragrant odor. The branches and stems are short and round, and usually reddish-brown in color.

In traditional Chinese medicine, biota leaves and branches affect the Lung, Liver and Large Intestine meridians. They are used to treat blood heat and lung-phlegm heat patterns, and conditions such as bloody stools, bleeding gums, coughs and bronchitis. They can also be applied topically to the skin to treat burns.

How much biota leaf should I take?

The typical dosage of biota leaf is between 6 and 15 grams, depending on the condition being treated. To treat burns, larger amounts of biota leaf may be used as an ointment.

What forms of biota leaf are available?

Biota leaves and branches are typically used raw, then ground into a powder. For burns, the powder may be used as an ointment base. It can also be used as a tea.

What can happen if I take too much biota leaf ? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

Biota leaves and twigs have been given a class 2D rating by the American Herbal Products Association, meaning that it is not for long-term use, and patients should not exceed the recommended dosage. Large amounts of biota leaf may cause dizziness in some patients. As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions with biota leaves or branches. As always, however, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before taking biota or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.


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  • Koo KA, Sung SH, Kim YC. A new neuroprotective pinusolide derivative from the leaves of Biota orientalis. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) June 2002;50(6):834-6.
  • Liu T, Qiu Q, Zhao Y, et al. Study on chemical constituents of essential oil of Biota orientalis by GC-MS. Zhong Yao Cai August 2000;23(8):460-1. In Chinese.
  • McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A (eds.) American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL; CRC Press, 1997, p. 88.
  • Yang HO, Suh DY, Han BH. Isolation and characterization of platelet-activating factor receptor binding antagonists from Biota orientalis. Planta Med February 1995;61(1):37-40.
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