Pharmaceutical Latin: Semen Armeniacae
Common English: Apricot Kernel
Apricot Seed
Bitter Apricot Kernel
Herbs that Transform Phlegm and Stop Coughing: Herbs that Relieve Coughing and Wheezing
Taste Temperature Entering Meridians Dosage
Slightly Warm
Slightly Toxic
Large Intestine
Tincture: 2-4ml
Actions Indications/Syndromes

Stops coughing and calms wheezing

Coughs due to either Heat or Cold (depending on combination)

Wind-Dry coughs (especially useful)

Moistens the Intestines and unblocks the bowels


  • Contraindicated for those with a Qi or Yin Deficiency cough.
  • Contraindicated for those with general debility.
  • Use caution for those with infantile diarrhea.
  • Use caution for those with adult diarrhea.
  • Overdose may cause death.

Fol. Perillae
Zi Su Ye
Rz. Pinelliae Preparata
Ban Xia
(Fu Ling)

Fol. Mori
Sang Ye
Flos Chrysanthemi
Ju Hua

Fol. Mori
Sang Ye
Bul. Fritillariae Cirrhosae
Chuan Bei Mu
Rx. Adenophorae/Glehniae
Sha Shen

Dry cough due to Wind-Cold.

Non-productive dry cough due to Wind-Heat.

Non-productive cough due to Dry Heat scorching the Lungs.

Rx. Ophiopogonis
Mai Men Dong

Hb. Ephedrae
Ma Huang

Hb. Ephedrae
Ma Huang
Gypsum Fibrosum
Shi Gao

A dry cough due to Dryness and Heat injuring the Lungs.

Coughing and wheezing due to Excess.

Coughing, thirst and wheezing due to Excess with Lung Heat.

Fr. Perillae
Zi Su Zi

Fr. Amomi Rotundus
Bai Dou Kou
Sm. Coicis
Yi Yi Ren

Sm. Cannabis
Huo Ma Ren
Rx. Angelicae Sinensis
Dang Gui

Coughing and wheezing with constipation.

Early-stage Damp Warmth disorder with heaviness of the head and body, a stifling sensation in the chest, poor appetite and afternoon fever.

Constipation due to Deficient Qi and dry Intestines.

Sm. Persicae
Tao Ren

Cx. Magnoliae Officinalis
Hou Po

Bul. Fritillariae Cirrhosae
Chuan Bei Mu

Constipation due Lung Qi Stagnation.

Blood Stasis with pain in the chest, abdomen or throughout the body.

Wheezing and cough due to Lung constraint.

Strongly descends Qi , disperses Phlegm-Dampness and calms wheezing to treat cough and wheezing from Phlegm-Dampness leading to Lung Qi Stagnation.

Upper and Middle Jiao Dampness with a stifling sensation in the chest and epigastric and abdominal distention with a feeling of fullness.

Wheezing and coughing from externally contracted Lung disorders.

Non-productive cough from Lung Deficiency disorders.

Coughing of thick, yellow sputum due to Phlegm-Fire.

Fol. Mori
Sang Ye

Hb. Ephedrae
Ma Huang
Rx. Glycyrrhizae
Gan Cao

Sm. Cannabis
Huo Ma Ren
Rx. et Rz. Rhei
Da Huang
Fr. Aurantii
Zhi Ke

Headache, fever and a dry non-productive cough from External Warm-Dryness disorders.

Coughing with profuse sputum, nasal obstruction and a hoarse voice.

Constipation due to Deficiency or Qi, Blood and/or Body fluids.

Sm. Platycladi
Bai Zi Ren
Sm. Pruni
Yu Li Ren



Constipation due to Dryness.



  1. Stops constipation due to its high oil content.
  2. Overdose may cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting and a headache. It may lead to dyspnea, dilated pupils, arrhythmias and coma. Cooking, removing the cover and mixing with sugar reduces its toxicity. The bark of the apricot or the cortex of its root are used as antidotes.
  3. This herb is in expectorant formulas - especially for Lung Cold.
  4. This herb inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
  5. Powdered, it can completely inhibit the growth of strong carcinogenic fungi.
  6. This herb can be used for intestinal cancer.
  7. It is good for externally contracted coughs.
  8. It has a descending function and is therefore good to stop coughing and wheezing.
  9. Some sources say that this herb relieves muscle tension.
  10. It relieves pathogenic factors from the muscles and skin, drives out Wind, descends Qi, eliminates Dryness and relieves Qi Stagnation.
  11. Because of its toxicity, it is used to treat sores and kill parasites.
  12. Xing Ren unblocks the collaterals of the Lungs, is soft and presses down internally. Rx. Ephedrae Ma Huang opens pores and interstices, is hard and expands the exterior. Used together, they completely eradicate the pathogen.
  13. Both Xing Ren and Sm. Persicae Tao Ren are good for constipation caused by either Qi or Blood Stagnation. Xing Ren cures asthma because of it circulates Qi and Sm. Persicae Tao Ren cures mania because it invigorates the Blood.
  14. Xing Ren and Per. Citri Reticulate Chen Pi, are used together for deficient patients who cannot tolerate strong purgation.
  15. Sm. Armeniacae Amrum Ku Xing Ren (bitter or northern Apricot Kernel) are the most used type. The outer coating is  toxic and must be removed.
  16. Sm. Armeniacae Dulce Tian Xing Ren (sweet or southern Apricot Kernel) is used for dry or deficient coughs. They are less toxic, more moistening and are used for cough and wheezing. The actions are more gradual and less pronounced than Ku Xing Ren. These kernels are also used for food.
  17. Dry-fried Apricot Kernel Chao Xing Ren is more appropriate for patients with a weak Spleen and Stomach and a tendency toward loose stools. They still alleviate cough and wheezing.
  18. Defatted Apricot Kernel Xing Ren Shuang has no Intestinal moistening properties but still transforms Phlegm and eliminates cough and may have Blood-invigorating and collateral-opening properties.