Herb: Xiao Ye Qin

Latin name: Fraxinus bungeana

Family: Oleaceae (Olive Family)

Medicinal use of Xiao Ye Qin:

The bark is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, diuretic and expectorant. It controls bacterial infections and coughs. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, cataracts, cough and asthma. The bark contains aesculin, this has anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant and analgesic actions. The bark also contains fraxetin. This has an inhibitory effect on the central nervous system, is a stronger and safer anodyne than aspirin and has some antibacterial activity.

Description of the plant:


5 m
(16 feet)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Dry sandy soils, rock crevices at elevations of 0 - 1500 metres in Anhui, Hebei, Henan, Liaoning, Shandong and Shanxi.

Other uses of Xiao Ye Qin:

A commercial insect wax is produced on the branches. We are not sure how the wax is produced, one report says that it is as a result of eggs being laid by insects. Another report says that the wax is produced by the plant due to the stimulation of the feeding insects. Yet another report says that the wax is produced from secretions of the insects. The wax is used for making candles and as a polish for earthenware pots, book edges etc. The plant (extract?) is said to be used as a barrier to protect the skin from ultra-violet light.

Propagation of the herb:

The seed is best harvested green - as soon as it is fully developed but before it has fully dried on the tree - and can then be sown immediately in a cold frame. It usually germinates in the spring. Stored seed requires a period of cold stratification and is best sown as soon as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions or a nursery bed in late spring or early summer of the following year. If you have sufficient seed then it is possible to sow it directly into an outdoor seedbed, preferably in the autumn. Grow the seedlings on in the seedbed for 2 years before transplanting either to their permanent positions or to nursery beds.

Cultivation of Xiao Ye Qin:

Dry sandy soils, rock crevices at elevations of 0 - 1500 metres in Anhui, Hebei, Henan, Liaoning, Shandong and Shanxi.

Known hazards of Fraxinus bungeana:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.