Swansea Sinus Relief: Cocklebur

Cropped_Cang_Er_ZiIf you’ve ever let your pet run in the woods or fields in the Midwest, you probably have come in contact with this week’s herb.  If you have ever trekked through the woods or fields yourself, looking for mushrooms or other herbs or just hiking, you most likely have come into contact with this herb as well.  This herb is the cocklebur.  The cocklebur is toxic

The Chinese characters for cocklebur are 苍耳子, Romanized as Cāng ‘Ěr Zĭ , and pronounced like “Tsong Arr Dzuh.”  It means “dark green ear seeds.”

Cocklebur Treats Nasal Problems

Cāng ‘Ěr Zĭ treats nasal obstruction, sinusitis, rhinitis, turbid nasal discharge, headache, and loss of smell.  It also treats blocked nasal passages.  A study from the Journal of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine showed an 86.9% treatment success rate in 1,576 subjects.  A different study in New Medicine of 207 patients showed that all of the subjects had success with their symptoms using a swab soaked in a formula containing cocklebur in the nasal cavity 2-3 times per day.

Cocklebur Treats Muscular Pain

Cāng ‘Ěr Zĭ  treats muscular pain, cramps and spasms; especially when combined with other herbs.  A study from Shanxi Chinese Medicine showed that there was a 93% treatment success rate using the magnolia flower to treat sinusitis.  The herbal decoction was taken only for a week to obtain these results. The Journal of Chinese Herbal Medicine showed that trigger point injections of cocklebur every other day for 10 days was 89% effective in treating patients with lower back and leg pain.

Other Miscellaneous Symptoms Treated by Cocklebur

Cāng ‘Ěr Zĭ was shown to lower plasma glucose levels in rats for 2 hours according to Chinese Herbology.  The same Journal showed that cocklebur has antitussive properties to stop coughing.  Other symptoms are chronic tracheitis (97.5% effective), acute bacterial dysentery (99% effective in 2-8 days), and acute inflammation.

Chinese Medicinal Actions of Cocklebur

Chinese medical terms are different than standard western medical terms.   Cāng ‘Ěr Zĭ opens the nasal passages and relieves pain, and dispels wind and dampness.


Cāng ‘Ěr Zĭ is contraindicated in patients with Qi or Blood Vacuities.  Cocklebur should also not be used by patients who are on anti-diabetic medications as they work synergistically and could cause hypoglycemia.

The video below gives the same information in a different format, click on the link and watch the video.



If you have “St. Louis Sinus”, runny nose, itchy eyes, watery eyes, blocked sinuses, pain or other dysfunction and are looking for a natural treatment, call our office at (618) 207-4445 and we can compound an herbal formula for your health problems.  We are located in Swansea, IL  near Belleville, O’Fallon, Shiloh, Fairview Heights, Freeburg, Smithton, and Millstadt.

Source:  Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology- Chen and Chen

Eric Waltemate, DC, LAc (IN)
14 Park Place Suite A

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