E Jiao herb, also known as Donkey-Hide Gelatin and Colla Corii Asini in Latin name, has a long history in China. It was initially listed and classified as top grade herbs in Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic, China’s first Materia Medica compiled about 2,500 years ago. In Chinese medicine, this herb has developed a reputation as an effective gynecological medicine thanks to its amazing performance on nourishing yin and supplementing blood, miscarriage prevention, emmeniopathy treatment, and so on.
What is donkey hide gelatin or E Jiao?
Actually this is not an herb at all, but the solid glue made of the hide of Equus Asinus L. donkey. The main processing steps include boiling and concentrating the donkey hide. And it gets its name because in ancient time it was produced in Dong’e County in Shandong province. Nowadays it mainly comes from Shandong, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu. It comes with plenty of common names, including Donkey-hide Glue, Asini Corii Gelatinum, Ass-hide Glue, donkey glue, Donkey-hide Root, donkey skin glue, Colla Corii Asini, Ejiao Gelatin, donkey gelatin, Gelatinum Corii Asini, E’jiao, Donkey-Hide Gelatin, and more. Usually it is used by the original gelatin block or beads that are fried and formed by smashed gelatin block with clam shell powder or cattail pollen.
However, you may not know that initially E’jiao was not made of donkey hide only but cowhide and other many other animal skins. It wasn’t until the Tang Dynasty others weren’t used anymore because people came to realize that the efficacy of donkey hide was the best. Its end product is in the shape of neat rectangular or square blocks, usually about 8.5cm long, 3.7cm wide, and 0.7cm or 1.5cm thick. Surface is brown or dark brown and with sheen. Quality is hard and brittle and with shiny sections. Fragment is brown and translucent if held up to the light. And it has slight odor and slightly sweet flavor.
Main chemical constituent is gelatin. And the hydrolysis of gelatin gets a variety of amino acids, including lysine, arginine, histidine, cystine, tryptophan, hydroxyproline, aspartic acid, threonine acid, serine, glutamic acid, proline, glycine, alanine, and so on.
E Jiao benefits
As previously mentioned this is a common Chinese herb and has long been used as blood tonic in TCM practice. As you know, this animal part is good at enriching the blood, especially in the case of blood deficiency due to bleeding. Next modern pharmacology will tell you the truth about this amazing herb.
Modern pharmacological actions
1. Strong function of enriching blood was showed in the experiment of the bled dogs with declined hemoglobin and erythrocytes. And it is more effective than iron supplements;
2. Serum calcium concentration slightly rose but clotting time remained after it was taken;
3. Rabbit chronic nephritis model induced by Vassili improved method gained positive nitrogen balance two weeks after taking the Donkey-Hide Gelatin. By contrast, the control group still remained negative balance.
Proven E’jiao related herbal remedies
TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) think that this herb is sweet in flavor and neutral in properties. It covers meridians of liver, lung, and kidney. Chief functions include enriching blood, hemostasis, nourishing Yin, and moistening dryness. Main E Jiao uses and indications are hemopenia, consumptive hemoptysis, hematemesis, hematuria, hemafecia, bloody flux, bleeding during pregnancy, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis, yin-deficiency agitation and sleeplessness, irritating dry cough caused by lung deficiency, spasm due to deficient wind agitation, and more. Recommended Ejiao dosage is from 5 to 10 grams. As for how to eat E Jiao for best health benefits, melting it by heat is highly advisable while the decoction is just done and still steaming hot.
E Jiao Huang Qin Tang
This formula is chosen from EQ Chong Ding Tong Su Shang Han Lun (Revised Popular On Cold Damage). It is basically used for autumn-dryness disease. Other key herbal ingredients include Xing Ren (Apricot Seed), Sang Bai Pi (Mulberry Root Bark), Bai Shao (White Peony Root), and so on.
E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang
This is a formula from Revised Popular On Cold Damage too. It is mainly formulated to nourish yin and extinguish wind. Other basic herbs include White Peony Root, Shi Jue Ming (Abalone Shell), Gou Teng (Gambir Vine Stems and Thorns), Sheng Di Huang (Rehmannia), Ji Zi Huang (Galli Gigeriae Vitellus), and more.
Huang Lian E Jiao Tang
This prescription comes from Shang Han Lun (On Cold Damage). It is primarily designed to nourish yin to lessen fire and soothe the nerves. The rest herbs are Huang Lian (Coptis Rhizome), Huang Qin (Scutellaria), White Peony Root, and Galli Gigeriae Vitellus.
Bu Fei E Jiao Tang
This is a prescription from Xiao Er Yao Zheng Zhi Jue (Key to Syndrome Identification and Treatment of Diseases in Infants). It is mainly used to tonify lung by nourishing Yin and clear heat and staunch a bleeding. The rest major herbs are Niu Bang Zi (Arctium), Gan Cao (Licorice Root), Xing Ren (Apricot Seed), and so on.
E Jiao Buxue Gao
It comes from Zhong Guo Yao Dian (Chinese pharmacopoeia). It is usually applied to replenish qi and enrich the blood. Other key herbs are Shu Di Huang (Rehmannia), Dang Shen (Codonopsis Root), Huang Qi (Astragalus Root), and more.
Potential E’jiao side effects and contraindications
TCM believes that E Jiao is sticky and greasy, which can easily lead to indigestion. As a result, Use it with care in case of deficiency of spleen and stomach.