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rou gui 肉 桂; gui zhi 桂枝  (in English and Chinese 中英文)

Edited by Joe Hing Kwok Chu   朱興國編譯

Pharmaceutical name:


Ramulus Cinnamomi Cassiae

Biological name:


Cinnamomum cassia Blume

Cinnamomum Ioureiru Nees.

Pron. in Japanese:


桂枝: keishi

Pron. in Korean:


桂枝: kyechi

Pron. in Cantonese:


桂枝: gwai3 zi1

肉桂:juk6 gwai3

Common Name:


cinnamon twig (gui zhi), cinnamon bark (rou gui)



Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, Fujian provinces of

China, southeast Asia, south Asia, and India.


Properties (characteristics):


gui zhi: acrid, sweet, hot.

rou gui: acrid, sweet, very hot.

桂枝: 辛 , 甘 ,  熱 .

肉 桂: 辛 , 甘 , 大 熱 .

Channels (meridians) entered:


heart, lung, bladder


Actions & Indications:


  1. tonic for stomach, rid of wind, to promote sweating, for headache, anemia,

  2. cold limbs, to promote urination.

  3.  to promote lung qi, in chill and fever, cold phlegm, diarrhea, muscle spasm,

  4. headache, back pain, sweating, to stop easily being annoyed, strengthening

  5. muscles and bones, promote circulation.

  6. use in impotence due toshenyangxu (kidney yang deficient).


  1. 補胃,驅風止痛,發汗。用於頭痛,貧血,肢體冷, 利尿。

  2. 補肺氣,感冒風寒表証,症見惡寒發熱、頭痛、 身 疼、背痛,出汗,烦腦,容易發脾氣等。增進血液循環,增强筋骨。

  3. 用於腎 陽虛所致之陽萎。

Medical Function:


  • the ingredient cinnamaldehyde posseses antipyretic effect; promote sweating, diluting blood vessel of the skin. (if decoction is used when warm)

  • anti-spasm, relieves pain; inhibits CNS

  • inhibit the induced ulcers of laboratory rats; promotes bile secretion.

  • antibiotic effect

  • lowers blood sugar. (methylhydroxy chalcone polymer )

  • promote urination (if decoction is used when cooled.)


  • 解 熱 作 用 :  桂 皮 醛 ( cinnamaldehyde ) 發汗,解熱,擴張皮膚血管,促進 汗腺分泌(如溫服)。

  •   鎮 痙 ,鎮 痛 作 用 : 有 抑 制 中 樞 神 經 作 用 。

  • 對 於 消 化 系 統 之 影 響 : 對 於 大 白 鼠 拘 束 水 浸 胃 引 發 潰 瘍 有抑 制 作 用 , 促 進 膽 汁 分 泌 。

  • 抗 菌 作 用 : 對 病 原 性 絲 狀 菌 有 抑 制 作 用 。

  • 降血糖作用 (甲羥基查耳酮多聚體 MHCP)

  • 利尿作 用。

Chemical Ingredients:


桂皮醛(cinnamic aldehyde)(樹 皮﹐bark:55 ~ 75%)

肉桂醇醋 酸酯(cinnamyl acetate)

丁香酚  (eugenol) (樹皮﹐bark:5~20%; 葉﹐leaves70-90%),

乙醛 (aldehyde)

蒎烯  (pinene)

香豆素 (coumarin)

肉桂醇 (cinnamyl alcohol)

桂皮酸 (cinnamic acid)

麗 酸乙酸,




黃樟油素 safrol (葉﹐leaves<1%)

甲羥基查耳酮多聚體 (能增強脂肪細胞對胰島素的反應 性) methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MHCP),

(water-soluble polyphenol compound can increase glucose metabolism of fat cells.)


gui zhi:3-10 g per day for boiling.

ruo gui: 1-5 g used as powder form or added to the decoction when they are ready for use.

桂枝:每 日量3~10克。

肉桂: 1~5 克作粉剤,或煎好後之湯加入。

Commonly Used formulae:


gui zhi fu ling wan 桂枝茯苓丸

gui zhi tang 桂枝湯

huang qi gui zhi wu wu tang 黃耆桂枝五物湯

dang gui shao yao san 當歸芍藥散

ma huang tang 麻黃湯

chai hu gui zhi tang 柴胡桂枝湯

chai hu gui zhi gan jiang tang 柴胡桂枝乾薑湯

dang gui si ni tang 當歸四逆湯

huang qi jian zhong tang黃耆建中湯

gui zhi fu ling wan 桂枝茯苓丸

gui zhi shao yao zhi mu tang 桂枝芍藥知母湯

shi quan da bu tang 十全大補湯 

Modern Research:

to be loaded



not to use in case of liver yang ascending, warm-febrile diseases, yinxu with heat,

heat in blood with vomiting. Use caution during pregnancy or excessive bleeding

during menses. Over dosage  may be toxic to the kidney and may cause bleeding

in the urinary tract.

Over cooking may lessen the effectiveness because of the 
evaporating oil which is part of the effective ingredients.
Cinnamaldehyde (cinnamic aldehyde), a main ingredient of 
cassia oil, is the toxic ingredient.

肝 陽上 亢﹐瘟病﹐陰 虛有熱﹐血熱嘔吐者忌用。懷孕或月經過多者小心應有。過量使用可能會對腎臟有毒﹔引起血尿 。有毒成份為桂皮醛。


Gui zhi is from the young branches of cinnamon trees.

Rou gui is the thick bark of the trees.

Usually rou gui is used in tonic while gui zhi is used for expelling wind and dampness but they can be used interchangeably.

桂枝: 樟科植物肉桂的嫩枝

肉桂: 樟科植物肉桂的皮


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Last update: Last update: Dec 9, 2013; 9 a.m. LAH