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Effective Use of Mild Acting Herbs VI. Yi Yi Ren (Coix)

Effective Use of Mild Acting Herbs VI. Yi Yi Ren (Coix)
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Volume 2 Issue 4 - August 2007

by Subhuti Dharmananda

Coix is the common name for the Chinese medicinal material Coix lacryma-jobi seed. The entire coix plant and its seed pod are commonly called Job’s Tears, which is the English equivalent of the Latin species name: the seed pod often has a tear drop appearance. Linnaeus gave the botanical name in 1753, relying upon an existing popular reference for the tear shaped pods to the Book of Job (e.g., Job said: "before God my eyes drop tears”); it has also been called St. Mary’s tears. World-wide, this plant is best known for the pods (pericarps), which have a hole naturally occurring at each end, making them a useful source of beads for stringing. One popular application is making rosaries, as the beads are especially resistant to damage by moisture and have a valued symbolism of tears.
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