Coix Seed (yi yi ren)
Coix seeds come from the coix plant, which is grown in the Fujian, Hebei and Liaoning provinces in China. The seeds are usually oval-shaped or egg-shaped, with a milky white outer surface and a slightly sweet taste.
Coix seeds are harvested in the fall when the coix plant ripens and are dried in the sun. They are usually used unprepared, or they are stir-baked until the outer shell has a yellowish color.
In traditional Chinese medicine, coix seeds serve several functions. The stimulate function of the spleen and lung, remove heat (which helps in the drainage of pus) and induce diuresis. Coix seeds are also used to treat the symptoms of diarrhea and arthritis.