Botanical Name :Angelica dahurica
Family: Apiaceae /Umbelliferae
Species: A. dahurica
Common Name : Bai Zhi
Angelica dahurica is a biennial/perennial plant, growing to 1.8 m (6ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.
We have very little information on this species and do not know how hardy it will be in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Requires a deep moist fertile soil in dappled shade or full sun. Plants are reliably perennial if they are prevented from setting seed.
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe since the seed only has a short viability. Seed can also be sown in the spring, though germination rates will be lower. It requires light for germination. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in the spring. The seed can also be sow in situ as soon as it is ripe
Edible Uses: .The stalks of this plant have also been commonly used as a food ingredient. The stems have been made into decorative items. The seeds are often used as a seasoning condiment in food as well as a source of flavoring in liqueur. Another popular usage for this herb is its ingredient in cosmetic products.
Bai Zhi has been used for thousands of years in Chinese herbal medicine where it is used as a sweat-inducing herb to counter harmful external influences. Bai Zhi is contraindicated for pregnant women. The root contains an essential oil, resins, furanocoumarins etc. It is analgesic, anodyne, antibacterial, antidote, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, poultice and stimulant. It is used in the treatment of frontal headache, tothache, rhinitis, boils, carbuncles and skin diseases. It appears to be of value in treating the facial pain of trigeminal neuralgia. The roots are harvested in the autumn, dried and stored for later use. Small quantities of angelicotoxin, one of the active ingredients in the root, have an excitatory effect on the respiratory centre, central nervous system and vasculomotor centre. It increases the rate of respiration, increases blood pressure, decreases the pulse, increases the secretion of saliva and induces vomiting. In large doses it can cause convulsions and generalized paralysis.
Known Hazards : Aside from the medicinal properties that this plant offers, this species also contain furocoumarins which increases skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis. Another compound called the angelicotoxin, is an active ingredient within the root. This has an excitatory effect on the respiratory system, central nervous system, and the vasculomotor system of the body. It is known to increase the rate of respiration, blood pressure, decrease pulse rate, increases saliva production and induces vomiting. In large doses, the toxin can induce convulsions and paralysis.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.