Herbs & Plants

Bai Zhu

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Botanical Name :Atractylodes macrocephala
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Atractylodes
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Parts Used : The rhizomes are collected in November when the lower leaves begin withering. They are stripped of the small roots and sun-dried or heat-dried.

Common Name : Bai Zhu

Habitats: E. Asia – China, Japan and Korea.   Pastures and waste ground. Grassland and forests at elevations of 600 – 2800 metres.

Descriptiopn :
Bai Zhu  is a  Perennial herbaceous plant, 40-60 cm. high. Stems cylindrical, much-branched in the upper part. Leaves alternate, toothed, the lower 3-lobed with long petiole, the upper entire, short-petioled. Inflorescence in terminal head; flowers small, lilac, all tubulous. Achene globose, with a coma of hairs.
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist

Cultivation :
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. This species is probably hardy in most of Britain, it tolerates temperatures down to at least -15°c. Widely cultivated in China for its use as a medicinal herb. This species is dioecious. Both male and female plants need to be grown if seed is required.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the following spring or early summer.

Chemical composition: The rhizomes contain essential oil 1.5%, atractylol, atractylon; glucoside, inulin, vitamin A, potassium atractylate.

Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial;  DiureticSedativeStomachic;  Tonic.

Bai Zhu is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. The root contains an essential oil, glucoside and inulin. It is a bitter-sweet tonic herb that acts mainly upon the digestive system and strengthens the spleen. The root is antibacterial, diuretic, hypoglycaemic, sedative, stomachic and tonic. It is used in the treatment of poor appetite, dyspepsia, abdominal distension, chronic diarrhoea, oedema and spontaneous sweating. It is often used in conjunction with other herbs such as Codonopsis tangshen and Glycyrrhiza uralensis. Combined with Baical skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) it is used to prevent miscarriage. The roots are harvested in the autumn and baked for use in tonics

It has traditionally been used as a tonic for the digestive system, building qi and strengthening the spleen.  The rhizome has a sweet, pungent taste, and is used to relieve fluid retention, excessive sweating, and digestive problems such as diarrhea and vomiting.  It is also used in the treatment of poor appetite, dyspepsia, abdominal distension, and edema. It is often used in conjunction with other herbs such as Codonopsis tangshen and Glycyrrhiza uralensis. Combined with Baical skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) it is used to prevent miscarriage.

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.


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Source : BETTER Health Research :

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