Herb: Sha Shen

Latin name: Adenophora stricta

Synonyms: Adenophora confusa

Family: Campanulaceae (Bellflower Family)

Medicinal use of Sha Shen:

The root is a stimulant herb that acts mainly on the respiratory system and the heart. It is antitussive and expectorant and is used internally to treat dry coughs, chronic bronchitis and tuberculosis.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)


Habitat of the herb:

Hillsides and hilly places in China.

Edible parts of Sha Shen:

Root - cooked. When boiled in two changes of water, it is said to be excellent eating. Leaves - cooked.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed can also be sown in spring. Surface sow 2 - 3 seeds per pot in the spring in order to avoid transplanting. We have found that if transplanted when very small seedlings grow away without difficulty. Germinates in 1 - 3 months at 10C. Plant out into their permanent positions whilst young. Basal cuttings in spring. Division in spring - very difficult because the plant dislikes root disturbance.

Cultivation of Sha Shen:

Hillsides and hilly places in China.

Known hazards of Adenophora stricta:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.