Herb: Du Huo


Latin name: Angelica pubescens


Family: Umbelliferae



Medicinal use of Du Huo:

The roots and rhizomes are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, carminative, nervine and vasodilator. A decoction is used to promote menstruation, to treat rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, headache, toothache and abscesses. This herb is used medicinally in the same ways as A. dahurica (Bai Zhi). These uses are as follows:- 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 is analgesic, anodyne, antibacterial, antidote, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, poultice and stimulant. It is used in the treatment of frontal headache, rhinitis, boils, carbuncles and skin diseases. It appears to be of value in treating the facial pain of trigeminal neuralgia. 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.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
180 cm
(6 feet)

Flovering:
July to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Damp habitats in hills and low mountains, C. and S. Japan.

Edible parts of Du Huo:

Leaves - cooked.

Propagation of the herb:

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.

Cultivation of Du Huo:

Damp habitats in hills and low mountains, C. and S. Japan.

Known hazards of Angelica pubescens:

All members of this genus contain furocoumarins, which increase skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.