Herb: Tartarian Aster

Latin name: Aster tataricus

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Tartarian Aster:

This species has been used for at least 2,000 years in traditional Chinese medicine. The root contains triterpenes and triterpene saponins, and is a stimulant expectorant herb for the bronchial system, helping to clear infections. It is antibacterial, antifungal, antitussive, expectorant and stimulant. It has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, Pseudomonas and Vibrio Proteus. The root is taken internally in the treatment of chronic bronchitis and tuberculosis and is often used raw with honey in order to increase the expectorant effect. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use. The plant contains the triterpene epifriedelinol, which has shown anticancer activity, and is used as a folk cure for cancer.

Description of the plant:


2 m
(6 1/2 foot)

to October

Habitat of the herb:

Subalpine meadows and wet places, C. and S. Japan. Marshy areas in mountains.

Edible parts of Tartarian Aster:

Young plant. No more details are given.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - surface sow in spring in a cold frame. Do not allow the compost to become dry. Pre-chilling the seed for two weeks can improve germination rates. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks at 20C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Basal cuttings in the spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whist smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.

Cultivation of Tartarian Aster:

Subalpine meadows and wet places, C. and S. Japan. Marshy areas in mountains.

Known hazards of Aster tataricus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.