Herb: Bai Zhu


Latin name: Atractylodes macrocephala


Family: Compositae



Medicinal use of Bai Zhu:

Bai Zhu is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. The root 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.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
50 cm
(1 foot)

Flovering:
July to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Pastures and waste ground. Grassland and forests at elevations of 600 - 2800 metres.

Propagation of Bai Zhu:

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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Pastures and waste ground. Grassland and forests at elevations of 600 - 2800 metres.

Known hazards of Atractylodes macrocephala:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.