Herb: Xing An Sheng Ma


Latin name: Cimicifuga dahurica


Synonyms: Actaea dahurica


Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)



Medicinal use of Xing An Sheng Ma:

This plant is an anti-infective herb that lowers fevers and reduces pain. The root is analgesic, antibacterial, antiviral, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, sedative, tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of coughs, colds, headaches, gum diseases and feverish infections such as measles. The root is harvested in the autumn and used fresh or dried. Use with caution, see the notes above on toxicity.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
150 cm
(5 feet)

Flovering:
August to
September


Scent:
Scented
Perennial

Habitat of the herb:

Forest margins, shrub thickets, forests and very dry places in valley meadows.

Edible parts of Xing An Sheng Ma:

Young leaves - cooked. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed. It germinates in 1 - 12 months or even longer at 15C. The seed does not store well and soon loses its viability, stored seed may germinate better if given 6 - 8 weeks warm stratification at 15C and then 8 weeks cold stratification. Prick out the young seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.

Cultivation of Xing An Sheng Ma:

Forest margins, shrub thickets, forests and very dry places in valley meadows.

Known hazards of Cimicifuga dahurica:

Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it does belong to a family that contains a number of toxic species and at least one species in this genus is said to be mildly poisonous. Some caution is therefore advised.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.