Herb: Chinese Pink


Latin name: Dianthus chinensis


Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family, Starwort Family)



Medicinal use of Chinese Pink:

The Chinese pink has been used for over 2,000 years in Chinese herbal medicine. The whole plant is a bitter tonic herb that stimulates the digestive and urinary systems and also the bowels. It is also anthelmintic, antibacterial, antiphlogistic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge and haemostatic. It is used internally in the treatment of acute urinary tract infections (especially cystitis), urinary stones, constipation and failure to menstruate. It is used externally to treat skin inflammations and swellings. The old leaves are crushed and used for clearing the eyesight. The plants are harvested just before the flowers open and are dried for later use.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
70 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
July to
August

Habitat of the herb:

A wide variety of habitats including sandy forest margins, dry hillsides and summits, forest and hillside grasslands, scrub on mountain slopes, rocky ravines, meadows and streamsides.

Propagation of Chinese Pink:

Seed - sow May/June in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer or autumn. The seed can also be sown thinly in an outdoor seedbed in late spring, the young plants being planted out in late spring or the autumn. Cuttings of half-ripe shoots, July in a frame. Division in September. 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 spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

A wide variety of habitats including sandy forest margins, dry hillsides and summits, forest and hillside grasslands, scrub on mountain slopes, rocky ravines, meadows and streamsides.

Known hazards of Dianthus chinensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.