Herb: Pei Lan

Latin name: Eupatorium japonicum

Synonyms: Eupatorium chinense simplicifolium, Eupatorium fortunei, Eupatorium stoecadosum

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Pei Lan:

The leaves and stems are anodyne, antibacterial, antiviral, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, nervine and vermifuge. They are taken internally in the treatment of indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, feverish colds etc. In excess the plant causes irritation to the stomach. The leaves and stems are harvested in the summer before the flower buds open, and are dried for later use. The plant contains the essential oil thymol. In large doses this can cause various health problems such as headaches, tinnitus, vertigo, inhibition of respiration and the circulation. Use with caution. The seed is prescribed in China for the "36 diseases of women". The root is considered to be beneficial to the circulation and a restorative to women after parturition. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The herbage, soaked in oil, is applied to the hair as a treatment for dandruff.

Description of the plant:


2 m
(6 1/2 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Moist grassland along river banks.

Edible parts of Pei Lan:

Young leaves - cooked. Boiled and well seasoned. Root - cooked. It is sometimes eaten for food and is considered beneficial to the circulation.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of Pei Lan:

Moist grassland along river banks.

Known hazards of Eupatorium japonicum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.