Herb: Xuan Fu Hua

Latin name: Inula britannica chinensis

Synonyms: Inula japonica

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Xuan Fu Hua:

Xuan Fu Hua is used in Chinese herbalism as a mildly warming expectorant remedy and it is especially suitable where phlegm has accumulated in the chest. It has been used as an adulterant of arnica (Arnica montana). The flowers are more commonly used, but the leaves are also used, generally for less serious conditions. The leaf is discutient and vulnerary. The flowers are alterative, antibacterial, carminative, cholagogue, deobstruent, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, nervine, stomachic, tonic and vulnerary. They are used internally in the treatment of bronchial complaints with profuse phlegm, nausea and vomiting, hiccups and flatulence. The flowers have an antibacterial action, but this can be destroyed by proteins in the body. The plant is harvested when in flower and can be dried for later use. The root is discutient, resolvent and vulnerary. The plant has been mentioned as a possible treatment for cancer of the oesophagus.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Wet places in lowlands, especially by rivers, all over Japan.

Edible parts of Xuan Fu Hua:

Leaves - cooked. An emergency food, it is only used when better foods are not available.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, it is worthwhile trying a sowing in situ in the spring or the autumn. Division in spring or autumn.

Cultivation of Xuan Fu Hua:

Wet places in lowlands, especially by rivers, all over Japan.

Known hazards of Inula britannica chinensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.