Herb: Ha-Chiku

Latin name: Phyllostachys nigra henonis

Synonyms: Phyllostachys henonis

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Medicinal use of Ha-Chiku:

The leaves are antipyretic and diuretic. They are used internally in the treatment of fevers (especially infantile convulsions), vomiting and nosebleeds. The leave are harvested during the growing season and dried for later use. The juice of the stems is antipyretic, antitussive, expectorant and sedative. It is taken internally in the treatment of lung infections with cough and phlegm. The sap is pressed from young stems in the summer and then dried for later use. The epidermis of the stem bark is antiemetic and sedative. It is used internally in the treatment of vomiting, nosebleeds, coughs etc. The epidermis is collected from young stems in the summer and is dried for later use. The root is astringent, antipyretic, depurative, diuretic and styptic. It has been used in the treatment of rabies. A decoction is also used in the treatment of high fevers and nocturnal fretfulness in infants. The roots are harvested in the winter and dried for later use.

Description of the plant:


6 m
(20 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Fertile and moist places, also by streams.

Edible parts of Ha-Chiku:

Young shoots - cooked. Somewhat acrid when raw, they are prepared for eating by boiling in one change of water, the water being changed after 8 - 10 minutes. A distinctive taste and aroma. The shoots are harvested in the spring when they are about 8cm above the ground, cutting them about 5cm below soil level.

Other uses of the herb:

The canes make good plant supports. Thin walled but durable, the canes are also used for cabinet work and for decorative panels and inlays. The rhizome is used in making umbrella handles, wickerwork, canes, musical instruments and various kinds of handicrafts.

Propagation of Ha-Chiku:

Seed - surface sow as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse at about 20C. Do not allow the compost to dry out. Germination usually takes place fairly quickly so long as the seed is of good quality, though it can take 3 - 6 months. Grow on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Seed is rarely available. Division in spring as new growth commences. Divisions from the open ground do not transplant well, so will need careful treatment and nurturing under cover in pots until at least late spring. Division is best carried out in wet weather and small divisions will establish better than large clumps. Another report says that you can take large divisions from established clumps and transfer them straight to their permanent positions, misting or drenching them frequently until they are established. Basal cane cuttings in spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Fertile and moist places, also by streams.

Known hazards of Phyllostachys nigra henonis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.