Herb: Yuan Zhi
Latin name: Polygala sibirica
Family: Polygalaceae (Milkwort Family)
Medicinal use of Yuan Zhi:The leaves are used in the treatment of spermatorrhoea. They are ingested as a kidney tonic. The roots are diuretic, expectorant, haemolytic and sedative. Their use lowers the blood pressure. They are used in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, insomnia, infantile convulsions, amnesia, sexual impotency etc. The plant is also considered to be analgesic, diuretic, expectorant and nervine.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Dry calcareous slopes in Ukraine. Open slopes in the Himalayas from Pakistan to Tibet at 1600 - 3600 metres.
Edible parts of Yuan Zhi:Young leaves - cooked. Root - cooked. We have no more details on this species but the root of another member of this genus has its core removed before the root is cooked in several changes of water.
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 grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division. Cuttings of young shoots in a frame in late spring.
Cultivation of Yuan Zhi:Dry calcareous slopes in Ukraine. Open slopes in the Himalayas from Pakistan to Tibet at 1600 - 3600 metres.
Known hazards of Polygala sibirica:Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, at least one member of this genus is said to be poisonous in large quantities.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.