Pinyin: yuan zhi (zhi)
ENGLISH NAME: Radix Polygalae
LATIN NAME: Polygalae Radix
Properties: acrid, bitter, slightly warm
Channels Entered: Lung, Heart
CHINESE THERAPEUTIC ACTIONS
1. Pacifies the Heart and Calms the Shen (Spirit)
2. Expels Phlegm and Clears the Orifices
3. Expels Phlegm from the Lung
4. Reduces Abscesses and Dissipates Swellings
3 to 9 grams. Fresh Yuan Zhi more strongly dispels phlegm and opens orifices, while honey-processed Yuan Zhi more effectively calms the shen (spirit) and tranquil- izes the mind. However, fresh or unprocessed Yuan Zhi is sometimes irritating to the throat. This irritation can be eliminated by dry frying Yuan Zhi,or by boiling it with Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae) in hot water.
To enhance its effect to eliminate phlegm and stop coughing, the herb may be processed with honey.
CAUTIONS I CONTRAINDICA TIONS
• Because Yuan Zhi is drying in nature, use it with caution in patients experiencing heat symptoms or hot phlegm. • Use Yuan Zhi with caution in patients who have gastritis, peptic or duodenal ulcers. Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae) can be added to ease the irritating effect Yuan Zhi has on the stomach and to prevent nausea and vomiting.
• Yuan Zhi should be used with caution during pregnancy, as it stimulates uterine contraction.