Chinese Name : 北沙參
Latin Name : Radix Glehniae
This herb is the root and rhizome of Glehnia littoralis Fr. Schimidt ex. Miq. of the family Umbelliferae. It grows mainly in the Hebei, Jiangsu,Liaoning, and Shandong provinces of China. Harvested in summer and washed clean, the rootlets are discarded. The roots are skinned after scalding in boiling water, then sliced or cut into small segments, dried in the sun, and used unprocessed.
Traditionally, glehnia is a yin tonic herb, promoting the production body fluids to moisten the eyes, throat, and mouth, relieve a dry cough and bronchitis, and treat tuberculosis.
Use of Glehnia in TCM
Sweet and slightly bitter in taste, and slightly cool, it acts on the lung and stomach meridians.
Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combinations
- Removes Heat from the lungs and relieves bronchitis:
- For a dry cough due to Heat in the lungs and chronic bronchitis, glehnia is blended with ophiopogon root, polygonatum rhizome (yu zhu), trichosanthes root, licorice root, dolichos nut (bai bian dou), and mulberry leaf in a decoction.
- For dry, itchy skin in the winter, glehnia is prescribed with ophiopogon root, Chinese angelica, and polygonatum rhizome in a decoction.
- Strengthens the stomach and improves the production of body fluids: for dry mouth, thirst, poor appetite, and constipation, it is often mixed with dried rehmannia and ophiopogon root.
In a decoction of 10 to 15 g, 6 g in powder form for oral use
People with a cough caused by Wind-Cold cold and a feeling of weakness should avoid this herb. Glehnia should not be used with veratrum root.
Side Effects and Toxicity
The therapeutic dose is safe. No adverse reactions have been reported
Glehnia root contains the alkaloids furanocoumaines imperatorin, psoralen, xanthotoxol, xanthotoxin, isoimperatorin, and bergapten. Other ingredients are essential oils, beta-sitosterol, petroselenic acid, palmitic acid, linoleic acid, and phellopterin.
- Expectorant and antitussive
- Analgesic and antipyretic. Lowers body temperature
- Inhibits cardiac activities depending on dosage