Chinese Name : 白頭翁
Latin Name : Radix Pulsatillae
This herb is the dried root and flower of Pulsatilla chinensis (Bge.) Regel. Of the family Ranunculaceac. It is grown mainly in the Liaoning province and Inner Mongolia of China. Collected in the spring, it is dried and used unprocessed.
Traditionally, this herb was a popular medicine. It was prescribed for fevers, insanity, ague, obstruction of the bowels, swelling of the neck from anger, poor circulation of the blood, abdominal pain, dysentery, toothache, all sorts of rheumatic pain, scrofulous glands, all forms of miasmatic poisoning, hemorrhoids, and favus (fungal skin). Pulsatilla root clears away pathogenic Heat, subdues pyogenic infections, and detoxifies. It is used to treat diarrhea and dysentery.
Use of Pulsatilla Root in TCM
Bitter in taste and cold, it acts on the large intestine meridian.
Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combinations
- Removes pathogenic Heat and relieves dysentery: for bacterial and amochic dysentery, pulsatilla root is combined with coptis, phelodendron bark, and fraxinus bark, as in Bai Tou Weng Tang.
- Detoxifies: to treat Trichomonas vaginalis, a fairly common condition in women characterized by symptoms of persistent burning and itching of the vulvae tissue associated with a profuse frothy discharge, pulsatilla root is made into a decoction with sophora root, which is applied externally on the affected areas. Pulsatilla root is also effective in treating lymphnoditis. The decoction and ethanol extract of the root is antibacterial in vitro against aureus, P. aeruginasa, S. dysenteriae, and B.subutilis.
In a decoction of 6 to 15 g.
Side Effects and Toxicity
No undesirable side effects or toxicity were reported of the herb at therapeutic dose in classical Chinese materia medica.
Pulsatilla root contains saponins, protoanemonin, and glycoside ranunculin, anemonin, okinalin, okenalein, stigmasterol, hederagenin, and oleanolic acid.
Pulsatilla root is antimicrobial and antiamebic. It inhibits vaginal trichomonas in vitro.