English Name: thlaspi, dahurian patrinia herb, white flower patrinia, penny-cress, snow thistle
Literal Translation: “spoiled paste herb”
Pharmaceutical Name: Herba cum Radice Patriniae
Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Toxin-Eliminating Herbs
Properties: Bai Jiang Cao enters the Stomach, Large Intestines, and Liver channels; it is acrid and bitter in nature and cool in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Bai Jiang Cao is dried white flower patrinia (Patrinia scabiosaefolia). This plant (a relative of valerian—see **safety note below) grows in mountainous regions of China and Japan. It has a single stem and clusters of white flowers when it is in bloom in the late summer. It is at this time of bloom when the entire plant is harvested (roots and all) and dried for use as medicine.
Bai Jiang Cao clears fire-toxins and drains pus from abscesses, primarily in the lungs and intestines.
Bai Jiang Cao invigorates the blood and dispels stasis to treat bruising and pain from trauma as well as resolving chest and abdominal fullness (with accompanying heat).
**safety note: Bai Jiang Cao has marked sedative effects and can cause drowsiness. This should be kept in mind when operating heavy machinery; additionally, Bai Jiang Cao can potentiate the effect of barbiturates (and other substances with “depressant” effects) already in the body.