English Name: imperata, lalang grass rhizome
Pharmaceutical Name: Rhizoma Imperatae
Medica Category: Stop-Bleeding Herbs
Properties: Bai Mao Gen enters the Lung, Stomach, and Urinary Bladder channels; it is sweet in nature and cold in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Bai Mao Gen is the dried rhizome of a kind of grass known commonly as lalang grass (or cogongrass—Imperata cylindrica var. major (Nees) C.E.Hubb). It naturally grows in tropical/sub-tropical regions of Southeastern China and Taiwan (and across the Asia-Pacific region), commonly occupying a wide variety of habitats including grasslands, deforested areas, old fields, cultivated fields, riparian areas, and disturbed sites such as roadsides. The rhizomes are dug up in the late fall and dried for use as medicine.
Bai Mao Gen cools the blood and stops bleeding in a variety of disorders with heat in the blood as the root cause (e.g. nosebleeds, coughing up blood, vomiting blood etc…). Its special quality is that is neither drying nor stagnating in nature, making it a good choice when a more drying or stagnating herb might be problematic/exacerbate other conditions.
Bai Mao Gen clears heat and promotes urination to treat re lin (heat dysuria syndrome) with blood in the urine by draining heat through the urine. This action of Bai Mao Gen makes it appropriate (in various combinations depending on presentation) to address edema and damp-heat jaundice as well.
Bai Mao Gen clears heat form the Lung and Stomach channels to address such clinical manifestations as cough with wheezing, nausea, vomiting, and irritability.
this herb has a diuretic effect and should be used with caution/under supervision of a trained TCM practitioner when combined with pharmaceutical medications that have diuretic effects (such as chlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide (Lasix), bumetanide (Bumex), and torsemide (Demadex)) to avoid potentially excessive loss of fluids and/or electrolytes.