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Bai Qian

English Name: cynanchum rhizome, willow leaf swallowwort rhizome, glaucescent swallowwort rhizome

Pharmaceutical Name: Rhizoma Cynanchi Stauntonii

Medica Category: Phlegm-Resolving Herbs

Properties: Bai Qian enters the Lung channel; it is acrid and sweet in nature and neutral in temperature.

What is Bai Qian?:

The Chinese Herb Bai Qian comes from one of two species of swallowwort (willow leaf swallowwort: Cynanchum stauntoni (Decne.) Schltr. Ex Levl.; or glauscent swallowwort: Cynanchum glaucescens (Decne.)). The plants themselves are twining vines that grow in moist or waterlogged woodlands. The dried tubers are the part of these plants that are used for medicine. They are collected in autumn and can either be left unprocessed or honey-fried for use as medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Bai Qian:

Bai Qian descends Lung qi and dispels phlegm and is a key herb in TCM to treat respiratory disorders (secondary to phlegm accumulation) that present with cough and dyspnea/wheezing. Acrid and warm in nature, Bai Qian also effectively addresses cough caused by wind-cold invasion (roughly analogous to coming down with a cold or flu without the blazing fever).

–safety notes:

Use with caution for dry cough from yin deficiency.

Use with caution in persons with peptic ulcers or bleeding ulcers as this herb can irritate the gastrointestinal system.

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