English Name: Chinese pulsatilla root
Literal Translation: “white-headed gentleman”
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Pulsatillae
Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Toxin-Eliminating Herbs
Properties: Bai Tou Weng enters the Large Intestine channel; it is bitter in nature and cold in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Bai Tou Weng is Chinese pulsatilla root (Pulsatilla chinensis (Bge.) Regel), a small, perennial herb that blooms in the spring with purple flowers with tiny, fuzzy white hairs. Native to Northern China, Korea, and parts of Siberia, it grows in dry grassy places and forest margins on rocky hillsides and mountain slopes. The roots are harvested in the fall or late winter/very early spring and dried for use as medicine.
Bai Tou Weng clears damp-heat toxins and cools the blood in the Large Intestine channel to treat damp-heat diarrhea and dysentery accompanied with incomplete bowel movements/tenesmus and abdominal pain, and bleeding (with Qin Pi in the formula Bai Tou Weng Tang).
Bai Tou Weng has antibiotic properties and is useful in treating amoebic dysentery.