English Name: picrorhiza, figwort flower rhizome
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Picrorizae
Medica Category: Deficiency-Heat Clearing Herbs
Properties: Hu Huang Lian enters the Heart, Stomach, Liver, and Large Intestine channels; it is bitter in nature and cold in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Hu Huang Lian is the dried roots of a creeping plant native to the mountains of India, Nepal, Tibet and Pakistan known as Picrorhiza (Picrorhiza kurroa); also known as Kharbagehindi, the plant consists of long leaves and pale blue/reddish-blue flowers with five lobes and has a long list of traditional uses across many traditional healing systems going back thousands of years. Its uses as presented in the modern Chinese medica are detailed below.
Hu Huang Lian clears deficiency heat to address such symptoms as tidal fever, steaming bones, five-center heat, night sweats and irritability. It is also used in China to treat infantile malnutrition due to excess heat (Gan Ji). See also Yin Chai Hu.
Hu Huang Lian clears damp heat and eliminates toxins and is used to treat diarrhea and dysentery.