English Name: eupatorium, fortune eupatorium, orchid grass herb
Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Eupatorii
Medica Category: Aromatic Damp-Dissolving Herbs
Properties: Pei Lan enters the Spleen, Stomach, and Lung channels; it is acrid in nature and neutral and aromatic in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Pei Lan is the dried leaves and stems of a particular species of eupatorium (Eupatorium fortunei), a herbaceous plant that grows from 1-3 ft tall and blooms in the summer and autumn with small clumps of flowers that range from white to pink with splashes of darker red shot through. Eupatorium is rare in the wild but widely cultivated in China for medicinal use.
Pei Lan dissolves dampness and dispels summer damp characterized by feelings of nausea, distention, and bloating one might experience when becoming “overheated” working out in hot, humid summer weather.
Pei Lan dispels damp-heat accumulation in the Spleen caused by the intake of excess fatty/greasy foods. This imbalance presents with a sweet and greasy taste in the mouth, epigastric pain and distention, thick, sticky saliva, and bad breath.
Huo Xiang and Pei Lan are similar in their actions and often used together—Huo Xiang being better at resolve dampness and turbidity form the middle and Pei Lan being complementing this by resolving feelings of oppression in the chest (accompanied by a sweet taste in the mouth and sticky saliva).