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Qian Hu

English Name: peucedanum, white-flowered hog-fennel root

Literal Translation: “before barbarians”

Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Peucedani

Medica Category: Phlegm-Resolving Herbs

Properties: Qian Hu enters the Lung channel; it is bitter and acrid in nature and cool in temperature.

What is Qian Hu?:

The Chinese Herb Qian Hu is the dried roots from the white-flowered hog-fennel (Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn.), a perennial herb in the carrot family (Apiaceae) that grows along riverbanks and in grasslands in Central China (concentrated in Zhejiang, Henan and Hunan provinces).  The roots are collected in the late autumn/winter when stem and leaves wither (or in the early spring before sprouting), dried, and either left unprocessed or honey-fried for use as medicine.

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

Qian Hu redirects Lung qi downward and dispels (stubborn) accumulations of excess phlegm causing cough with copious, difficult-to-expectorate phlegm, dyspnea/wheezing, and chest tightness/oppression.

Qian Hu dispels wind-heat from the exterior and is used when a wind-heat attack presents with headaches and a dry cough. (“Wind-heat attack” is roughly analogous to coming down with a cold or flu).

–safety note:

Qian Hu should be used with caution in persons taking anticoagulant medications (e.g. warfarin (Coumadin) and enoxaparin (Lovenox)) and antiplatelet medications (e.g. aspirin, dipyridamole (Persantine), and clopidogrel (Plavix)) as it may combine with these medications to have additive or synergistic effects.  Note that this potential interaction of Qian Hu and these medications has not been documented; nevertheless, it is prudent to be aware of its possibility.

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