English Name: pseudostellaria, prince ginseng root
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Pseudostellariae
Medica Category: Qi-Tonifying Herbs
Properties: Tai Zi Shen enters the Lung and Spleen channels; it is sweet and slightly bitter in nature and neutral in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Tai Zi Shen is the dried root of the false stalwort (aka crown prince ginseng– Pseudostellaria heterophylla (Miq.) Pax et Pax et Hoffm.)), a small flowering plant in the pink or carnation family (Caryophyllaceae) that grows native throughout the provinces of Southern China. It was included in the official modern medica of Chinese Medicine (published in 1959) based on its tradition of use in rural China. It has some of the same tonic and adaptenogenic effects as Ren Shen but is much milder, cooler, and moistening. Its specific actions in terms of TCM are discussed below.
Tai Zi Shen is a mild qi tonic that also generates fluids. It is used to address Spleen and Stomach deficiencies when a person is deficient and weak to the point that they cannot handle stronger herbs in their course of healing. Clinical presentations that indicate the use of Tai Zi Shen include fatigue, poor appetite, dry mouth, and spontaneous perspiration.
Tai Zi Shen goes to the Lung channel where it acts as a mild qi tonic and also generates fluids (i.e. tonifies deficient Lung yin) to address heat and dryness in the Lung accompanied by a cough with scanty sputum and shortness of breath.
Tai Zi Shen generates body fluids in the middle jiao and is used to address chronic febrile disorders in which excess heat (from the fever) has damaged the qi and dried up the yin. Clinical presentations indicating the use of Tai Zi Shen in this context include thirst, palpitation, insomnia, and persistent low-grade fever.