English Name: inula flowers
Pharmaceutical Name: Flos Inulae
Medica Category: Phlegm-Resolving Herbs
Properties: Xuan Fu Hua enters the Large Intestine, Lung, Stomach, and Spleen channels; it is bitter, acrid, and salty in nature and slightly warm in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Xuan Fu Hua is dried inula flower blossoms (from the species Inula japonica Thunb.– in the Asteraceae family). A relative of elecampane, Inula japonica grows throughout the temperate regions of China, Korea, and Japan and blooms with yellow composite flowers with flat petals.
The dried inula blossoms can be used either unprocessed or honey-fried depending on which actions the medicine maker wants to emphasize. Before being decocted for use as medicine, they are wrapped in cheesecloth as the fuzz on the flowers can irritate the throat.
Xuan Fu Hua dissolves (stubborn) accumulations of phlegm in the lungs and also acts as a mild diuretic to help move the phlegm out of the body through the urine. Clinically, this herb is often used in formula to address cough with wheezing and the expectoration of white of clear sputum.
Xuan Fu Hua redirects abnormally rising stomach qi when Stomach/Spleen deficiency has resulted in phlegm accumulation in the middle jiao (which is one potential root cause of nausea/vomiting).
Use with caution for dry cough due to yin deficiency or loose stools due to deficiency of the Spleen/Stomach.
Allergic dermatitis and diarrhea have been reported following the use of Xuan Fu Hua.
Xuan Fu Hua has a mild diuretic action and care should be taken in persons concurrently taking diuretic drugs such as chlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide (Lasix), bumetanide (Bumex), and torsemide (Demadex) to avoid potential increased elimination of water/loss of electrolytes.