English Name: fritillaria thunbergia bulb
Pharmaceutical Name: Bulbus Fritillariae Thunbergii
Medica Category: Phlegm-Resolving Herbs
Properties: Zhe Bei Mu enters the Heart and Lung channels; it is bitter in nature and cold in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Zhe Bei Mu is the dried bulbs from fritillaria thunbergii (Fritillaria verticillate Willd. var. thunbergia Bak.), a species of fritillaria (a perennial flowering plant in the lily family) that grows primarily in the mountainous areas of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces in China. The bulbs are collected in summer and autumn (when the snow is melted) and dried for use as medicine.
Zhe Bei Mu dissolves phlegm and stops cough and is effective for addressing both the early stages of acute-onset cough from wind-heat invasion (i.e. cough associated with catching a virus/getting sick) as well as more chronic cases of cough characterized by interior Lung heat.
Zhe Bei Mu clears heat and disperses nodules and can be used to address sores, nodules, goiter, scrofula, and lung and breast abscesses.
note for students and practitioners: Chuan Bei Mu and Zhe Bei Mu have similar actions with the main difference being that Chuan Bei Mu is a bit milder and good for treating chronic cough (with underlying Lung deficiency) whereas Zhe Bei Mu is quite bitter and cold and appropriate for treating coughs due to Lung heat with copious yellow phlegm.