English Name: aster, tatarian aster root
Literal Translation: “purple-soft roots”
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Asteris
Medica Category: Cough- and Wheezing- Relieving Herbs
Properties: Zi Wan enters the Lung chnnel; it is bitter and sweet in nature and slightly warm in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Zi Wan is the dried roots of tatarian aster (Aster tataricus L. f.), a plant that blooms in the fall with pale violet flowers with a yellow center. It is native to marshy, mountainous areas of East Asia. The dried roots are used medicinally in TCM; they are dug up in the winter/very early spring and dried for use as medicine. Often, the dried roots are stir-baked in honey to enhance their ability to moisten the Lung to address dry/deficient patterns of cough (see below).
Zi Wan is moistens the Lung while at the same time dissolving (and purging) phlegm. This makes it able to address a wide variety of patterns involving cough (depending on how it is combined with other herbs in formula). These patterns include external invasion, interior imbalances, and both excess and deficient conditions.
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