Angelica Dahuricae
Angelica (Angelica Dahuricae / Bai Zhi)

What does Bai Zhi do?

Bai Zhi is a Chinese Herb that is utilized when a patient has been diagnosed with Wind and Dampness of the Lung and Stomach. It works by expelling wind and dampness and alleviating wind and discharge. It has been considered helpful and is prescribed to reduce swelling, pus, vaginal discharge, and to alleviate pain associated with ascribed disorders. Symptoms that can be treated with Bai Zhi are: vaginal discharge (due to damp- heat or damp-cold), sinus congestion, surface sores and ulcers. Combined with other Chinese medicinal herbs it has been used as a treatment for neuralgia, toothaches, and headaches.

Also, it may have an inhibitory effect on some microorganisms and bacteria such as Shigella and Salmonella.

Should my health care professional be advised before I take Bai Zhi?

It is always good to keep your health care practitioner updated on medications, herbals, supplements or other therapies you may be participating in. They should be consulted first if you have any of these conditions:

  • If you are currently taking medications or other treatments.
  • A tendency towards allergic reactions to other medicines, herbs, foods, dyes, or preservatives.

Are there other times my health care professional needs to be advised before I take Bai Zhi?

They should be consulted first if you are:

  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding.
  • If you plan to administer this herb to a child.

When is Bai Zhi usage contraindicated?

  • If you have been diagnosed with a Yin deficiency.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a Blood deficiency.

How should I take this herb?

Bai Zhi can be taken as a tea, tincture, capsules, or extract. However the raw, fresh herb is usually recommeded.

Part of the plant utilized: root.

What should the dosage be?

Dosages are usually based on the individual, severity of the symptoms and the type of problem. See a Dr. of Chinese Medicine for more information.

Generally, 3-9 gms of the root.

Note: It is generally thought that the dried herb should be avoided as the oils of the herb are substantially reduced or eliminated in this format. It is believed that the oils are required for some of its medicinal effects.

A good quality root should be singular in form, aromatic, hard, thin, and have a dark yellow cortex.

What other medicines may interact with Bai Zhi?

  • May antagonize Flos Inulae (Xuan Fu Hua)

What side effects may I notice from taking Bai Zhi?

If you experience any uncomfortable side effects, stop usage immediately and report them to your health care professional.

It should be noted that other varieties of Angelica report photosensitizing effects - it is unknown whether this is the case for Bai Zhi.

What do I need to watch out for with Bai Zhi?

As with western medicinal herbs, care should be taken with purchasing. Incorrectly labeled products and/or the presence of contaminants, adulterations, or substitutions have all been reported in conjunction with herbal products.

There are reports of Bai Zhi having been substituted with other varieties of Angelica as well as A. Anomala Lallem.

There are many species of Angelica but they may not all have the same therapeutic qualities. Care should be taken therefor when purchasing that you attain the herb you specify. The following is a list of a few Angelica species.

Name Primary Location Name Primary Location
Angelica Archangelia. Syria, Baltic Sea - grows throughout Europe and Asia Angelica Sinensis / Dong Quai, China
Angelica Pubescens Maxim. / Duo Hou China Angelica Atropurpurea America
Angelica Sylvestris, Europe    

Where can I store this herb?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open. Store at room temperature between 15 and 30°C (59 and 86°F) unless otherwise specified. If purchasing a pre-prepared product (capsules, etc) look at the expiration date, throw away the unused portion after the date has expired. Raw herbs, tinctures, ointments, etc all have varying life spans. Generally, an herbal product will have the longest life span when it has been extracted in alcohol. It should be noted however that though it can make certain herbs more bioavailable, extraction in alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of others.

Can you tell me a little more about Bai Zhi?

Angelica Dahuricae (Fisher ex Hoffman) is of the family Apiaceae and is indigenous to China. It is sometimes called Fragrant Angelica, as it is very aromatic. It is commonly known for its use to reduce swelling, discharge, and pain. The source of it's first reference is thought to be the "Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica" (Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing) of the late Han period. It is often combined with other herbs in medicinal formulas. In Chinese medicine it is considered acrid and warm. It usually harvested in the late summer or early fall.

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