Latin name: Atractylodes macrocephala
Chinese name: bai zhu

What is Atractylodes?
A member of the Asteraceae plant family, Atractylodes is an aromatic herb that is indigenous to China. The atractylodes plant sports a slim wooden stem and large, serrated leaves. The rhizome is used medicinally.

What are the health benefits of Atractylodes?
Atractylodes is a well-known herb in Chinese medicine that improves digestive health and energy levels. It strengthens digestion and metabolism and can be used for weight loss when digestive weakness is causing weight gain. It is used for cases where fatigue, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or spontaneous sweating in weakened individuals is present. It is sometimes taken during pregnancy with other herbs to alleviate morning sickness. Atractylodes promotes urination and can reduce edema (swelling due to accumulation of fluid in organs and tissues of the body). It is used in formulations for some types of arthritic pain.

Are there any precautions for taking Atractylodes?
One caution to note is that Atractylodes is a very drying herb; seek guidance and customized formulation from a licensed practitioner.

Where can I find Atractylodes?
Atractylodes can be found in Asian specialty stores and at the offices of Chinese herbalists and medical practitioners.

You can find this herb combined with other herbs in the Traditions of Tao formulas:

Bloat, which supports healthy digestive functions and is used for water retention and edema.
Immunity, which helps defend against colds, flu, and respiratory tract infections.
Hangover, which is used for hangover, alcohol withdrawal, and food poisoning.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.