Latin name: Radix platycodi, Platycodon grandiflorus
Chinese name: jie geng
Other name: platycodon
What is Balloon Flower?
Balloon flower is a species of perennial flowering plant from the Campanulaceae family and is the sole member of the genus Platycodon, which is Greek word for broad bell. Native to East Asia, the balloon flower bears big blue flowers. The root is used medicinally. Good quality balloon flower root is thick and white with a bitter taste. Roots that are thin with a yellow or grey hue are poor quality.
What are the health benefits of Balloon Flower?
Balloon flower root is a well-known anti-inflammatory herb in Chinese medicine for treatment of coughs and wheezing with phlegm. It can treat the common cold, flu, bronchitis, a sore throat, and may help pulmonary tuberculosis. Balloon flower reduces phlegm and as an expectorant, it is used to open up the lungs when they are congested and help the body get rid of pus due to a lung abscess. Balloon flower root is often prescribed for loss of voice.
Are there any precautions for using Balloon Flower?
Balloon flower root should not to be taken for a chronic cough or by those patients who cough up blood. As with all herbs, it is best to consult a licensed practitioner or physician.
Where can I find Balloon Flower?
Balloon flower root can be found in Asian specialty stores and at the offices of Chinese herbalists and medical practitioners. Good quality balloon flower root is thick and white with a bitter taste. Roots that are thin with a yellow or grey hue are poor quality.
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