Latin name: Rhizoma bletillae striatae, Bletilla striata
Chinese name: bai ji
What is Bletilla?
Bletilla is a deciduous terrestrial orchid that is native to the temperate areas of China and Japan. When used in traditional herbal remedies, the tuber of the plant is peeled and then dried in the sun, after which it is cut into slices or ground into a powder.
What are the health benefits of Bletilla?
Bletilla rhizome is a well-known herb in Chinese medicine used to stop bleeding. It is often used to treat the vomiting of blood, coughing up of blood, and nosebleeds. When used for bleeding caused by physical trauma, it is typically applied externally on the skin.
Bletilla is also applied topically for sores, ulcers, burns, insect bites and stings, and chapped skin. It reduces the swelling of sores, burns, bites and stings and helps speed up the healing process of ulcers, especially chronic ulcers.
How do I prepare Bletilla to get the health benefits?
Good quality bletilla rhizome is thick, solid, and white. For external use, 15 to 20 grams of bletilla (either in raw or powdered form) is boiled in 2 cups of water for at least a half hour and then, once cool, the herbal mixture can be applied to the skin. It is often mixed with sesame oil for application. To relieve cracked and bleeding skin on hands and feet, bletilla rhizome can be combined with gypsum, boiled, and topically applied to the skin when cool.
Where can I find Bletilla?
Bletilla rhizome can be found in Asian specialty stores, online and at the offices of Chinese herbalists and medical practitioners.
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