Atractylodes

Latin Name
Atractylodes macrocephala

General Description
The aromatic rhizome of the herb known as atractylodes (white) is primarily a tonic. Classified in traditional Chinese medicine as bitter, sweet, and warm, it is believed to improve digestion and counter fatigue. A good specimen is large, firm, and fragrant, with a yellowish white cross section.

Target Ailments
Taken internally for:

Preparations
Over the counter:
The herb is available fresh and in dried form from Chinese pharmacies, Asian markets and some Western health food stores.

At home:
Dried atractylodes is used to increase urination. To stop diarrhea, the dried herb is stir-fried before it is decocted.
Combinations: A mixture with unripened bitter oranges is prescribed for loss of appetite. Vaginal discharges are treated with a preparation containing both white and black atractylodes. Poria, cinnamon twig and atractylodes make a preparation for chest congestion. Combined with astragalus and wheat grain, the herb is believed to provide relief from spontaneous sweating. Consult a Chinese herbalist for information on specific dosages and other herbal combinations.

Special Information