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