Gastrodia

Latin Name
Gastrodia elata

General Description
The root of this member of the orchid family is prescribed by Chinese-medicine practitioners for conditions that they ascribe to disorders of the liver, where, in Chinese tradition, the soul resides. A literal English translation would be "heavenly hemp." Look for a fat, solid, translucent, yellowish white root, probably imported from China's Sichuan, Yunnan, or Guizhou provinces. Gastrodia is categorized in traditional Chinese medicine as a sweet and neutral herb.

Target Ailments

Preparations
Gastrodia is found in bulk or in tablets at Chinese pharmacies, Asian markets and some Western health food stores.
Combinations: Mixed with gambir, skullcap and achyranthes root, it is used for dizziness. Scorpion added to that mixture creates a preparation for treating seizures. Herbalists prescribe a mix containing gastrodia, Asian ginseng, atractylodes (white) and silkworm for chronic childhood convulsions. Check with your practitioner for further information on combinations and dosages.

Special Information