Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae (Baizhu)
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The source is from the Rhizome of Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz, family Compositae. The medicinal material is mainly produced in Zhejiang, Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi, etc. and now mostly cultivated. It is harvested in winter and processed by slicing and drying. The crude or stir-baked with bran or earth into burnt colour is used for application.

Medicinal Properties: Bitter and sweet in flavor, warm in nature, and attributive to the spleen and stomach meridians.

Actions: Invigorate the spleen and benefit qi, eliminate dampness and promote diuresis, stop sweating and soothe the fetus.

rhizoma atractylodis macrocephalae (baizhu)

1. For deficiency of spleen-qi and stomach-qi with failure of the spleen to transport and transform manifested as poor appetite, loose stools, fullness of epigastric abdomen, or fatigue, it is used every time with Renshen (Radix Ginseng), Fuling (Poria) and Gancao ( Radix Glycyrrhizae), such as Sijunzi Tang (Decoction). In the case with severe deficiency and coldness manifested as cold abdominal pain or loose stool, it is used together with Dangshen ( Radix Codonopsis ), Ganjiang ( Rhizoma Zingiberis), etc., such as Lizhong Tang (Decoction). For deficiency of the spleen with stagnated food in the stomach manifested as poor appetite or fullness in the epigastric abdomen, it is used together with Zhishi (Fructus Aurantii Immaturus), that is Zhi Zhu Wan (Pill).
2. It is applied for edema due to deficiency of the spleen and retention of phlegm. In the case with retention of phlegm manifested as fullness in the chest or vertigo, it is used together with Guizhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi ), Fuling (Poria), Zhigancao (Radix Glycyrrhizae, honey-fried) to form a prescription named Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang (Decoction). In the case with general edema and dysuria, it is used together with Fuling (Poria), Zexie (Rhizoma Alismatis ) and Guizhi ( Ramulus Cinnamomi), etc., or Fuzi (Radix Aconiti Lateralis Praeparata), Ganjiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis), such as Wuling San (Powder), Zhenwu Tang (Decoction).
3. For spontaneous sweating due to deficiency of the spleen and qi, and superficies-asthenia, it is used together with Huangqi ( Radix Astragali ), Fangfeng (Radix Saposhnikoviae ) , Fuxiaomai (Fructus Tritici Levis).
4. For threatened abortion due to deficiency of splenogastric qi, it is used together with Zisuye (Folium Perillae ) , Sharen (Fructus Amomi ) .

In addition, it is not only used for loose stool, but also, with its large dosage(over 30 g) and crude form, for constipation due to weakness of spleen-qi and dysfunctioning in transporting and transforming. It can be singly decocted into thick decoction, or can be used in combination with Maziren ( Semen Ricini) and Zisuzi ( Semen PeriLlae).

rhizoma atractylodis macrocephalae (baizhu)

Usage and Dosage:
5 -15 g is used in decoction or pill. It should be used crudely for the purpose of drying dampness and promoting diuresis; or used with one that is stir-baked with bran for nourishing qi and strengthening the spleen; or used the one that is stir-baked with earth or over-stir-baked into burnt-colour for strengthening the spleen and stopping diarrhea.

Both Baizhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae ) and Cangzhu ( Rhizoma Atractylodis) are from family Compositae and meanwhile with the same actions of strengthening the spleen and drying dampness and treating dysfunction of transporting and transforming and stagnation of watery dampness due to deficiency of the spleen. However, Baizhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae) is good at nourishing the spleen and usually used for syndrome of watery dampness due to deficiency of the spleen. It is also fit for deficiency of spleen-qi and stomach-qi, and spontaneous sweating due to superficial deficiency and threatened abortion. Cangzhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis) is exclusively for drying dampness and is used for excess syndrome due to dampness stagnated in the spleen. It can promote sweating, so it can also be indicated for superficial syndrome of wind-cold-damp type and can bright the eyes to treat night blindness.

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