Ligusticum (Chuan Xiong)
Botanical Name: Ligusticum chuanxiong (aka L. wallichii)
Long used by the Chinese as a medicinal herb it is also used in cooking and as fragrance in soaps and cosmetics. Not to be confused with Ligusticum sinense or Ligusticum porteri, plants in the same genus with different attributes.
Below is an overview of ligusticum, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of ligusticum.
Western Name: Ligusticum
Also Known As: N/A
Organs/Systems: Blood, Immunity, Menses
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Immune Enhancement, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-spastic, Sedative, Pain Relief. Treats a wide variety of hematological disorders including ischemia and thrombosis.
Pin Yin: Chuan Xiong
Also Known As: Szechuan Loveage Root
Meridians: Liver, Gallbladder, Pericardium
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Invigorates Qi and Blood: Often used to relieve symptoms related to menstruation (cramping, headaches, nausea, late start) and general gynecological disorders. Also angina, coronary and cerebral ischemia. Relieves Pain and Inflammation: even associated with traumatic injuries. Dispels Wind: a leading herb for any externally contracted wind disorder characterized by headache, dizziness or painful obstruction.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Roots, Rhizomes
Flavors/Temps: Acrid, Pungent, Warm
Caution: If you overdose, vomiting and dizziness can occur. Up to 9 gm. considered safe, with up to 3-6 gm. used to treat irregular menses.
History/Folklore: Ligusticum is a very popular herb in China and Korea, where it grows wild and has been cultivated for centuries. It is widely used to treat gynecological disorders, and disorders due to blood clotting, including injuries and coronary and cerebral clotting. It is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese Medicine. It is said to nourish Yin and supplement Kidney Qi, strengthening the muscles and bones and promoting clear vision and improved hearing. Shen Nung, China’s first herbalist said, “It is a tonic to the vital centers, brightens the eye, strengthens the Yin, quiets the Five Viscera, nourishes the Vital Principal, makes vigorous the loins and naval, expels the hundred diseases, restores grey hair, and if taken for a long time will increase the firmness of the flesh, giving sprightliness and youth to the body.”
Alkaloid (Tetramethylpyrazine), Ferulic acid (a phenolic compound), Chrysophanol, Sedanoic acid, Essential oils (Ligustilide and Butylphthalide).
Move Blood and Qi
A highly aromatic herb use by the Chinese to move Blood (Xue) and Qi, as well as warm the meridians, protect blood and cool excess fire.
Cleanse the Liver
Ligusticum is so good at improving circulation that it is considered an excellent liver cleansing tonic.
Ligusticum combines well with almost any other tonic herb and may be added to almost any formula.
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