Atractylodes Health Benefits: Chinese Medicine

Atractylodes Health Benefits: Chinese Medicine

Atractylodes, also known as Bai Zhu, is an Asian flowering plant that has been a core element of traditional Chinese medicine. It is further classified into Atractylodes macrocephala rhizome, Atractylodes lancea, Atractylodes Chinensis, etc., and is referred to as “The First Herb of Invigorating Qi and Strengthening Spleen.”

Atractylodes are widely grown in provinces including Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Hubei, Anhui, and Hunan. With the increasing popularity of the therapeutic herb, it is now being cultivated more vastly. The sweet and bitter-tasting plant has numerous compounds such as essential vitamins and amino acids that boost the immune system.

Being a key ingredient of multiple Chinese herbal medicinal formulas, various health benefits are associated with Atractylodes. It detoxifies the body from various diseases and maintains the healthy functioning of the organ systems.

The Properties of Atractylodes

 

The Atractylodes’ benefits are known to the world because of their use since olden times. Be it great grandparents or TCM doctors; everybody recommends using Atractylodes for treating health conditions as it does not expose oneself to the side effects, unlike drugs.

Some of the benefits of Atractylodes include:

 

α-humulene and β-humulene

α-curcumene

β-elemol

Atractlone

Hinesol

Atractylenolides I-IV

Beishulenolide A

Peroxiatractylenolide III

The Major Compounds in Atractylodes

 

The compounds present within Atractylodes play a significant role in producing the beneficial effects of the plant on the body. They include volatile oils, lactone compounds, vitamins, and amino acids that have anti-inflammatory and oxidative qualities. Some of them are;

 

Improved gastrointestinal function

Treating swelling or inflammation in the body

Release muscular spasm

Anti-clotting

Gastric disorders

Decreased appetite

Anti-oxidative effect against oxidative stress

Boost immunity

Reduce the risk of estrogen-induced carcinoma

Promote urination

Control blood sugar level

Common cold and flu

Joint pain

Decrease sweating

Increase blood levels

Prevent abortion

Protect liver and gallbladder

Improve the function of the kidney

Strengthen uterus

Atractylodes in the Traditional Chinese Medicine: 

 

  • Digestive Health

Atractylodes helps treat various issues of the gastrointestinal tract as it relieves bloating, indigestion, distention, diarrhea, and GI weakness.

The multiple effects on the GI tract include delaying gastric emptying, reduced gastric secretions, and increased motility of the intestinal muscles. It also has anti-ulcer properties which protect the lining of the wall.

Studies suggest that Aractylodes treat gastroparesis and functional dyspepsia by inhibiting the two dominant receptors, dopamine D2 and serotonin 5HT3.

To block increased gastric emptying, it reduces the production of hormones somatostatin and corticotropin-releasing while increasing levels of gastrin and motilin.

To promote the healthy lining of the GI wall and speed up the healing of mucosal ulcers, it promotes the proliferation of the intestinal epithelial cells by increasing the concentration of calcium and inhibiting K- ATPase, Mg- ATPase, and H+, which might increase the risk of gastric ulcers.

 

  • Energy (Qi) Of Spleen/ Spleen Qi Tonic

Atractylodes is a well-known tonic herb for maintaining the spleen Qi. It strengthens the spleen and allows its normal functioning while regulating the production of secretions from the spleen.

It treats food accumulation syndrome that might occur due to the abnormal functioning of the spleen and allows a normal undisturbed sleep.

Diarrhea or general swelling that occurs due to the deficiency of spleen Qi can also be treated by proper dosing of Atractylodes along with other herbs.

 

  • Promote Body Fluids Metabolism

Atractylodes eliminate excessive fluid accumulation in the body and prevent phlegm, dampness, and food accumulation. It is good at dehumidification, thus treating congestion, chest tightness, vertigo, dizziness, and shortness of breath due to disturbed body fluid metabolism.

It reduces flaccidity, swelling, and edema by regulating the accumulation of fluids and drying dampness under the skin and inside tissues.

 

  • Soothing the Uterus During Pregnancy

Atractylodes are used in various cases of threatened pregnancy due to multiple deficiency disorders like anemia, Qi deficiency, etc. It strengthens the uterus while reducing the risk of abortion.

It was observed in a study conducted on mice with embryo implantation dysfunction that when the medicinal herb is consumed in the Bushenantai recipe of traditional Chinese medicine, improved results are noted.

Moreover, it can be used by those who are suffering from vaginitis due to different pathogens like trichomonas and Haemophilus.

 

  • Improve Movements Of Intestine And Bowel

Atractylodes’ effects on the gastrointestinal tract are widely recognized by extensive research and experiments. It controls bowel movements by acting on the receptors and regulating the secretions from glands associated with the GI tract.

Studies conclude that it treats diarrhea and abnormal intestinal movements through its anti-inflammatory effects as it prevents the release of inflammatory mediators that alter the peristaltic movements.

Another study conducted on the ethyl acetate extracted from the medicinal plant concluded that it acts on the longitudinal muscles of the distal colon specifically and increases peristaltic movements.

Precautionary Measures

 

Though there are not many side effects that are known to be associated with Atractylodes except dry mouth, nausea, and a bad aftertaste, it is important to follow proper guidelines that are;

 

Take an appropriate dose that does not exceed 1.32 grams unless suggested

The time period of intake should not be more than seven weeks unless said by the expert

Avoid use during pregnancy and breastfeeding as there are not enough studies to support its efficacy and safety

Individuals who are allergic to the Asteraceae or Compositae family plants should avoid it as it may trigger a severe allergic reaction.

Those who have bleeding disorders should avoid intake as it may increase the risk of bleeding and bruise

People who have yin deficiency and heat signs such as extreme thirst and hot flushes should avoid using the herb.

The Bottom Line

 

The use of this herb in traditional Chinese medicines is not new. Various recipes and formulas are prepared using herbs and plants that have exceptional benefits on a person’s health. They maintain the Qi of the human body and the normal functioning at the cellular level.

One such example is the use of Atractylodes because of its multiple benefits, out of which few are mentioned above.

Atractylodes ginsenWhere to buy Atractylodes (Bai Zhu)

Atractylodes or Bai Zhu is a key herb in Chinese Medicine. This atractylodes supplement helps remove the accumulation of food, Phlegm and Qi ( energy ) and boosts the health of Spleen, eliminates fluid retention and offers long term digestive as well as weight goal management benefits. Atractylodes tablets can be added to your daily routine to control sugar cravings and appetite, it is also one of best to promote digestion.

 

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References:

1. Zhang, W. J., Zhao, Z. Y., Chang, L. K., Cao, Y., Wang, S., Kang, C. Z., Wang, H. Y., Zhou, L., Huang, L. Q., & Guo, L. P. (2021). Atractylodis Rhizoma: A review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and quality control. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 266, 113415. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.113415%20
2. Jun, X., Fu, P., Lei, Y., & Cheng, P. (2018). Pharmacological effects of medicinal components of Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC. Chinese medicine, 13, 59. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13020-018-0216-7
3. Gu, S., Li, L., Huang, H., Wang, B., & Zhang, T. (2019). Antitumor, Antiviral, and Anti-Inflammatory Efficacy of Essential Oils from Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz. Produced with Different Processing Methods. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(16), 2956. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24162956

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.



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