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Bai zhu (Atractylodes macrocephala) is an herb that is part of the family Asteraceae, or the daisy and sunflower family. It is widely cultivated and used in China. The root tastes bitter-sweet and is mainly used as an ingredient for medicines and tonics to improve digestive health.
The traditional Chinese medicine approach to treating illnesses is holistic, focusing on restoring balance to a person’s mind, body, and spirit than simply treating symptoms. Traditionally, bai zhu and other Chinese herbs are used in conjunction with “qi” or “chi” manipulation such as acupuncture, tai chi, or qigong.
The root of the bai zhu plant contains essential oils, sesquiterpenoids, phytosterols, inulin, and many other compounds. These active constituents have antibacterial, diuretic, sedative, and blood sugar-lowering effects. It is also used as an appetite stimulant, antidiarrheal, and to prevent miscarriage.
Recent studies have shown that bai zhu possesses antiviral, antitumor, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Bai zhu has the following uses:
The essential oils in bai zhu partially inhibit influenza virus (H3N2). Atractylone and essential oils can inhibit nitric oxide production in macrophages, resulting in decreased inflammation. Inulin is a soluble dietary fiber that improves bowel health and restores the normal flora of the gut.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Herbal supplements are generally safe to take in moderate amounts as directed by a health professional. However, because most herb and food supplements are not approved by the FDA for treating and preventing specific diseases, recommended daily values are not always established.
Despite being advertised as “all-natural” or “safe,” natural or food supplements must be treated as conventional medication. Certain herbal preparations can interact with other medications you are taking, increasing the risk of adverse drug reactions and toxicity.
Before using this medication, inform your doctor if:
There is insufficient data regarding the use and safety of this supplement during pregnancy. This supplement should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus, as determined by your doctor.
This supplement is not likely excreted in breast milk. This supplement should be used while breastfeeding only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the child, as determined by your doctor.
All supplements have the potential to elicit side effects even with normal use. Many side effects are dose-related and will resolve when it is adjusted or at the end of therapy.
Potential side effects while using this supplement include:
You may experience some, none, or other side effects not mentioned above. If you have any concerns about a side effect or it becomes bothersome, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and inform your doctor and pharmacist.
Avoid using other diuretics while taking this supplement, as it may cause excessive urination and eventually dehydration.
The liquid extract preparation of this medication may contain alcohol. Avoid taking the following together with this preparation:
If you experience an adverse drug interaction, stop taking this drug and continue taking your other medication. Inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Your dose may need to be adjusted, substituted with another drug, or discontinue using the drug.
This medication may be taken with or without food. If you experience any gastrointestinal discomfort, taking this medication with meals may prevent this symptom. It is important to drink enough water while taking this medication.
The liquid extract preparation of this medication may contain alcohol thus alcohol consumption should be limited to prevent intoxication, especially in children or adults who need to drive or operate machinery.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns regarding food-drug interactions.
This supplement should be taken with caution if you have any of the following conditions or risk factors:
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns regarding specific health conditions.
The information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using bai zhu.
The recommended dosage of this drug has not been established for treating any specific disease or condition. Consult with a doctor for the appropriate indication and dosage.
This supplement is not recommended for use in children and the recommended dose has not been established. Consult with a doctor or pharmacist for alternatives and more information.
This supplement is available in the following dosage forms:
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
If you miss a dose of this supplement, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Atrctylodes macrocephala – Koidz., https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Atractylodes+macrocephala, Accessed Sept 8, 2020
Pharmacological effects of medicinal components of Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC. , https://cmjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13020-018-0216-7, Accessed Sept 8, 2020
Antitumor, antiviral, Anti-Inflammatory Efficacy of Essential Oils from Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz. Produced with Different Processing Methods, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6719198/, Accessed Sept 8, 2020
Commonly used Chinese herb formulas for the treatment of mental disorders, https://classicalchinesemedicine.org/commonly-used-chinese-herb-formulas-for-the-treatment-of-mental-disorders/, Accessed Sept 8, 2020
Insulin Studies in Humans: Overview of Health Benefits, https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/inulin-studies-in-humans-overview-of-health-benefits, Accessed Sept 8, 2020