Atractylodes: A Powerful Alternative for Stomach Disorders

Known in China as Zhu, the Atractylodes is a plant that is more commonly used as an alternative medicine for treating indigestion and stomach pains. It is a perennial that grows to about 1 and a half foot and prefers moist soil. The underground stem of this plant is used for medicinal purposes.

Atractylodes is known by many names, which include:

  • AMK
  • ATR
  • Atractylenolide
  • Atractylis lancea
  • Atractylis ovata
  • Atractylode Blanc
  • Atractylode Gris
  • Atractylodes chinensis
  • Atractylodes japonica
  • Atractylodes lancea
  • Atractylodes macrocephala
  • Atractylodes ovata
  • Atractylodis Radix
  • Bai Zhu
  • Bai-Zhu Atractylodes
  • Byaki-Jutsu
  • Cang Zhu
  • Cangzhu
  • Chang Zhe
  • Jutsu
  • Paekch’ul
  • Red Atractylodes
  • Rhizoma Atractylodis
  • Rhizoma Atractylodis Macroce
  • Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae
  • Rhizome d’Atractylode
  • So-Jutsu
  • White Atractylodes
  • White Atractylodis

Medicinal Benefits

Atractylodes is best for people who suffer from disorders in the stomach or the spleen. The other benefits of this alternative medicine are as follows:

  • Improve appetite especially for people who have lost a lot of weight
  • Rheumatism
  • Indigestion.
  • Stomach pains
  • Reduction of bulge in the belly
  • Treatment of swelling or inflammation in the body
  • Treatment of diarrhea
  • Cleansing of the blood
  • Treatment of lung cancer

In Chinese Traditional Medicine, Atractylodes is commonly used for the following:

  • Refreshing the spleen and stomach
  • Restoring the inner qi
  • Metabolizing body fluids
  • Treating general swelling
  • Preventing excessive phlegm
  • Preventing extreme perspiration
  • Treating joint and limb pains
  • Soothing the uterus during pregnancy

Claims in ancient Chinese medical history say that the substances in Atractylodes are more suited for treating digestive disorders. The people who used it during those days felt that their stomach and the rest of their digestive system seem refreshed.

Plant Variants

Note that there are different types of this herb. The most frequently used and the most effective one is Atractylodes macrocephala, known as Baizhu in China. The less common is Atractylodes lancea which is known as the Cangzhu.

Baizhu is the stronger and more effective herb especially for cleansing the spleen. Its efficiency is elevated when the rhizome (after cleaning) is taken raw. When taken dry-fried, Baizhu is more effective for drying moisture in the body especially for people with heightened perspiration. On the other hand, Cangzhu is used to remedy exterior problems that are brought about by exposure to fog and other moisture.

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