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Isatis Root (ban lan gen)
What is isatis root? What is it used
Isatis root comes from the isatis plant, which originated
in China and India and is now cultivated in the West. It has
played an important role in both ayurveda and traditional
Chinese medicine. Isatis root is grayish-yellow or brownish-yellow
in color, with small rootlets or protuberances that are dark
green or brown. Traditionally, it is harvested in the autumn,
removed from the soil and allowed to dry naturally in the
In traditional Chinese medicine, isatis root is considered
a "cooling" herb: it cools the blood and treats
damp-heat conditions such as jaundice. Isatis root is a renowned
antiviral and antibacterial, which makes it quite useful for
conditions such as colds, influenza, sore throats and mumps.
How much isatis root should I take?
Depending on the condition being treated, a typical dosage
of isatis root is 10-30 grams.
What forms of isatis root are available?
Dried and cut isatis root is available at many Asian and
Indian markets. Fresh root is more difficult to find, but
is available at some specialty food stores. Isatis root is
also available as a powder or extract.
What can happen if I take too much
isatis root? Are there any interactions I should be aware
of? What precautions should I take?
Isatis root should not be used by patients with a weak pulse
or weak constitution. There are no known drug interactions
with isatis root. As always, make sure to consult with a licensed,
qualified health care practitioner before taking isatis root
or any other dietary supplement or herbal remedy.
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