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Platycodon (jie geng)
What is platycodon? What is it used
Platycodon is a perennial plant that grows to a height of
about three feet. Also known as bell-flower or balloon-flower,
platycodon is indigenous to China, Japan, Korea and Siberia.
The plant is characterized by its flower buds which, when
unopened, resemble small, inflated balloons. The main and
secondary roots are used medicinally.
The healing effects of platycodon are derived from its volatile
oil and other compounds, including saponins and plant sterols.
Traditionally, platycodon has been used as an expectorant
and to treat bronchitis, tonsillitis, sore throat and other
respiratory conditions. Scientific tests have shown that the
saponins may contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties;
however, its efficacy in treating respiratory conditions has
not been proven.
How much platycodon should I take?
Many herbalists and health care practitioners recommend a
total of six grams of platycodon powder a day (0.5 grams as
a single dose). Patients may also take one gram of a platycodon
decoction (0.2 grams as a single dose).
What forms of platycodon are available?
Platycodon is available in a variety of forms, including
whole platycodon root, cut root and powdered root. Some stores
also sell platycodon decoctions.
What can happen if I take too much
platycodon? Are there any interactions I should be
aware of? What precautions should I take?
When administered in the recommended dosage, there are no
known health hazards in conjunction with platycodon. In addition,
as of this writing, there are no known drug interactions with
platycodon. Before taking platycodon supplements, however,
be sure to discuss the situation with a qualified health care
Other Resources :
More You Know About Minerals
More You Know About Nutrition
- Bensky D, et al. Formulas & Strategies
(Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica). Eastland Press,
1993, p. 138.
- Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C (eds.)
PDR for Herbal Medicines. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics
Company, 2000, p. 58-59.
- Hansel R, Keller K, Rimpler H, et al.
(eds.) Hagers der Pharmazeutischen Praxis, 5 Aufl
Bde 4-6. Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 1992-94.
- Kim KS, Ezaki O, Ikemoto S, et al. Effects
of platycodon grandiflorum feeding on serum and liver
lipid concentrations in rats with diet-induced hyperlipidemia.
Yakugaku Zasshi Aug 1995;41:485-91.
- Kim KS, Ezaki O, Ikemoto S, et al. Rat
plasma corticosterone secretion-inducing activities of total
saponin and prosapogenin methyl esters from the roots of
platycodon grandiflorum ADC. Yakugaku Zasshi