Medical properties: sweet in flavor, neutral in tempreture and attributive to the heart, lung, spleen and stomach meridians.
Actions: Enrich qi and invigorate the stomach and spleen (digestive system), moisten the lung and resolve phlegm, clear away heat and toxin, relieve spasm and alleviate pain.
Constituents and uses: This plant contains a range of substances including glycosides, saponins, bitters, oils, tannins and flavonoids. It has a strong stimulating action on the adrenal glands, similar to the body’s natural hormone for this function. An increase in adrenal steroid hormones results in an anti-inflammatory action on conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism.
It helps in chest infections, as a soothing expectorant. It is useful in the treatment of gastric ulcers as it forms a coating of thick, protective mucilage over the site of the ulcer. It also has a mild laxative effect on the lower digestive tract.