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Platycodon grandiflorus - (Jacq.)A.DC.
                 
Common Name Balloon Flower
Family Campanulaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards The root is poisonous[116]. The older, basal leaves are also said to be slightly toxic[179]. If these reports are true then this is an exceptional species in a family that is generally free of toxins and often used for food[K].
Habitats Grassy slopes in hills and mountains all over Japan[58].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea, Manchuria.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary
Bloom Color: Blue. Main Bloom Time: Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Platycodon grandiflorus Balloon Flower


biolib.de
Platycodon grandiflorus Balloon Flower
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Cory
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Platycodon grandiflorus is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms
Campanula glauca. Thunb. C. grandiflora.

Habitats
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Young leaves - cooked[177]. The radical leaves are said to be slightly toxic so only the top leaves should be used. Old leaves are powdered and used as a flavouring. Root - cooked[177]. Eaten in soups as a tonic vegetable[238]. It is also peeled and pickled or preserved in sugar[218]. A nutritional analysis is available[218].
Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Root (Dry weight)
  • 379 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 3.2g; Fat: 1.2g; Carbohydrate: 93.7g; Fibre: 11.7g; Ash: 2g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 306mg; Phosphorus: 249mg; Iron: 8.2mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.13mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.47mg; Niacin: 10.3mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes:
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anthelmintic;  Anticholesterolemic;  Antiphlogistic;  Antitussive;  Astringent;  Expectorant;  Haemolytic;  Hypoglycaemic;  
Sedative;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

This species has a history of herbal use in China going back over 2,000 years and modern clinical tests have demonstrated its efficacy[218, 238]. It is widely used there in patent remedies and is also made into cough tablets[238]. The root contains saponins and is anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, anticholesterolemic, antiphlogistic, antitussive, astringent, carminative, expectorant, haemolytic, hypoglycaemic, sedative, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge. It lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the liver and inhibits the release of histamine[116, 147, 174, 176, 178, 218, 238, 279]. It is used internally in the treatment of coughs with profuse phlegm, colds, bronchitis, pleurisy, pulmonary abscesses and throat infections[176, 238]. It is also used to treat hypertension and diabetes in Korea[279]. The root of plants 2 - 3 years old are harvested in the spring or autumn, peeled and used fresh or dried[238].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Rock garden, Specimen. An easily grown plant, it succeeds in any good well-drained garden soil but prefers a light more or less sandy soil in a sunny position or light dappled shade[200]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[200]. Another report says it is hardy to -20°c[187]. A very ornamental and long-lived plant[1, 233], there are several named forms[238]. It is cultivated, especially in China, as a medicinal plant[61, 238]. This species has brittle roots and strongly resents root disturbance. It should be planted out in its permanent position as soon as possible, and preferably when dormant in the winter[111, 238]. Special Features: Suitable for cut flowers.
Propagation
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame[111]. Free and quick germination[K]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the winter when the plants are dormant[238, K]. Basal cuttings of non-flowering shoots in spring, preferably with a piece of root attached[188]. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
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Expert comment
 
Author
(Jacq.)A.DC.
Botanical References
58200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
KR Tue Aug 24 16:20:43 2004
"Doraji", Platycodon grandiflorum (FLORUM, not FLORUS) is grown as a root vegetable in Korea and is used in making Kimchee pickles, in salads, and even in candy. The recipes I have read suggest soaking, salting and thoroughly washing the prepared roots before use. This treatment is similar to the Japanese method for preparing "Fuki" (Petasites japonicus) where the salting draws out bitter alkaloids from the food. In a casual web search, I did not find any mention of toxic elements in doraji / Platycodon or any mention of what the bitter constituents could be.
Elizabeth H.
Ruth Kelsen Fri Aug 4 2006
How is this used as a medicine? Is the root used in a tea or infusion? Is the root eaten raw? What is the best method to use this plant for a cough, cold, or any upper respiratory infection? I have several plants in my garden and would like to know how to best benefit from their use, esp in lowering cholesterol..
Elizabeth H.
Barb Sat Feb 24 2007
How do you cook with dried platycodon. Do you boil it or just rinse it. Thanks for any help.
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future Mon Feb 26 2007
I have no personal experience of using the dried plant, but my understanding is that it is added to soups - this is a very common practice in China where the concept of adding a variety of medicinal herbs to a soup is very common. As regards the earlier question of how the root is used medicinally, the root is dried and used as a decoction. You make sure the root is broken into small pieces then place about 20g of the dried herb in a saucepan, add 750ml of water and bring to the boil. Simmer until the quantity is reduced to about 500ml and leave to cool. This makes one days supply and is best drunk between meals in 3 – 4 doses. For those who are interested, the following gives more detailed information on the medicinal uses of the plant. BALLOON FLOWERcontains a number of medically active constituents, in particular triterpenoid saponins which have been shown in various trials to have a very effective expectorant action. Other constituents include plant sterols and inulin. The principle medicinal actions of the root can be summarized as follows:- It is a very effective expectorant. After oral intake, the saponins in the root stimulate the mucous membranes of the digestive tract causing a mild degree of nausea. This causes a reflex action in the bronchi, which secrete more mucus thus making the catarrh much more thin and watery and therefore easier to spit or cough out. It dilates the bronchial vessels. It lowers blood sugar levels. It lowers cholesterol levels in the liver. It has antimicrobial action, in particular it has been shown to inhibit a range of bacterial and fungal infections. BALLOON FLOWERhas its main action upon the respiratory system, where it promotes the removal of catarrh and opens up the airways to ease breathing. It is used primarily in the treatment of respiratory tract infections, particularly where there is profuse catarrh. Thus it is prescribed in the treatment of conditions such as colds, bronchitis, pleurisy, pulmonary abscesses and throat infections. Where a cough is diagnosed ‘wind-cold’, the Chinese combine BALLOON FLOWERwith APRICOT SEED (Prunus armeniaca), SHISO LEAF (Perilla frutescens) and TANGERINE PEEL (Citrus reticulata). Where the cough is diagnosed ‘wind-heat’, it is combined with MULBERRY LEAF (Morus alba), APRICOT SEED (Prunus armeniaca) and SNAKE GOURD FRUIT (Trichosanthes kirilowii). When treating sore throats and hoarse voice, the root is combined with XUAN SHEN (Scrophularia ningpoensis), GAN CAO (Glycyrrhiza uralensis) and BURDOCK FRUITS (Arctium lappa). When treating lung abscesses, with symptoms such as a cough with blood or pus, yellow and offensive smelling sputum and chest pain, the root is combined with YU XING CAO (Houttuynia cordata), WAX GOURD (Benincasa hispida) and SNAKE GOURD FRUIT (Trichosanthes kirilowii).
Elizabeth H.
narf Fri Jan 11 2008
I had childhood asthma and was given doraji either as diced chunks in honey (fresh) or tea form. As beneficial as it was, i stopped the treatment because I couldn't stand the taste of bitter root mixed with honey. Which also triggered a gag reflex for the tea.But as I got older I've been boiling dried root for tea when sick and it truly does help. One thing I've heard, but could be an old wives tale was consistent consumption of this root on a daily basis for 3 months can "cure" asthma. I never lasted that long, but I actually wouldn't be suprised if it worked to some extent. In terms of the korean side dish, I don't know how it's prepared. But the tea, clean and peel lightly and boil in a pot. It should give off a slightly sweet smell when done.
Elizabeth H.
Thankful Tue Mar 10 2009
I had never heard of this flower until my Korean teacher found out I had asthma and said he knew of a plant that would help me and would make some for me. The next day in class he gave me the herb and told me to mix it with some honey tea each day which I have done now for the past month. I mix it with my rasberry honey tea. I've not had one asthma attach since, in fact, I haven't even had to use my inhailer since I've started drinking the tea. I'm forever thankful to him. I wished I'd known about this plant years ago.
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