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Polygala tenuifolia - Willd.
                 
Common Name Yuan Zhi
Family Polygalaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, at least one member of this genus is said to be poisonous in large quantities.
Habitats Hillsides, roadsides and meadows[147]. Dry meadows and stony slopes[238].
Range E. Asia - Korea, Mongolia, Manchuria.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary

Polygala tenuifolia Yuan Zhi


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Polygala tenuifolia Yuan Zhi
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Polygala tenuifolia is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. 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
Habitats
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Young leaves - cooked[105, 177, 179]. Root - cooked[105, 177]. The core is removed and the root is boiled in several changes of water[179].
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.

Cardiotonic;  Expectorant;  Haemolytic;  Kidney;  Sedative;  Tonic.

Yuan Zhi contains triterpenoid saponins, these promote the clearing of phlegm from the bronchial tubes. The plant is used mainly as an expectorant and stimulant to treat bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and whooping cough[254]. The root is antibacterial, cardiotonic, cerebrotonic, expectorant, haemolytic, hypotensive, sedative and tonic[116, 147, 176, 218]. It acts mainly as a tonic for the heart and kidney energies[238]. It is taken internally in the treatment of coughs with profuse phlegm, bronchitis, insomnia, palpitations, poor memory, anxiety, depression and nervous tension[238]. Externally it is used to treat boils and carbuncles[147, 238]. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238]. The leaves are used as a tonic for the kidneys[218].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Prefers a moderately fertile moisture-retentive well-drained soil, succeeding in full sun if the soil remains moist throughout the growing season, otherwise it is best in semi-shade[200, 238]. Dislikes shade according to another report. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[238].
Propagation
Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame[214]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division. Cuttings of young shoots in a frame in late spring[1].
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
Willd.
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Fri Jul 22 11:58:23 2005

Link: Lao Dan

Elizabeth H.
Roger Thomas Wed Jul 27 09:11:32 2005
During my psychology studies I recently read neuroscience articles providing evidence that extracts from this herb stimulate the brains astrocyte cells to release nerve growth factor, NGF, a chemical that stimulates synapse growth. One clinical study had shown improvements in the symptoms of Parkinson's sufferers. They believe that this herb may be beneficial in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.
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Subject : Polygala tenuifolia  

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