Platycodon Root As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Platycodon grandiflorus is a species of herbaceous flowering perennial plant of the family Campanulaceae, it is widely known as balloon flower. Dried platycodon root (balloon flower root, Chinese: Jie Geng, 桔梗) can be prescribed with other herbs to clear pus, prevent phlegm from forming and stop coughing.

Odour & Nature:

Neutral, bitter, pungent,


Dried platycodon root works by influencing the lung.

Indications & Formulas:

A decoction of platycodon root can be taken to restore health from throat impediment as well as bruises and swelling.

A decoction of platycodon root and bitter orange can be used in treating bloating or fullness and palpitations (fluttering in chest) without pain.

A decoction of platycodon root, pinellia ternata, orange peel and fresh ginger is to be used in healing typhoid fever with feeling of fullness in the chest.

Powdered dried platycodon root can be taken with urine of boys under ten to help clear mucus in lungs.

A decoction of platycodon root and licorice root can be used in treating ulceration of lungs.

A mixture of platycodon root and Job’s tears can be pounded for internal use to relieve toothache.

Pills made with platycodon root and red dates can be used externally to mitigate swelling and aching of gums.

A mixture of platycodon root, pharbitis seeds and honey are to be processed into pills for oral taking, the pills can be used in healing painful eyes with a temporary black-out of vision.

A decoction of platycodon root and rhino horn powder can be a remedy for chronic nosebleeds and hemoptysis (coughing up blood).

A decoction of powdered platycodon root can be taken to help relieve sharp abdominal pain during pregnancy.

The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.

The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.

Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.

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