Plum Dragon Herbs

Ban Lan Gen (Isatis Root)


Ban Lan Gen, also known as "Woad" or "Dyer's Woad" is a traditional Chinese herb that has been used for centuries to support the immune system and promote overall well-being. It is commonly used to support respiratory health and  help with cold and flu symptoms such as sore throat, and is known for its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It is also traditionally used to support the immune system and for skin health. 

High Quality Ban Lan Gen: What does it look like?

High-quality Ban Lan Gen (Isatis tinctoria) is a dried root that is dark brown in color, with a slightly bitter and pungent aroma. The root should be clean, free from any signs of rotting or insect damage and should be hard and dense.

How is Ban Lan Gen prepared and processed?

Isatis tinctoria, also known as Woad or Dyer's Woad, is a herb that is native to Europe and parts of Asia. It prefers well-drained, fertile soil and a cool climate, and can be grown as a biennial or a short-lived perennial. The plant grows to a height of about 60-90 cm (24-36 inches) and has large, green leaves and small, yellow flowers. The leaves are used to produce a blue dye. It grows well in full sun and well-drained soil. It can be found in meadows, pastures, and along the waysides.

Ban Lan Gen is prepared and processed by first cleaning the roots, then slicing them into thin pieces, and finally drying them under the sun or in a low-temperature oven. The dried slices are then stored in a cool, dry place until they are ready to be used. The dried slices of the root can be used to make decoctions, powders, or pills. When making a decoction, the dried slices are typically simmered for 30-60 minutes and consumed as a tea. Powders and pills are often used as a more convenient form of consumption.

Popular Recipe for Ban Lan Gen

Ban Lan Gen is a commonly used herb in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for its antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties. It's believed to help with issues related to the lungs and throat, such as sore throat, cold and flu. A popular recipe for Ban Lan Gen in TCM is to make a decoction by boiling the sliced root in water, which can be consumed as a tea to help alleviate symptoms related to respiratory infections and fever.

Here is a recipe for preparing a Ban Lan Gen decoction:


  • 1/2 cup of Ban Lan Gen (Isatis root), washed and sliced
  • 4 cups of water


  1. Rinse the Ban Lan Gen root thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Peel the root and slice it into thin slices.
  3. Add the slices to a pot and add 4 cups of water.
  4. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  5. Let the decoction simmer for 30-60 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half.
  6. Strain the decoction into a cup or pitcher.
  7. The decoction can be consumed as a tea, and it can be taken several times a day.

It's worth noting that Ban Lan Gen is considered a medicinal herb and it's important to use it with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. It can have side effects and can interact with other medications, so it's important to consult a professional before using it.

It's also worth noting that Ban Lan Gen is considered as a medicinal herb and should not be taken by pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children without the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Safety Precautions for the use of Ban Lan Gen

While it is considered safe when used as directed, there are some general safety precautions to keep in mind when using Ban Lan Gen:

  • Consult a qualified healthcare professional before using Ban Lan Gen, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medications.
  • Keep Ban Lan Gen away from children and pets to avoid accidental ingestion.
  • Use personal protective equipment such as gloves and goggles when handling Ban Lan Gen, as it may cause skin or eye irritation.
  • Store Ban Lan Gen in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight, and avoid storing it in damp or humid areas to prevent spoilage or mold growth.
  • Discard any Ban Lan Gen that appears spoiled or discolored.
  • Be aware that Ban Lan Gen may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals and seek immediate medical attention if you experience any adverse reactions.

You should always make sure that your hands are clean and dry before handling the herb.  Store in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight, and avoid storing it in a damp or humid area. 

It’s important to note that this is a general guideline and it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or herbalist to determine the right dosage and usage for you.

Additional Information About Ban Lan Gen:

Common Names: Isatis root; Indigo Woad root; Isatis tinctoria L.; Radix Isatidis

Properties: Bitter, Cold

Channels Entered: Heart, Stomach

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