Plum Dragon Herbs

Xuan Fu Hua (Inula Flower)


Xuan Fu Hua(Flos Inulae), also known as Inula flower, is a commonly used herb in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It has a long history of use in TCM for treating various ailments such as respiratory issues, digestive problems, and skin conditions. The active compounds in Flos Inulae include compounds such as eudesmol, alantolactone, and inulol. These compounds are believed to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and expectorant properties that can help to alleviate symptoms associated with respiratory and digestive conditions. Additionally, Flos Inulae also contains a high amount of polysaccharides, which are thought to have immune-boosting effects.

Xuan Fu Hua is a yellowish flower belonging in the category of Phlegm-Resolving herbs, along side of Gua Lou Pi/Ren/Shi and Nan Xing. Used for cold phlegm accumulations, Xuan Fu Hua has a warming and dispersing quality. Xuan Fu Hua acts to resolve phlegm, promote water metabolism, conduct qi downward and stop vomiting. 

High Quality Xuan Fu Hua: What does it look like?

High quality dried Xuan Fu Hua, also known as Inflated puffball flower, should have a uniform brown color with a dry and crisp texture. The puffball flowers should be plump and free of any mold or moisture. When crushed, the flowers should retain their shape, rather than crumbling into pieces. The aroma should be mild, with hints of earthiness. A high quality dried Xuan Fu Hua should have a strong potency, as indicated by its potency when used in traditional Chinese medicine.

How is Xuan Fu Hua prepared and processed?

Flos Inulae (also known as Inula flower) is native to the regions of Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The plant is also commonly found in some parts of the Americas, having been introduced there as an ornamental plant. The plant is known for its large, yellow, daisy-like flowers and strong, aromatic scent.

The optimal growing conditions for Flos Inulae, or Inula Flower, are:

  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Well-drained soil
  • High humidity
  • Average to high soil moisture levels
  • Cool to moderate temperatures, between 60-80°F (15-27°C)
  • Regular watering, but avoiding waterlogged soil
  • Fertilization with compost or organic matter in spring to support growth and flower production.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Inula Flower is refered to as Xuan Fu Hua.  For use in TCM, the first step to processing Xuan Fu Hua is selecting mature and freshly harvested flowers, removing stems and impurities, and then drying the flowers in a cool and dry place until they are crisp and free from moisture. After drying, the flowers are sorted, packaged, and stored in a cool and dry place for future use in TCM formulations. The traditional processing method is to boil the flowers in water to extract their active ingredients and make a decoction, which is used in TCM recipes for various purposes, such as treating respiratory conditions and improving digestion.

Popular Recipe for Xuan Fu Hua

Xuan Fu Hua is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine decoctions, soups and teas. A popular recipe that includes Xuan Fu Hua is the "Xuan Fu Dang Gui Tang" which is a decoction used to support digestive health. 

Xuan Fu Dang Gui Tang is a traditional Chinese medicinal soup that uses both Xuan Fu Hua (Inula flower) and Dang Gui (Angelica Sinensis) to nourish the blood, tonify the qi and regulate the menstrual cycle. Here is a simple recipe:



  1. Rinse and clean the herbs, then place in a large pot.
  2. Add water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add the sugar and red dates to the pot, and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and strain the liquid into a bowl.
  6. Serve warm, garnished with longan fruit.

Note: This recipe serves as a general guideline, and the proportions of herbs and other ingredients may vary depending on individual needs and preferences. Consult a licensed practitioner of TCM for personalized recommendations.

Safety Precautions for the use of Xuan Fu Hua

When using and handling Xuan Fu Hua (Inula helenium), it is important to take the following precautions:

  1. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional before using Xuan Fu Hua, as it may interact with certain medications or have contraindications for certain health conditions.

  2. Avoid using Xuan Fu Hua in large doses, as it may cause adverse reactions such as gastrointestinal discomfort, skin irritation, and allergic reactions.

  3. Avoid using Xuan Fu Hua during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

  4. Keep Xuan Fu Hua out of reach of children and pets.

  5. Store Xuan Fu Hua in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture.

  6. If you experience any adverse reactions after using Xuan Fu Hua, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.

  7. Xuan Fu Hua should be used with caution if you have a history of allergies or skin sensitivities, as it may cause skin irritation.

  8. Xuan Fu Hua should also be used with caution if you have a history of gastrointestinal conditions, as it may cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

  9. Xuan Fu Hua may also cause drowsiness or dizziness, so use caution if you will be driving or operating heavy machinery after consuming it.

  10. Before using Xuan Fu Hua, be aware that it may have strong and bitter flavor and may need to be mixed with other herbs or foods before consumption.

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 Xuan Fu Hua

Common Names: Xuan Fu Hua (Inula Flower); Inula Japonica Thunb.; Inula Britannica L.; Flos Inulae

Properties: Bitter, acrid, salty, slightly warm

Channels Entered: Lung, Spleen, Stomach, Large Intestine

You may also like

Recently viewed