Yuan Zhi (Polygala Root)
Chinese Herb Yuan Zhi (Polygala)
Yuan Zhi Herb, Polygala root, Chinese Senga, Polygala Sibirica L., Radix Polygalae, 远志
Acrid, Bitter, Slightly Warm, Pungent
Heart, Liver, Lung
Calms Spirit, Reduces Swelling, Expels Phlegm
Yuan Zhi is one of the fundamental herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. It is the root of the Polygala, which is a flowering plant that grows in temperate and tropic zones.
Chinese Senega root calms the heart and soothes the mind.
It also resolves phlegm and clears the orifices (sense organs). It can be used to combat restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia. Yuan Zhi also works well to relieve pent-up emotions and solidify the communication between the Kidneys and Heart. When the Heart and Kidneys are weak, Yuan Zhi is used to treat insomnia and severe weakness, as well as sensory disorders. The ability of Yuan Zhi to open orifices and stop coughing also makes it good for improving symptoms of seizures and spasms.
In the presence of painful, swollen breasts or boils and abscesses, Yuan Zhi should be applied topically as a powder or taken with wine. There are many other ways to take Yuan Zhi as well. When it is powdered with liquor or wine, it unobstructs the channels and collaterals that cause the skin conditions listed above. With Yuan Zhi is honey fried (Mi Zhi Yuan Zhi) it is noted to treat excessive dreaming and insomnia. Mi Zhi Yuan Zhi is also stronger at stopping coughs by transforming Phlegm. Rice wine can also be mixed with this herb to apply it topically to early-stage sores.
Those with Hot Phlegm or pregnancy should use caution when using Yuan Zhi and those with Yin Deficiency and ulcers should avoid using this herb because it is contradictory to those conditions. Additionally, Yuan Zhi counteracts the effects of Li Lu and Zhen Zhu. Patients taking diuretics should also use caution when taking Yuan Zhi because it increases water elimination.
Some of the most common herbal combinations with Yuan Zhi are Fu Shen, Ren Shen, and Bai Jie Zi. Fu Shen assists with relieving irritability and anxiety, Ren Shen reduces forgetfulness, and Bai Jie Zi eliminates Angina pectoris. The use of Yuan Zhi has also been traditionally been said to benefit wisdom.