Chinese Herb Zi Wan (Aster Root)
Zi Wan Herb, Aster Root, Purple Aster Root, Aster tataricus L. f.; Radix Asteris
Bitter, Acrid, Sweet, Slightly Warm
Resolves Phlegm, Moistens Lung, Eases Coughing, Direct Qi Downward, Antibacterial
Aster tataricus can grow up to 6 feet that flowers in autumn. The flowers are traditionally blue and dark lavender, with bright yellow centers. It attracts butterflies and is naturally frost resistant. This plant is used both in Korean cuisine and traditional Chinese medicine.
Medicinally, the Zi Wan herb's antibacterial properties help combat staph infections and E. coli. as well as supporting the immune system by promoting healthy fluid elimination and respiratory function.
The Zi Wan herb is used most prominently for cold-induced chronic coughing, especially when blood streaked sputum is present. It can also be used to support people who summer from Asthma or stale Phlem. Those with rebellious Qi also find Zi Wan to be helpful.
Zi Wan is primarily combined with Jie Geng, Huang Qin, Bai Bu, and Zhi Mu to help combat coughing from Wind-Cold disease, Pleghm coughing, Blood streaked sputum, and tuberculosis respectively. Generally, Aster Root is not used alone, but rather with other herbs to support it. It should not be used in the presence of excessive Heat signs, or as a long-term treatment. It is also incompatible with Yin Chen Hao.
Zi Wan is a diuretic and facilitates urination, it has also been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Compared to Kuan Dong Hua, Zi Wan is better for Cold-induced wet cough because it is pungent and very dry, while Kuan Dong Hua is better for dry cough because it moistens and cools.