Bai Tou Weng (Pulsatilla chinensis)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Bai Tou Weng
Pulsatilla chinensis
Ranunculaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    Bai Tou Weng is thought to clear toxicity and to lower fever. It is most commonly taken as a decoction to counter infection within the gastro-intestinal tract[254].

    The root is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent and sedative[174, 176, 218]. The root is an effective cure for bacterial and amoebic dysentery[176, 218]. It is also used in the treatment of malaria, nose bleeds and haemorrhoids and is used externally to treat Trichomonas vaginitis[176, 254]. The root is harvested in the autumn or before the plant comes into flower in the spring, it can be dried for later use[254].

    The root contains the lactone protoanemonin which has an irritant and antibacterial action. Protoanemonin is destroyed when the root is dried[254].

    The fresh herb is a cardiac and nervous sedative, producing a hypnotic state with a diminution of the senses followed by a paralysing action[218].

    A constituent similar to digitalis can be extracted from the whole herb with the roots removed[176]. This is cardiotonic[176].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although no mention has been seen for this species, at least one member of the genus is slightly toxic, the toxins being dissipated by heat or by drying the plant[65].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in early summer in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in about 2 – 3 weeks. Sow stored seed in late winter in a cold frame. Germination takes about 1 – 6 months at 15¡c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the spring. Root cuttings, 4cm long taken in early winter, potted up in a mixture of peat and sand[175]. They can also be taken in July/August, planted vertically in pots in a greenhouse or frame.
Requires a well-drained humus-rich gritty soil and a sunny position[200]. Tolerates alkaline soils[200]. Plants are hardy to about -20¡c[187]. They are said to be difficult to grow in Britain, requiring a dry winter and spring followed by a warm humid summer[187]. Large plants have a deep woody rootstock and transplant badly[200]. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[54].
E. Asia – N. China to E. Siberia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.