Bai Wei (Cynanchum atratum)

Perennial Climber
Vincetoxicum atratum. (Bunge.)Morr.&Decne.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Bai Wei
Cynanchum atratum
Asclepiadaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is depurative, diuretic and febrifuge[176, 178]. In Chinese medicine, the decocted root is generally used with other herbs in the treatment of coughs and hectic fevers, haematuria, acute urinary tract infection, pharyngitis, abscesses and snake bites[176, 218].

    The stem is antitussive and sialagogue[218].

  • Edible Use

    Young stem and leaves – cooked[105, 177, 179]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

    Young seedpods – thoroughly boiled[177, 179]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

  • Cautionary Notes

    There are some reports of toxins in this genus[179].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in the greenhouse. 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 late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. It probably does not have any special cultivation requirements and will probably succeed in most soils in a sunny position[K]. See also the records for C. stratum which might be a mis-spelling for this species.
E. Asia – Northern China, Japan.

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.