Chuan Bei Mu (Fritillaria cirrhosa)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Chuan Bei Mu
Fritillaria cirrhosa

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The bulbs of Chuan bei mu are antitussive, astringent, demulcent, expectorant, febrifuge and pectoral[91, 176, 238]. They contain fritimine which lowers blood pressure, diminishes excitability of respiratory centres, paralyses voluntary movement and counters the effects of opium[61, 176, 238]. The dried bulb is used internally in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, feverish illnesses, abscesses etc[238]. The bulbs also have a folk history of use against cancer of the breast and lungs in China[218, 238]. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can cause breathing difficulties and heart failure[238].

    The bulbs are harvested in the winter whilst they are dormant and are dried for later use[238].

  • Edible Use

    Bulb – boiled or roasted as a vegetable[272]. The bulb is bitter-sweet. The bulb is about 2cm in diameter[266].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring[1]. Protect from frost[134]. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate[134]. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 – 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant. Division of offsets in August[1]. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn. Bulb scales[163].
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil[42]. Prefers peat bed conditions, the plant should not be allowed to dry out[134]. In cultivation at Kew[42] and thriving in a sunny stony bed at Keillour Castle in Perthshire[90], this species does not, however, do well in all gardens[1]. It is much valued as a herbal remedy in China[163]. This species is closely related to F. meleagris[42].
E. Asia – Himalayas – Nepal to China.

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.