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bai zhu   白朮     (in English and Chinese 中英文)

Translated and edited by: Joe Hing Kwok Chu   朱興國編譯

cang zhu 蒼朮

Click to enlarge picture.

Pharmaceutical name:


Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae
Biological name:


Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz
Pron. in Japanese:


Pron. in Korean:


Pron. in Cantonese:


baak6 seot6
Other Names:


dong zhu 冬朮,xia zhu 夏朮,yun zhu 云朮,tai bai zhu 台白朮,wa zhu 蛙朮,ji yabn zhu 雞眼朮 chi li jia 吃力伽
Common Name:


Bighead atractylodes rhizome


mainly produced in Zhejiang, Hubei, Hunan, Jianxi provinces of China.


Properties (characteristics):


aromatic, slightly acrid, non toxic and sweet.  It is a little sticky when chewed.

 甘, 略甜﹐溫。無毒 。嚼之略黏。

Channels (meridians) entered:


Related to spleen and stomach channels.


Actions & Indications:


Traditionally, it is being used inpixu (spleen deficient) with lack of appetite, flatulence with diarrhea, abundance of phlegm, dizziness, palpitation, edema, instant sweating, and  excessive fetus movements.

  • for hardening of liver, liver cancer. In case of yinxu, use raw bai zhu plus other yin enhancing herbs according  to diagnostics. (1)

  •  children drooling  (2)

  •  Meniere's disease (3)

  •  constipation (4)

  •  chronic back pain (5)

  •   acute infection of intestine (6)

  •   low white cell count (8)

  1. Stir-fried bai zhu is being used in improving digestive and for getting rid of yeast infection.
  2. Charred bai zhu is being used in helping digestion and appetite.
  3. Earth fried bai zhu is being used in improving digestion and arresting diarrhea.
  4. Bran fried bai zhu is suitable for those with weak digestion and with chronic diarrhea.

傳統上,用於用於脾 虛食少,腹脹泄瀉,痰飲眩悸,水腫 ,自汗,胎動不安。


  • 肝硬化,肝癌。如陰 虛者須用生白朮按辯證加上其他養陰藥

  • 小兒流口水。

  • 耳水不平衡疾病。

  • 便秘。

  • 長期腰背痛。

  • 急性腸感染。

  • 白血球數量低下。

  1. 健 脾燥濕;

  2. 助 消化,開胃氣;

  3. 土炒白朮補脾胃,止泄瀉;

  4. 麩炒白朮宜於脾胃虛弱,慢性腹瀉的病人。

Medical Functions:


Medical Functions:

1. Digestive System

(1) Protects Liver: Extraction of bai zhu  (by boiling with water) was given to lab mice that had liver damage caused by carbon chloride. It lessened the necrosis and mutation of liver cells, and improved the new growth of the liver cells. It lowered the glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (GPT) that was increased

   (2) Improves gall secretion

   (3) Prevents ulcer of stomach

   (4) Improves movements of intestines and bowels

2.  Diuretics

3.   Improves immune system

4.  Anti Cancer

    Laboratory tests showed that neutral oil of the vaporizing oil  bai zhu could inhibit esophagus  cancer cells. 10mg/ml/hour could detach all the cancer cells. 5mg/ml/hour could detach most of the cancer cells and damaged the remaining cells. The nucleus became hazy and the cells became empty bubbles.

5.  Affects heart and blood vessels

6.  Lowers blood sugar

7.  Anti coagulation of blood

8.   Anti bacteria


  1. 對消化系統作用﹕(1)保肝作用﹕用白朮水煎劑給喂給氯化碳之小鼠,可以減輕肝臟壞死與突變,改 善肝細胞的新的增長點。它降低增高了的谷氨酸丙酮酸轉氨酶(GPT)(即ALT) (2) 增加膽汁分泌 (3) 防止胃潰瘍(4)促進腸胃蠢動。

  2. 排水

  3. 增強免疫系統

  4. 抗癌

  5. 對心血管作用﹕

  6. 降低血糖

  7. 抗血凝

  8. 抗菌

Chemical ingredients:


The root contains about 1.4% of  vaporizing oil: 根莖含揮發油 大约1.4%:
humulene α-及β-葎草烯
β-elemol β-欖香醇
α-curcumene α姜黃烯
atractlone 蒼朮酮
3β-acetoxyatractylone 3β-乙酰氧基蒼朮酮
selina- 4(15),7(11)-diene-8-one 芹子二烯酮[
eudesmol 桉葉醇
palmitic acid 棕櫚酸
hinesol 茅朮醇
β-selinene β-芹子烯
Sesquiterpene lactone compounds:[3] 倍半萜內酯化合物:[3]
atractylenolide)-Ⅰ,-Ⅱ,-Ⅲ 白朮內酯 -Ⅰ,-Ⅱ,-Ⅲ
8β-ethoxyatractylenolide-Ⅱ 8β-乙氧基蒼朮內酯-Ⅱ
polyacetylenes compounds: [4] 多炔類化合物:[4]
14-acetyl-12-senecioyl-2E,8Z,10E- atracetylentriol 14-乙酰基-12-千裡光酰基-8-順式折朮三醇
14-acetyl-12-senecioyl-2E,8E,10E- atractylentriol 14-乙酰基各裡光酰基-8-反式白朮三醇
12-senecioyl-2E,8Z,10E- atracetylentriol 12-千裡光光酰基-8-順式白朮三醇
12-senecioyl-2E,8E,10E- atractylentriol 12-千裡光酰基-8-反式白朮三醇
12α-methyl butyryl-14-acetyl-2E,8Z,10E-atractylentriol 12α-甲基丁酰基-14-乙酰基-8-順式白朮三醇
12α-methylbutyryl-14-acetyl-2E,8E,10E-atractylentriol 12α-甲基丁酰基-14-乙酰基-8-反式白朮三醇
14α-methyl butyryl-2E,8Z,10E-atractylentriol 14α-甲基丁酰基-8-順式白朮三醇
14α-methyl butyryl-2E,8E,10E-atractylentriol 14α-甲基丁酰基-8-反式白朮三醇
Also contains: 另含
scopoletin [3] 東莨菪素
fructose 果糖
mannan 菊糖
mannan the possess active immune characteristics 具免疫活性的甘露聚糖AM-3[6]
aspartic acid 天冬氨酸
serine 絲氨酸
glutamic acid 穀氨酸
alanine 丙氨酸
glycine 甘氨酸
valine 纈氨酸
isoleucine 異亮氨酸
leucine 亮氨酸
tyrosine 酪氨酸
phenylalanine 苯丙氨酸
lysine 賴氨酸
histidine 組氨酸
arginine 精氨酸
proline 脯氨酸


用量 ﹕

5 to 15 g.    Concentrated extract: 05 to 2 g.

5 - 15 克 。濃縮中藥:0.52

Samples of formulae:


  1. Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang, 半夏白朮天麻湯

  2. Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, 補中益氣湯

  3. Gui Pi Tang, 歸脾湯

  4. Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Tang, 藿香正氣湯

  5. Li Zhong Wan, 理中丸

  6. Si Jun Zi Tang, 四君子湯

  7. Shi Quan Da Bu Tang, 十全大補湯

  8. wu ling san 五苓散

  9. Xiao Yao Wan, 逍遙丸

  10. Yu Ping Feng San, 玉屏風散

  11. Zhen Wu Tang 真武湯

  12. zhi dai fang 止帶方

Modern Research:


Gastro-intestinal mobility



use caution in  cases of yinxu (yin deficient)


  A report from Shanghai Donghua Hospital and others: Using ai ye disinfection incense, (made by Shanghai Everyday Chemical Products), which consists of 30% of cang zhu powder and 20% of ai ye powder, smoking 4 hours, can kill off β-Hemolytic streptococcus- A group﹐pneumonococcus﹐Hemophilus Influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus etc. Smoking 8 hours can kill off Pseudomonas aeruginosa),and can inhibit the growth of Bacillus subtilis.

上海華東醫院等單位報導,用含艾葉的消毒香(上 海日用 化學品試制,含 蒼朮粉30%,艾葉粉20%) 烟熏4小時能殺滅乙型溶血性鏈球菌A群 (β-Hemolytic streptococcus- A group)﹐ 肺炎球菌 (pneumonococcus)﹐ 流感桿菌 (Hemophilus influenzae)和金黄色 葡萄球 菌 Staphylococcus aureus等 ,烟熏8小時能殺滅綠膿桿菌 (Pseudomonas aeruginosa)., 并能抑制枯草桿菌 (Bacillus subtilis)的生長。


Note: cang zhu is being used often in ridding of fungal and bacterial infections.

Burning smoke of cang zhu is being used in space sterilizing of fungi in dwellings.


More material to be loaded. If you need more information or bibliography in a hurry email our research librarian. The link is located on the left menu.There is a research fee charged.



Experimental Study for Effects of Some Chinese Herbals on
Gastrointestinal Motility

ZHU Jinzhao LENG En-ren GUI Xian-yong   CHEN Dong-feng.
(Department of Digestion,Daping Hospital and Institute of Surgery Research,
The Third Military Medical University,Chongqing 400042)


Objective: To study the effects of 10 Chinese herbals on gastrointestinal motility. Methods: The effects of each Chinese herbal on gastric emptying and intestinal propulsion of rats were investigated in vivo by measuring intro-gastric remainder rate and propulsive proportion of small intestine of dextran blue 2000.Results:The gastric emptying or intestinal propulsion was enhanced by these Chinese herbals (P<0.05 or 0.01),of these, both gastric emptying and intestinal propulsion in atractylodes macrocephala group were very marked higher than that of control (P<0.01).Conclusion:10 Chinese herbals have gastrointestinal motility promoting action, the best one is atractylodes macrocephala.
  Key words: Gastric emptying, Intestinal propulsion, Gastrointestinal motility, Atractylodes macrocephala, Agastache rugosa, Rats

For complete article click here.

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Last update: Nov 8, 2013; 2 p.m. LAH