Cang Zhu – (Black) Atractylodes – Rhizoma Atractylodis

Cang Zhu

English Name: black (or grey) atractylodes, sword-like atractylodes

Pharmaceutical Name: Rhizoma Atractylodis

Medica Category: Aromatic Damp-Dissolving Herbs

Properties: Cang Zhu enters the Spleen and Stomach channels; it is acrid and bitter in nature and warm and aromatic in temperature.

What is Cang Zhu?:

The Chinese Herb Cang Zhu is the dried root and rhizome of Atractylodes lancea, a perennial woodland flowering plant found throughout Central China.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Cang Zhu:

Cang Zhu is aromatic and drying in nature; its function is to dry accumulated dampness in the Spleen when its transforming and transporting functions are compromised due to phlegm obstruction. Clinical presentations of this include: epigastric fullness and distension, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a feeling of heaviness and lassitude throughout the body, and a greasy tongue coat.

Cang Zhu induces perspiration and expels wind-dampness (with cold), characterized by low-grade fever (with the absence of perspiration), chills, headache, body aches, and nasal obstruction (stuffy nose).

Cang Zhu dispels wind and dampness to treat bi zheng (painful obstruction syndrome) with redness, swelling, and pain in the knees/difficulty walking.

Cang Zhu is used traditionally to improve night blindness and poor vision (taken with/as food).