Zi Wan – Aster Root – Radix Asteris

Zi Wan

English Name: aster, tatarian aster root

Literal Translation: “purple-soft roots”

Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Asteris

Medica Category: Cough- and Wheezing- Relieving Herbs

Properties: Zi Wan enters the Lung chnnel; it is bitter and sweet in nature and slightly warm in temperature.

What is Zi Wan?:

The Chinese Herb Zi Wan is the dried roots of tatarian aster (Aster tataricus L. f.), a plant that blooms in the fall with pale violet flowers with a yellow center. It is native to marshy, mountainous areas of East Asia. The dried roots are used medicinally in TCM; they are dug up in the winter/very early spring and dried for use as medicine. Often, the dried roots are stir-baked in honey to enhance their ability to moisten the Lung to address dry/deficient patterns of cough (see below).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Zi Wan:

Zi Wan is moistens the Lung while at the same time dissolving (and purging) phlegm. This makes it able to address a wide variety of patterns involving cough (depending on how it is combined with other herbs in formula). These patterns include external invasion, interior imbalances, and both excess and deficient conditions.