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Polygala Root (Yuanzhi)

Pharmaceutical Name:

Radix Polygalae

Botanical Name:

Polygala tenuifolia Willd.
Polygala Sibirica L.

Common Name:

Polygala root

Source of Earliest Record:

Shennong Bencao Jing

Part Used & Method for Pharmaceutical Preparations:

The roots are dug in the spring or autumn. After the fibrous roots have been removed, the roots are cleaned in water and dried in the sun.

Properties and Taste:

Pungent, bitter and slightly warm


Lung and heart


To calm the heart and soothe the mind
To resolve phlegm and clear the orifices (sense organs)

Indications and Combinations:

1.     Insomnia and forgetfulness.
*Use with Ginseng (Renshen) and Grass-leaved sweetflag (Shichangpu) in the formula Buwang San.

2.     Palpitations and restlessness.
*Use wi
th Wild jujube seed (Suanzaoren) and Dragon's bone (Longgu). 

3.     Turbid phlegm disturbing the heart manifested as mental disorders and unconsciousness.
*Use with Grass-leaved sweetflag (Shichangpu) and Curcuma root (Yujin).

4.     Cough with excessive thick sputum or sputum that is difficult to expectorate.
*Use with Apricot seed (Xingren), Platycodon root (Jiegeng) and Licorice root (Gancao).


3-10 g


This herb should be used with caution in cases with gastric ulcer or gastritis.