Ban Lan Gen also known as Radix Isatidis is the root of Isatis Indigotica, which is a biennial herb belonging to the family Cruciferae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Tang Ben Cao> in 659 AD.
This plant is used medicinally. Its leaves can also be made into Chinese herbal medicine, which is called Da Qing Ye (Folium Isatidis).
In southern China, the roots and rhizomes of Strobilanthes cusia are also known as Ban Lan Gen. Its effect is similar to that of Radix Isatidis.
In the fall of every year, people gather the roots of Isatis indigotica, wash them with water, remove their impurities, cut them into slices, dry them in the sun, and make them into Chinese herbs.
Ban Lan Gen contains indigotin, indirubin, indoles, quinazolone, palmitic acid, hypoxanthine, uracil, qingdainone, β-sitosterol, daucosterol, amino acids, and polysaccharides. The plump and solid Ban Lan Gen is the best.
According to <Fen Lei Cao Yao Xing>, the medicinal property of Ban Lan Gen is relatively cold, with a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the heart and stomach meridians.
The medicinal property of Ban Lan Gen is similar to that of Da Qing Ye (Folium Isatidis) and Qing Dai (Indigo Naturalis).
In Chinese medicine, Ban Lan Gen is often used for clear heat and remove toxin, cool blood and relieve sore throat, treat upper respiratory tract infections, acute laryngitis, tonsillitis, acute hepatitis, enteritis, influenza, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, Japanese encephalitis Erysipelas, condyloma acuminatum, infectious mononucleosis, acute conjunctivitis, and keratitis.
There are about 100 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions containing Ban Lan Gen, such as Banlangen Keli, Lianhua Qingwen capsule, and Zhong Gan Qing Pian.
Health benefits of Ban Lan Gen
- Anti-oxidation, scavenging superoxide anions, and hydroxyl radical.
- Inhibiting influenza virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, mumps virus, arboviruses.
- Improving immunity and inhibiting platelet aggregation induced by ADP.
- Reducing the damage of CCL4 to liver tissue and protecting the liver.
- Reducing serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and myocardial oxygen consumption.
- Dispelling wind and heat, treating fever, headache, sore throat caused by wind-heat.
- Clearing excess-fire in heart and stomach, treating fever, headache, thirst, and sore throat in the early stage of warm diseases.
- Treating macules and purplish tongue caused by warm diseases.
- Removing heat toxins, treating erysipelas, sores, and carbuncles.
- Inhibiting bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, typhoid bacilli, and dysentery bacilli.
- It contains indirubin, which can selectively inhibit the synthesis of cancer cell DNA and treat chronic myeloid leukemia.
Ban Lan Gen is used with other Chinese herbs
- It with Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae) and Jing Jie (Schizonepeta Tenuifolia) can treat fever, headache, and sore throat in the early stage of warm diseases or wind-heat.
- It with Xuan Shen (Radix Scrophulariae), Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae), and Niu Bang Zi (Fructus Arctii) can treat erysipelas, sores, carbuncle, and mumps.
- It with Sheng Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae), Zi Cao (Radix Arnebiae), and Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae) can treat macules and purplish tongue caused by warm diseases.
- It with Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae) and Ma Bo (Puffball) can treat scarlet fever.
- It with Da Qing Ye (Folium Isatidis), Ma Chi Xian (Purslane), and Yi Yi Ren (Semen Coicis) can treat flat warts.
Side effects of Ban Lan Gen
Ban Lan Gen has been used clinically for many years, with few side effects.
Taking it in large doses or for a long time may cause epigastric discomfort, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or hemolytic reaction.
Its injection may cause allergic reactions, such as urticaria, erythema multiforme, atopic dermatitis, multiple granulomas, or anaphylactic shock.
Precautions of Ban Lan Gen
- The dosage of Ban Lan Gen should be controlled at 9-15g.
- It is recommended to reduce the dosage when children take it.
- It can be made into decoction, tea, powder, or injection.
- People without syndromes of excess heat should not take it.
- People with deficiency-cold in spleen and stomach should not take it.
- Pregnant women should not take it.