What Is Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae or Siler Root)

Fang Feng is also known as Saposhnikovia or Siler, which is a perennial herb belonging to the Umbelliferae. It is a medicinal plant with a medicinal history of more than 2000 years.

This plant grows in the north of China. Its whole part can be made into medicine. The Fang Feng mentioned in this article refers to the root of Saposhnikovia divaricata. It is also called radix saposhnikoviae or siler root.

In the spring and autumn of each year, people gather the roots of Saposhnikovia divaricata, remove their impurities, dry them in the sun, wash them with water, and cut them thick pieces, make them into Chinese herbs.

The best Fang Feng is light yellow. It contains volatile oil, mannitol, β-sitosterol, phenols, polysaccharides, coumarins, polyacetylenes, and organic acids.

According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Fang Feng is relatively warm, with a spicy and sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the bladder, liver and spleen meridians.

The efficacy of Fang Feng is similar to that of Jing Jie (Schizonepeta tenuifolia). In Chinese medicine, it is often used to treat headaches, body pain, and aversion to cold caused by wind-cold, rheumatoid arthritis, and relieve spasm.

About 300 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine formulas contain Fang Feng, such as Fang Feng Tong Sheng Wan, Yu Ping Feng San, and Fang Feng Tang.

Health benefits of Fang Feng (Saposhnikovia Divaricata)

  • Anti-inflammation, anti-pathogen, and anti-allergen.
  • Enhancing the phagocytosis of macrophages and immunity.
  • Relieving abdominal pain, diarrhea, and treating chronic arsenic poisoning.
  • Relieving skin itching and treating rubella and urticaria.
  • Treating dry mouth, cough, asthma, night sweats, and dysuria caused by yin deficiency.
  • Treating fever, headache, body pain, sore throat, and redness and swelling of eyes caused by wind-cold.
  • Dispelling wind and dampness, treating rheumatoid arthritis, shoulder arthritis, facial nerve palsy, and relieving joint swelling and pain.
  • Inhibiting dysentery bacillus, type B hemolytic streptococcus, pneumococcus, and staphylococcus aureus.

Fang Feng is used with other Chinese herbs

  • It with Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong) and Ren Shen (Radix Ginseng) can treat and prevent night sweat.
  • It with Zhi Ke (Fructus Aurantii) and Gan Cao (Licorice Root) can treat and prevent constipation in the elderly.
  • It with Mu Xiang (Radix Aucklandiae) can treat intestinal flatulence.
  • It with Wu Mei (Fructus Mume) and Gan Cao (Licorice Root) can treat allergic rhinitis.
  • It with Qiang Huo (Notopterygium Rhizome), Gui Zhi (Cinnamon Twig), and Jiang Huang (Rhizoma Curcumae Longae) can treat rheumatism, joint pain, vasospasm, and muscle spasm.
  • It with Jing Da Ji (Radix Euphorbiae Pekinensis) and Ai Ye (Folium Artemisiae Argyi) can treat mycotic vaginitis. This recipe is for external use and should be fumigated and washed.

Side effects of Fang Feng

Fang Feng has been used clinically for many years with almost no side effects. Excessive use of it may cause dry mouth and sweating.

A small number of people may have abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, skin itching, erythema, and other allergic reactions after taking it.

Precaution of Fang Feng

  • The dosage of Fang Feng should be controlled between 5-9 g.
  • It contains volatile oil, so it is not suitable for long-term decocting.
  • It should not be used to treat wind-heat.
  • People with blood or yin deficiency should not take it.