Fang Feng also known as Radix Saposhnikoviae or Siler Root is the root of Saposhnikovia divaricata, which is a perennial herb belonging to the family Umbelliferae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine with a medicinal history of over 2,000 years.
This plant is cold-resistant and drought-tolerant. It often grows in grasslands and hills at an altitude of 400-800 meters. It can be found in China, Mongolia, South Korea, Japan, and Russia.
In the spring and autumn of each year, people gather the roots of Saposhnikovia divaricata, remove their impurities and fibrous roots, wash them with water, dry them in the sun, and cut them thick pieces, make them into Chinese herbs.
Fang Feng contains hamaudol, sec-o-glucosylhamaudol, cimicifugin, prim-o-glucosylcimifugin, lede-bouriellol, psoralen, xanthotoxin, bergapten, imperatorin, isoimperatorin, phellopterin, marmesin, nodakenetin, fraxidin, isofraxidin, scopoletin, augelicin, decurson, polysaccharoses, volatile oils, organic acids, β-sitosterol, daucosterol, D-mannitol, adenosine, wogonin, vitamin A, and a variety of trace elements.
According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Fang Feng is slightly warm, with a pungent and sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the bladder, liver, and spleen meridians.
In Chinese medicine, it is often used to dispel wind and relieve exogenous syndromes, expel dampness, relieve pain and convulsions, treat herpes simplex keratitis, facial neuritis, allergic asthma, allergic purpura, postpartum vaginal swelling, flat warts, fungal vaginitis, Leylo’s disease, gangrene, concussion, arsenic poisoning.
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
- Anti-inflammation, anti-allergy, anti-fungus, and anti-tumor.
- Anti-oxidation, scavenging hydroxyl radicals, and DPPH free radicals.
- Inhibiting the influenza virus and having antipyretic, analgesic, and sedative effects.
- Reducing the damage of CCL4 to liver tissue and protecting the liver.
- Extending the bleeding time and clotting time of experimental mice, promoting blood circulation and removing blood stasis.
- Inhibiting platelet aggregation, preventing thrombosis, and atherosclerosis.
- Increasing the thymus index, spleen index, and phagocytic capacity of macrophages, improving immunity.
- Dispelling wind, relieve fever, headache, body pain, and sore throat caused by wind-cold or wind-heat.
- Relieve fever without sweat, headache, neck pain, joint and muscle aches caused by wind-damp.
- Promoting eruptions, alleviating skin itching, treating rubella, eczema, and urticaria.
- Expelling dampness, relieving joint redness and pain, treating rheumatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Anti-convulsion, alleviating muscle spasms, twitching of limbs, stiffness of neck and back, opisthotonus caused by tetanus.
- Drying dampness and treating diarrhea caused by excessive dampness due to deficiency in the spleen.
- Soothing the liver and Regulating the spleen, treating spasmodic colic, and diarrhea caused by disharmony between the liver and spleen.
- Relieving oral ulcers, bad breath, thirst, and hunger caused by heat retention in the spleen and stomach.
- Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, B-type hemolytic streptococcus, diplococcus pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, dysentery bacilli, and bacillus subtilis.
- Studies have confirmed that carbonized Fang Feng can treat intestinal bleeding and vaginal bleeding.
Fang Feng is used with other Chinese herbs
- It with Qiang Huo (Notopterygium Root) and Gan Cao (Licorice Root) can treat facial neuritis.
- It with Cang Zhu (Black Atractylodes Rhizome), Bai Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae), Fu Ling (Poria Cocos), and Bai Shao (White Peony Root) can relieve dizziness and headache.
- It with Jing Jie (Schizonepeta Tenuifolia), Qiang Huo (Notopterygium Root), and Du Huo (Radix Angelicae Pubescentis) can alleviate headaches and body pain caused by wind-cold.
- It with Bo He (Mentha), Chan Tui (Periostracum Cicadae), and Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae) can alleviate the sore throat and thirst caused by wind-heat.
- It with Pu Gong Ying (Dandelion), Xia Ku Cao (Spica Prunellae), Ju Hua (Flos Chrysanthemi), Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae), and Jing Jie (Schizonepeta Tenuifolia) can treat herpes simplex keratitis.
Side effects of Fang Feng
Fang Feng has been used clinically for many years, with few side effects.
Excessive use of it may cause sweating or thirst.
Individual patients taking it may cause epigastric discomfort, nausea, vomiting, upset, sweating, itching, or erythema.
Precautions of Fang Feng
- The dosage of Fang Feng should be controlled between 5-9 g.
- It can be made into decoction or pills.
- It contains volatile oil, so it is not suitable for long-term decocting.
- It should not be used to treat febrile diseases caused by fever due to internal injury.
- People with blood or yin deficiency should not take it.