Lu Gen also known as Rhizoma Phragmitis or Reed Rhizome is the rhizome of Phragmites, which is a perennial aquatic herb belonging to the family Gramineae. It first appeared in <Mingyi Bie Lu> around 420-589 AD.
There are more than 10 species of this genus, which often grow in rivers, ponds, swamps, and low-humid lands. They are widely distributed and can be found in most temperate and tropical regions.
These plants can be made into paper, rayon, and mats. Their young stems and leaves can be made into fodder, and their inflorescences can be made into brooms and pillows.
The rhizomes of Phragmites can be gathered in any season. People remove their fibrous roots and impurities, cut them into segments, use them directly, or dry them in the sun and make them into Chinese herbs.
Lu Gen contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, Protein, Fat, Asparagine, Xylan, Polyol, Betaine, Coixol, Flavonoids, etc. The yellow-white and lustrous Lu Gen without fibrous roots is the best.
According to <Mingyi Bie Lu>, the medicinal property of Lu Gen is relatively cold, with a sweet taste. It has certain therapeutic effects on the pathological changes of the lung and stomach meridians.
In Chinese medicine, it is often used to clear heat and reduce fire, treat upper respiratory tract infections, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, lung abscess, and acute gastritis. It is an important component of Yin Qiao San and Sang Ju wan.
Health benefits of Lu Gen
- Anti-oxidation and antagonizing the effects of caffeine.
- Inhibiting the central nervous system, sedation and analgesia.
- Relaxing intestinal smooth muscles and relieving intestinal cramps.
- Reducing the contraction amplitude of the heart, temporarily lowering blood pressure, and exciting the respiratory system.
- Inhibiting skeletal muscle contraction and anaerobic glycolysis of glycogen, reducing the oxygen uptake of the diaphragm.
- Alleviating poisoning caused by pufferfish consumption.
- Promoting fluid production, relieving irritability and thirst caused by febrile diseases.
- Clearing heat and dissolving phlegm, relieving cough caused by lung-heat or wind-heat.
- Treating thirst and vomiting caused by stomach heat.
- Treating chest pain and purulent bloody expectoration caused by lung abscess.
- Promoting urination, eliminating edema, relieving unsmooth and painful urination caused by the stranguria due to heat.
- Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, catarrhalis, diphtheria, dysentery, typhoid, paratyphoid, and β-hemolytic streptococcus.
- It contains phytoestrogens, which can promote the growth of the breast, fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries.
Lu Gen is used with other Chinese herbs
- It with Chen Pi (Tangerine Peel) and Sheng Jiang (Fresh Ginger) can relieve vomiting and loss of appetite during pregnancy.
- It with Sang Bai Pi (Cortex Mori), Huang Qin (Scutellaria baicalensis Root), and Chuan Bei Mu (Fritillaria cirrhosa) can eliminate phlegm and relieve cough caused by lung heat.
- It with Bo He (Mentha) and Chan Tui (Periostracum Cicadae) can promote eruptions and treat the insufficient outbreak of early measles
- It with Sang Ye (Mulberry Leaf), Ju Hua (Flos Chrysanthemi), Ku Xing Ren (Bitter Apricot Seed), and Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi) can alleviate headaches, coughs, dry mouth, and sore throat caused by wind-heat.
- It with Ma Huang (Ephedra), Gan Cao (Licorice Root), Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae), and Shi Gao (Gypsum) can relieve high fever, thirst, cough, and asthma, and treat lobar pneumonia.
Side effects of Lu Gen
Lu Gen is often used as a food additive in some Asian countries, with almost no side effects.
Taking it in large doses for a long time may cause yang deficiency, fatigue, loss of appetite, or diarrhea.
Precautions of Lu Gen
- The dosage of Lu Gen should be controlled at 15-30g.
- When using fresh Lu Gen, the dose should be doubled.
- It can be made into decoction and tea or mashed into oral juice.
- People with deficiency-cold in spleen and stomach should not take it.
- People with diarrhea should not take it.