Polygala (Yuan zhi)
Latin: Polygala tenuifolia (sibirica)
Parts Used: Root
Taste/Energetics: Bitter, spicy, slightly warming, drying
Properties: Anxiolytic, sedative, antispasmodic, nootropic, expectorant, antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory, enhances libido
Actions: Polygala is an herb with an ancient history of use in Chinese medicine. It has long been used to help calm the spirit and reduce anxiety, restlessness and insomnia. This herb is commonly used with other herbs for those who have experienced trauma, shock and fright with associated palpitations, confusion and panic. It has been used for the treatment of mania (phlegm misting the mind) along with other herbs such as Acorus calamus.
Polygala also has an expectorant property which makes it useful for treating bronchial infections with thick stuck phlegm.
The word zhi means will and this herb has long been revered by taoist sages as having the ability to strengthen willpower. Willpower (zhi), memory and sexual potency are all associated with the kidneys and polygala helps strengthen these functions while calming the heart.
This is a key herb for those who have experienced trauma
Dosage: 1 teaspoon herb decocted for 30 mins. 1-2 ml of tincture to 2x/day.
Contraindications: Avoid in pregnancy. Avoid with other sedatives, anticonvulsants.