Fameflower roots

Chinese: 土人参

Pinyin: Tǔ Rén Shēn

Parts used: Dried root

TCM category: Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency

TCM nature: Neutral

TCM taste(s): Sweet

Meridian affinity: SpleenKidneyLung

Scientific name: Talinum paniculatum

Other names: Jewels of Opar or Pink baby's-breath

Use of fameflower roots (Tu Ren Shen) in TCM

Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitionner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: Remove impurities from the roots, wash, soak in water, remove bark, steam and dry.

Dosage: 25 - 50 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Supplies Qi, moistens the Lung and promotes the generation of body Fluids.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which fameflower roots may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Fatigue Coughing Low milk supply Bloody sputum Irregular menstruation Leukorrhea

Key TCM concepts behind fameflower roots (Tu Ren Shen)'s properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), fameflower roots are plants that belong to the 'Tonic herbs for Qi Deficiency' category. Tonic herbs are used for patterns of Deficiency, when one lacks one of the 'Four Treasures' (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Qi tonics are typically sweet and they tend to enter the Spleen and Lungs because these organs are most involved with the production of Qi.

Furthermore fameflower roots are plants that are Neutral in nature. This means that fameflower roots typically don't affect the balance in your body. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Eating too many "Hot" (Yang) ingredients can lead to an imbalance whereby one has a Yang excess. The inverse is true as well: too many "Cold" (Yin) ingredients can lead to a Yin excess. The Neutral nature of fameflower roots means that you don't have to worry about that!

Fameflower roots also taste Sweet. The so-called "five elements" theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Sweet ingredients like fameflower roots tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what organs and meridians they target. As such fameflower roots are thought to target the Spleen, the Kidney and the Lung. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, blood coagulation and fluid metabolism in the body. The Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body. In addition to performing respiration, the Lungs are thought to be a key part of the production chain for Qi and the body fluids that nourish the body.

Research on fameflower roots (Tu Ren Shen)

T. paniculatum extracts possess estrogenic activity in rats, which can be helpful in managing reproductive tissues regression during menopause in a natural way through herbal resources without any toxicity.1

Sources:

1. Catthareeya T., Pittaya P., Suthida C., Sajeera K. (2013). Talinum Paniculatum (Jacq.) Gertn: a medicinal plant with potential estrogenic activity in ovariectomized rats. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 5, Issue 2