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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

(Phellodendron amurense)

NOTE: PHELLODENDRON CHINENSE  is also used for the same purposes.

A tall deciduous tree of northern China, Manchuria, Siberia, and Japan. Widely grown as an ornamental for its pale gray cork-like bark, orange-yellow branchlets, and aromatic leaves. The flowers are yellow-green and smell of tupentine when bruised. The name is taken from the Greek "phellos" meaning 'cork' and "dendron" meaning tree. Amurense is from the river Amur in northeast Asia which forms the boundary between Manchuria and the Soviet Union. Known to the Chinese as the poor man's "cure-all".

PROPAGATION: By seed sown in autumn, by softwood cuttings in summer and root cuttings in late winter.
NEEDS: Full sun and rich, well-drained neutral to alkaline soil.
HARVEST: Bark [huang bai].


Bitter, diuretic, refrigerant, antibacterial; stimulates liver and gall bladder; main action is on the kidneys.
Has been used to lower fevers, reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels
Has been used for night sweats, bloody urine, kidney problems, dysentary, jaundice, diarrhea, lumbago, yellowish vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, dermatitis, acute urinary tract infections, enteritis, boils, and abscesses.
In Chinese medicine it is combined with Scuttelaria baicalensis and Coptis chinensis as part of the drug formulation known as SAN HUANG ZHE SHE YE ("infusion of three yellow herbs"); it is given intramuscular for upper respiratory tract infections.
In Chinese medicine it is used for "hot damp" conditions.

©2000 by Ernestina Parziale, CH