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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.

(Galium verum)
[pèng zi cai]

PROPAGATION: By seed or division (spreads well); perennial.
NEEDS: Full to part sun. Light, rich, well-drained soil.
HARVEST: Fresh as desired; blooms for crafts; roots in fall.
FLOWERS: Small, yellow, fragrant. June onward.


In Chinese medicine this plant is regarded as alterative, laxative, aphrodisiac, astringent, calmative, catarrh, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, hemostatic, pectoral, purgative, antispasmodic, sudorfic, and tonic.

Used as a cheese rennet; contains an enzyme that curdles milk (use whole plant or just leaves and stems); flowering tops made into a summer drink.

Whole plants produce a dull yellow with alum mordant.
Roots produce: boil fresh or dried roots for about 2 hours; with alum you can achieve red; with chrome - purplish red; mix alum and chrome for light orange-red; plum color with iron. 4 to 6 oz. of root per each gallon of water is required.

Fresh or dried plant materials for decorating; cut flower arrangements; dried flowers somewhat vanilla scented.

©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH