What Is Pei Lan
Pei Lan is also known as Eupatorium Fortunei, which is a perennial herb belonging to the family Asteraceae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Shennong Ben Cao Jing> in the late Western Han Dynasty (about 100 BC).
There are about 62 species of Eupatorium, which are widely distributed in temperate regions of America, Europe, and Asia. Among them, some species are annual herbs. Among them, some species can be used for ornamental use, and some species can be used for medicinal purposes.
Eupatorium Fortunei is native to China and has been introduced to Japan, Korea, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and India. They grow well in well-drained, easily irrigated, sunny, loose, fertile, moist sandy loam soil. Currently, most of Eupatorium Fortunei are cultivated artificially.
In summer and autumn, people gather the ground parts of Eupatorium fortunei, remove impurities, dry them in the sun, cut them into pieces, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.
Pei Lan contains p-cymene, neryl acetate, 5-methyl thymolether, thymol methyl ether, bornylene, caryophyllene, cubenol, fumaric acid, succinic acid, mannitol, palmitic acid, cumarene, thymohydroquinone, taraxasterol, taraxasterol palmitate, taraxasteryl acetate, supinine, lindelofine, euparin, and uracil.
Generally, the tender Pei Lan with many green leaves and a strong aroma are preferred.
According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Pei Lan is relatively neutral, with a pungent taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the spleen, stomach, and lung meridians.
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to remove dampness by means of aromatics, activate the spleen and increase appetite, promote sweating and relieve summer heat, and treat bad breath, mouth ulcers, fever, fatigue, chest tightness, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, infantile diarrhea, coronary disease, type 2 diabetes, simple obesity, dyspepsia, Behcet’s disease, infant rotavirus enteritis, cold due to summer-heat and dampness, and snake bites.
There are more than 30 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Jia Wei Gan Mao Wan, Lan Cao Tang, and Shu Er Gan Mao Ke Li.
- Anti-inflammation, inhibiting croton oil-induced ear swelling in mice.
- Inhibiting enteric EV-71 virus, herpes simplex type I virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and influenza virus.
- Removing dampness by means of aromatics, and treating abdominal distention, nausea, and vomiting caused by turbid damp retention in the middle energizer.
- Activating spleen and increasing appetite, treating sweet taste in the mouth, polysialia, and ozostomia caused by damp-heat in spleen meridian.
- Promoting sweating and relieving summer heat, treating fever, fatigue, and chest tightness caused by summerheat-dampness or damp-warm diseases in the early stage.
- Its essential oil reduces the amount of voluntary activity and prolongs the duration of sleep in ICR mice.
- The mouse phenol red experiment confirmed that its total volatile oil and p-cymene had an obvious expectorant effect.
- Its decoction has a certain inhibitory effect on Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus diphtheria, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Proteus, Bacillus typhi, Tetracoccus, and Sarcina.
- The study found that intraperitoneal injection of its total alkaloids 50 mg/(kg·d) for 7 consecutive days can significantly prolong the survival period of ascites-type S180 mice.
- It can be used in combination with Cang Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis), Hou Po (Magnolia Bark), and Dou Kou (Fructus Amomi Rotundus) to treat abdominal distention, nausea, and vomiting caused by turbid damp retention in the middle energizer.
- It can be used in combination with Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae), Bai Shao (White Peony Root), and Gan Cao (Licorice Root) to treat sweet taste in the mouth, polysialia, and ozostomia caused by damp-heat in spleen meridian.
- It can be used in combination with Guang Huo Xiang (Herba Pogostemonis), He Ye (Folium Nelumbinis), and Qing Hao (Sweet wormwood) to treat fever, fatigue, and chest tightness caused by summerheat-dampness.
- It can be used in combination with Hua Shi (Talcum), Yi Yi Ren (Semen Coicis), and Guang Huo Xiang (Herba Pogostemonis) to treat fever, fatigue, and chest tightness caused by damp-warm diseases in the early stage.
- It can be used in combination with Guang Huo Xiang (Herba Pogostemonis), Bai Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae), Bai Bian Dou (White Hyacinth Bean), Fu Ling (Poria), Ku Xing Ren (Bitter Apricot Seed), Yi Yi Ren (Semen Coicis), and Hua Shi (Talcum) to treat diarrhea caused by warm diseases mingled with dampness in summer.
At present, there are no reports in the literature that Pei Lan has toxic effects, and there are no reports of serious adverse reactions when it is taken according to the prescribed dose.
Overdose of it may cause nausea, vomiting, or loose stools.
Precautions and Warnings
- The dosage of Pei Lan should be controlled at 3-10g.
- When using fresh Pei Lan, the dosage should be doubled.
- It can be made into decoctions, pills, or lotions.
- People who are allergic to Pei Lan should not take it.
- Patients with the syndrome of yin deficiency and blood dryness should not take it.
- Patients with qi deficiency should not take it.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take it under the guidance of a doctor.