Pharmaceutical Latin: Rhizoma Cynanchi Stauntonii
Common English: Cynanchum Root and Rhizome
Prime White Root
Willow Leaf Swallow Wort Rhizome
Glaucescent Swallow Wort Rhizome
Herbs that Transform Phlegm and Stop Coughing: Herbs that Warm and Transform Cold Phlegm (Warm Antitussives)
Taste Temperature Entering Meridians Dosage
(Slightly Salty)
Slightly Warm
Tincture: 2-4ml
Actions Indications/Syndromes

Descends Qi, expels Phlegm and stops coughing

Lung Qi blockage and Stagnation with coughing and copious sputum that is difficult to expectorate, and wheezing

  • Contraindicated for those with an unproductive cough due to Lung Yin Deficiency.
  • Contraindicated for those with Lung Qi and Kidney Yang Deficiency with an Inability of the Kidneys to grasp Qi.
  • Use with caution for those with peptic or bleeding ulcers.

Rx. Asteris
Zi Wan
Rz. Pinelliae Preparata
Zhi Ban Xia

Cx. Mori
Sang Bai Pi

Cx. Mori
Sang Bai Pi

Cx. Lycii
Di Gu Pi

Coughing and wheezing with difficult to expectorate sputum, respiratory difficulty and gurgling sounds in the throat due to Phlegm-Dampness Obstructing the Lungs.

Coughing and dyspnea due to Cold Phlegm.

Chronic productive coughing.

Chronic productive cough due to Lung Heat.

Cough and dyspnea due to Hot Phlegm.

Rx. Stemonae
Bai Bu

Rx. Platycodi
Jie Geng
Hb. Schizonepetae
Jing Jie
(Per. Citri Reticulatae)
(Chen Pi)

Rx. Peucedani
Qian Hu

Unproductive paroxysmal coughing and bloody sputum due to Lung consumption.

Coughing due to External Wind-Cold-Phlegm Obstruction.

Profuse Phlegm due to External Wind-Heat.

Rz. Atractylodis
Cang Zhu

Dampness induced edema.



  1. This is a very important herb for Lung Qi Blockage and Stagnation.
  2. It is used for excessive disorders with copious sputum that is difficult to expectorate as well as wheezing.
  3. It is slightly warm but not drying.
  4. It is especially good for rebellious Lung Qi, with sensations of Heat, shortness of breath and weak legs.
  5. It is also good for tightness and/or a hard feeling in the upper abdomen.
  6. The ability of Bai Qian to descend Rebellious Qi from coughing is similar to but weaker than Rx. Ephedrae Ma Huang. It can substitute for Ma Huang with weaker patients.
  7. Some sources say that this herb Moistens the Lungs and treats cough due to Wind-Cold.
  8. This herb is excellent for treating Qi gathered in the throat with audible Phlegm. Taken with wine it treats chronic coughing that prevents sleep with the rattling sound of Phlegm in the throat and ascending Qi rushing up to the throat, threatening to stop breathing.
  9. Both Bai Qian and Rx. Peucedani Qian Hu excel at descending rebellious Qi, reducing profuse Phlegm and are used for coughing with profuse Phlegm due to External Wind-Heat. Bai Qian is slightly warm and is best for accumulated Obstruction of Lung Qi leading to profuse Phlegm, rattling in the throat a stifling fullness in the chest and acute wheezing. Qian Hu cools Heat, releases the Exterior, disperses clumps and disperses Wind to treat coughing with thick, yellow Phlegm with Exterior Wind-Heat. These two herbs are used together so frequently, they are referred to as "the two Qian".
  10. Both Bai Qian and Fol. Eriobotryae Pi Pa Ye are good at descending rebellious Lung Qi. Pi Pa Ye is cooling and moistening, and best for treating dry cough or hard-to-expectorate Phlegm. It also stops nausea. Bai Qian is warming and parching and is best for External Pathogenic Qi which has obstructed the Lungs causing a sensation of fullness in the chest and the sound of Phlegm in the throat.
  11. Tender Cynanchum Nen Bai Qian is of superior quality, has more power to descend Qi and transform Phlegm, but tends to exhaust Qi and injure the Spleen.
  12. Dry-fried Cynanchum Chao Bai Qian has slightly ameliorated acrid, dispersing properties and thereby protects the Spleen, and is indicated for chronic cough from Lung Deficiency with profuse Phlegm and rebellious Qi.
  13. Honey-prepared Cynanchum Mi Zhi Bai Qian moistens the Lungs and thus no longer injures the Qi or Yin. It also retains its ability to descend Qi and transform Phlegm to treat dry cough due to Lung Yin Deficiency and is the most appropriate preparation for patients with Spleen and Stomach weakness.
  14. This herb is proving very successful at treating hives as well as other type I allergic conditions.