Pharmaceutical Latin: Radix Platycodi
Common English: Balloon Flower Root
Platycodon Root
Herbs that Transform Phlegm and Stop Coughing: Warm Herbs that Transform Cold Phlegm
Taste Temperature Entering Meridians Dosage
Tincture: 2-4ml
Actions Indications/Syndromes

Opens the Lungs, spreads Lung Qi, expels Phlegm and benefits the throat

Cough due to Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat (with profuse sputum, sore throat, loss of voice), asthma

Loss of voice or sore throat due to external Heat, Phlegm Heat or Yin Deficiency Heat

Expels pus

Lung or throat abscess (Phlegm and Qi Stagnation) with fevers, chest pain, coughing of yellow sputum with a fishy smell and hemoptysis, Lung carbuncles

Opens and raises Lung Qi, directing the effects of other herbs to the upper body

Reinforces the actions of the other herbs and focuses the formula on the upper body

  • Contraindicated in those with chronic cough from Yin Deficiency.
  • Contraindicated in those with hemoptysis.
  • Do not use with herbs that purge or tonify the Lower Jiao.
  • Do not use this herb and eat pork.

Rx. Glycyrrhizae
Gan Cao

Rx. Glycyrrhizae
Gan Cao

Rx. Scutellariae
Huang Qin
(Sm. Oroxyli)

(Mu Hu Die)

Caulis Perillae
Zi Su Geng

Disseminates Lung Qi, expels Phlegm, resolves toxicity and expels pus for productive coughing with hoarseness, pain and swelling of the throat due to Wind-Heat.

Lung abscess with expectoration of pus and pain in the chest and flanks.

Excess disorders in the Upper Jiao with no disorder in the Lower Jiao.

Hoarseness, pain and swelling of the throat due to Wind-Heat. (stronger action)

Cough, wheezing, or stifling sensations in the chest and diaphragm due to Lung Qi Stagnation.

Focal distention of the epigastrium , loss of taste for food, nausea and reflux due to Spleen/Stomach Qi Stagnation.

Good for elderly, deficient or pregnant patients.

Fol. Mori
Sang Ye
Flos Chrysanthemi
Ju Hua
(Sm. Armeniacae)
(Xing Ren)

Fol. Perillae
Zi Su Ye
Sm. Armeniacae
Xing Ren
(Per. Citri Reticulatae)
(Chen Pi)

Cx. Mori
Sang Bai Pi
Flos Chrysanthemi
Ju Hua

Wind-Heat cough with mild fever and thirst.

Productive cough with clear, bubbly sputum, nasal congestion, chills and headache due to Wind-Cold Invading the Lungs.

Wind-Heat cough.

Rz. Pinelliae Preparata
Ban Xia

Hb. Menthae
Bo He
Fr. Arctii
Niu Bang Zi
Periostracum Cicadae
Chan Tui

Fr. Aurantii
Zhi Ke
Pericarpium Trichosanthis
Gua Lou Pi

Coughing due to Wind-Cold Invasion or long-standing Phlegm-Dampness.

Hoarseness and sore throat due to Wind-Heat.

Phlegm Obstruction and Qi Stagnation with discomfort and a stifling sensation in the chest.

Sm. Trichosanthis
Gua Lou Ren
Sm. Coicis
Yi Yi Ren

Hb. Houttuyniae
Yu Xing Cao

Rx. Angelicae Dahuricae
Bai Zhi


Bul. Fritillariae Thunbergii
Zhe Bei Mu
Fr. Crotonis
Ba Dou

(Sm. Coicis)
(Yi Yi Ren

Lung abscess.

Ulcerated abscess where pus is being discharged slowly.

Strengthens its ability to discharge pus for Lung abscess with profuse Phlegm and pus accumulation.

Fr. Chebulae
He Zi
Rx. Glycyrrhizae
Gan Cao

Rx. Glycyrrhizae
Gan Cao
Sm. Coicis
Yi Yi Ren

Hb. Houttuyniae
Yu Xing Cao
Sm. Coicis
Yi Yi Ren

Sm. Benincasae
Dong Gua Zi

Hoarseness and loss of voice.

Lung abscess with chest pain, fever and a cough with foul-smelling, yellow, sticky sputum. Lobar pneumonia and bronchitis due to Heat and toxins.

Rx. Paeoniae Alba
Bai Shao
Fr. Aurantii Immaturus
Zhi Shi



Pus and abscess formation.



  1. This herb is not suitable for injection because of its hemolytic properties which are neutralized through digestion.
  2. This is a versatile herb with tonic and anti-inflammatory effects. It is mostly used in Lung and skin ailments.
  3. This herb is a Lung Qi tonic that is useful in formulas for nourishing Lung Yin.
  4. This herb is especially good for eliminating pus in the Lung.
  5. It raises the actions of other herbs.
  6. It can be used for conditions that are Hot, Cold, acute or chronic and are with or without Phlegm.
  7. This herb has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
  8. Both Jie Geng and Sm. Armeniacae Xing Ren are Lung channel Qi Level herbs. Jie Geng rises and disseminates Lung Qi, benefits the throat, and expels Phlegm while Xing Ren descends Lung Qi, alleviates cough and calms wheezing.
  9. Both Jie Geng and Sm. Sterculiae Pang Da Hai disseminate Lung Qi, cool the Lungs, resolve toxicity and benefit the throat. Jie Geng is more intense. It raises Lung Qi, releases the Exterior, benefits the throat by eliminating Phlegm and pus and directs the actions of the other herbs to the Upper Jiao. It also treats dysenteric disorder and abdominal pain. Pang Da Hai is cooling, moistening, drains constrained Fire and is used specifically used for throat disorders. it also moistens the Intestines and treats mild cases of constipation and blood in the stool.
  10. Dry-fried Platycodon Chao Jie Geng has its acrid dispersing qualities moderated and its tendency to irritate the Stomach causing nausea is reduced. it is best for treating elderly and weak patients with cough due to Phlegm or thin mucus.
  11. Honey-prepared Platycodon Mi Zhi Jie Geng has increased moistening and tonifying properties and is used for chronic dry cough due to Lung Deficiency.
  12. Charred Platycodon Jie Geng Tan is used for dysenteric disorders with hemafecia as a result of Lung Heat being transferred to the Large Intestine.