Pinyin Name: Fang Ji
English Name: Radix Stephaniae Tetrandrae
Other Names: Stephania, Han Fang Ji
Tastes: Acrid, Bitter, Cold
Origin: Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi and Hubei provinces in China
Benefits of Fang Ji:
Fang Ji is the dry root of Aristolochia plant. Its main habitats are hillsides and open forests. It is preferably harvested during autumn and winter. Its plant is a perennial climbing vine, up to 3 to 4 meters. Roots are thick, cylindrical, and with well-developed cork. Stems are slender, less branching, taupe or brown-black, and densely covered with brown hair. Leaves are alternate. Petiole is 1 to 4 cm in length and densely covered with brown hair. Blades are round or ovate-oblong, 3 to 17 cm long, 2 to 6 cm wide, and with acuminate or obtuse apex, cordate or rounded base, and entire margin. Flowers grow solitarily in leaf axils. Pedicels are about 1 to 2 cm long and brown haired. Perianth is tubular, about 5 cm, purple, and with yellow spots.
Fang Ji covers meridians of bladder and lung. Main functions are dispelling wind to relieve pain, clearing heat, using diuretic of hydragogue to alleviate water retention. Common uses and indications are damp-heat bodily pain, wind-damp pain or numbness, lower extremity edema, difficult urination, beriberi induced pain and swelling. Recommended dosage is from 4.5 to 9 grams.