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Common Name: Yuan Zhi
Polygala sibirica is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.15 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, at least one member of this genus is said to be poisonous in large quantities.
E. Europe to E. Asia in China, Japan and Korea.
Dry calcareous slopes in Ukraine[
]. Open slopes in the Himalayas from Pakistan to Tibet at 1600 - 3600 metres[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of this country. It is a very variable plant[
]. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Prefers a moderately fertile moisture-retentive well-drained soil, succeeding in full sun if the soil remains moist throughout the growing season, otherwise it is best in semi-shade[
]. Dislikes shade according to another report.
Young leaves - cooked[
Root - cooked[
]. We have no more details on this species but the root of another member of this genus has its core removed before the root is cooked in several changes of water.
The leaves are used in the treatment of spermatorrhoea[
]. They are ingested as a kidney tonic[
The roots are diuretic, expectorant, haemolytic and sedative[
]. Their use lowers the blood pressure[
]. They are used in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, insomnia, infantile convulsions, amnesia, sexual impotency etc[
The plant is also considered to be analgesic, diuretic, expectorant and nervine[
Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of young shoots in a frame in late spring[