Sister-In-Law's Orchid and Its Healing Powers
Boneset, also known as Peilan or Sister-in-Law's Orchid, has a fascinating origin story rooted in Chinese folklore. This ancient tale demonstrates the herb's healing properties, as well as its cultural significance. Over time, the herb has been recognized for its ability to treat various ailments, particularly those related to dampness in the body and summer heat. In this article, we will explore the story behind Peilan, its botanical characteristics, and its medicinal uses.
The Tale of Peilan and Huoxiang
The story of Peilan and Huoxiang revolves around a young couple and the husband's sister living together in a small village. The husband leaves to join the army, leaving his wife, Peilan, and sister, Huoxiang, behind. One summer, Peilan suffers from sunstroke, and Huoxiang goes to the mountains to gather herbs to cure her. Unfortunately, Huoxiang gets bitten by a poisonous snake and dies. Peilan, who also eventually succumbs to her sunstroke, asks a neighbor to remember the herbs that Huoxiang had gathered for her. The neighbor names the herbs after the two women, thus giving birth to the names Peilan and Huoxiang for these healing plants.
Botanical Characteristics of Peilan (Boneset)
Peilan, or boneset, is a member of the Composite family. Its scientific name is Eupatorium fortunei Turcz. and Eupatorium japonicum Thunberg. Known as Herba Eupatorii, the herb is derived from the stalks and leaves of the plant. Peilan is characterized by a pungent aroma and a neutral property. When worn, the herb emits an orchid-like fragrance, which is why it is also referred to as "wearing orchid."
Medicinal Uses of Peilan
Peilan belongs to the category of herbs that help reduce dampness in the body. It has an affinity for the lungs and spleen and is primarily used to transform dampness through its aromatic flavor and relieve summer heat. One of its most common applications is in treating headaches caused by summer heat.
The strong aroma of Peilan plays a crucial role in its ability to transform dampness and clear summer heat effectively. Recent experiments have shown that Peilan also possesses antiviral properties, particularly against influenza.
Peilan, or boneset, is a remarkable herb with a rich history and diverse medicinal uses.
Its origins in the tale of Peilan and Huoxiang highlight the deep cultural significance of this healing plant. Today, Peilan continues to be a valuable natural remedy for treating ailments related to dampness and summer heat, as well as offering antiviral properties. As the story of Peilan and Huoxiang demonstrates, the power of nature's healing herbs transcends generations and continues to benefit humankind.
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