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Acanthopanax Root Bark

Acanthopanax Root Bark

The Thorny Ginseng of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Slender Acanthopanax root bark, also known as Wujiapi or Thorny Ginseng, has been an essential herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. With a rich history and a myriad of health benefits, this herb is still widely used in modern TCM practices. In this article, we will delve into the origin, properties, and health benefits of Slender Acanthopanax root bark.

Origins and Properties

Slender Acanthopanax root bark is derived from the Acanthopanax gracilistylus W.W. Smith shrub, a member of the Araliaceae family. This family also includes Chinese ginseng, hence the nickname "Thorny Ginseng." The herb has a warm energy, pungent flavor, and is used in TCM to treat rheumatism and a variety of other ailments.

The primary actions of Slender Acanthopanax root bark are to remove wind and dampness and strengthen bones and tendons. It is primarily associated with the liver and kidney meridians and has been used as a treatment for rheumatism, beriberi, and weak limbs. The recommended dosage is 6 to 12 grams of the dried root bark.

Health Benefits

Rheumatism Relief: Wujiapi is particularly effective in treating rheumatism in the lower half of the body caused by dampness. Its properties help remove wind and dampness from the body, alleviating pain and inflammation.

Leukopenia Treatment: Studies have shown that Slender Acanthopanax root bark can help increase white blood cell counts in patients with leukopenia, particularly those caused by chemotherapy and radiation treatments for tumors.

Chronic Tracheitis Relief: Research has also found that this herb can help alleviate symptoms, improve physical strength, and reduce the frequency of attacks in patients suffering from chronic tracheitis.

Heart Tonic: Experiments have demonstrated Wujiapi's effectiveness as a heart tonic, as it can produce adreno-cortical hormones, providing support for cardiovascular health.

Adrenal Cortex Support: Slender Acanthopanax root bark has been shown to increase the function of the adrenal cortex, potentially offering additional health benefits.


Slender Acanthopanax root bark, or Wujiapi, has been an essential component of Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. Its wide range of health benefits, including its effectiveness in treating rheumatism, leukopenia, and chronic tracheitis, make it a valuable herbal remedy. As research continues, it is likely that more potential applications for this "Thorny Ginseng" will be discovered, solidifying its position as a vital herb in the practice of TCM.

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