White Atractylodes – For excellent digestion and muscle building

atract12White atractylodes is one of my all-time favourite herbs because it has been of great help to me on a practical basis.  I’m not alone in this; it’s one of the most commonly used herbs in Chinese medicine.  Its main function is as a spleen tonic ie strengthening the digestive system and musculature.  To some degree it is also a kidney tonic.

One of the commonest challenges we have in the modern world, especially in damper countries, is an epidemic of what the Chinese call ‘damp spleen’ condition.  These include yeast and fungal infections like candida, and food intolerances.

We also commonly have problems digesting food properly.  We often lack digestive fire; that ability to burn through our food and absorb and assimilate the nutrients in it.

White atractylodes is the number one herb to reverse damp spleen problems.  It warms and dries the spleen, getting that digestive fire going again.  I have found it to be fantastically beneficial in that regard for everyone who has used it.  It can be used in combination with other spleen tonic herbs like astragalus and codonopsis to make a powerful digestive tonic blend.

It’s a popular herb among athletes and anyone who wants to build muscle and increase fitness.  It helps your body to assimilate nutrients, which in turn gives your body the materials put on more muscle and also to lose fat.  While I’m not medically qualified, I do know this herb has been proven to have a blood sugar lowering effect and is used by those with pancreas problems such as Type 2 diabetes, to lower blood sugar.

While you should always follow the dosage directions for herbs, with white atractylodes you can’t really have too much.  It tastes similar to ginger, but because white atractylodes is a tonic herb (and ginger is not) it’s much more effective and powerful and can be used in high dosages for long periods.

The thing I love about it the most is that you can add it to your food, and it makes your food easy to digest while tasting good.  White atractylodes is particularly helpful if you have a fairly heavy meal, with cooked food, especially meat and animal products.  You can just add some white atractylodes to your beef stew or whatever, and it will help to make the food digestible.  Probably the main reason it’s one of the most commonly used herbs in China is because it tastes good – it has a sweet kind of caramel taste.  Make it a staple herb that you take regularly especially if you have challenges with digestion or damp spleen conditions.


Taste; sweet
Treasures; chi
Organs; spleen
Temperature; warm

Elwin Robinson

Elwin Robinson is the Founder of Lion Heart Herbs, Europe's #1 Educator on the Taoist approach to Health, and #1 Supplier of High Quality and Affordable Taoist Tonic Herbs to the World.

Elwin is also the Founder of Complete Detox Academy, Taoist Health Academy, the Health Coaching Institute and High Energy Academy, as well as the author of 'the Easy Exhaustion Cure' and 'the 4 Step Safe and Effective Detox Action Plan'.

Elwin is highly Enthusiastic about empowering people to feel Energized, Joyful and Alive, Naturally and Sustainably, and has worked over 5 years with over 1000 clients towards this goal. Elwin is particularly passionate about working with clients who are highly committed to reaching high levels of Health, Energy and Wellbeing, by natural and sustainable means.

Elwin has always been interested in Health since childhood. With a mother who had cancer 4 times, and a father with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Elwin is determined to get to the Root Causes of what really creates Disease, and what it really takes to have Outstanding Health and Wellbeing. After suffering from Health Challenges all his life, Elwin became determined, in 2007, to 'Get his Energy back or Die Trying', and, with this level of Resolve, made rapid progress, after a few false starts, which led him naturally, organically, after many requests, to dedicate himself full time to helping others get the kind of Results that he had achieved.
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