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Platycodon, also known as balloon flower, is a traditional Chinese herb that has been used for centuries to treat respiratory issues and promote overall health. It is commonly referred to by its Pinyin name, Jie Geng, and is classified as a transform phlegm, warm herb that is associated with the lung meridian.

The root has a bitter and spicy taste and is considered to be neutral in temperature. Its primary functions and indications include opening up and disseminating lung qi, transforming phlegm, and benefiting the throat. It is often used to treat coughs or wheezing with profuse sputum, throat pain, and loss of voice.

Platycodon is also known for its ability to dispel pus, making it useful for treating lung abscesses, throat abscesses, fevers, chest pain, and coughing yellow sputum with a fishy smell. Additionally, it can be used to raise qi when the action of a formula should be focused on the upper regions of the body.

There are some contraindications to be aware of when using platycodon. It should not be used by individuals with a chronic cough from yin deficiency or a tendency to cough up blood.

In terms of pharmacology, platycodon has antiinflammatory, antitussive, and expectorant properties. This makes it an effective treatment for a variety of respiratory issues and other health concerns. It is a valuable addition to any herbal medicine cabinet and has a long history of safe and effective use.

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