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What Are the Medical Uses of Ophiopogon Japonicus?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2016
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Ophiopogon japonicus is a plant that has been known to Chinese folk medicine for thousands of years. Herbal preparations are made from the dried roots and are said to increase the amount of yin, or feminine energy in a patient. It is frequently given as a treatment for anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, and for conditions that affect the heart. Herbalists may also use Ophiopogon japonicus to treat conditions of the lungs or stomach because it is known to stimulate the mucous membranes, increasing the amount of fluid in both of these systems.

Herbalists may prescribe Ophiopogon japonicus for conditions that are caused by a heightened state of arousal. Patients who experience panic attacks, anxiety, or heart palpitations may be given this herb to help them calm down and to decrease their heart rate. It can also be given to patients who have difficulty sleeping or who exhibit symptoms of restlessness. The herb may be an effective treatment for these conditions because it can act as a sedative.

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Another medicinal effects of Ophiopogon japonicus is that it causes the body to create more mucus. This effect has led herbalists to use the plant in the treatment of certain respiratory conditions. Stimulating the production of mucus helps the lungs and bronchial tubes fill with more fluid, making coughs more productive. Minor infections, especially infections like viral bronchitis, which cannot be treated with antibiotics, can be more easily cleared out of the respiratory tract if a patient has a productive cough. Additional mucus can also soothe irritation in the throat.

Patients with certain gastrointestinal disorders may also use Ophiopogon japonicus. The mucus stimulating properties of the plant can work to increase the amount of mucus in the stomach. This can help relieve constipation.

Some antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities of Ophiopogon japonicus may make the plant useful in the treatment of infections. Some herbalists prescribe it plant as a mouthwash to treat mouth sores. When eaten, it may also help eliminate infections in the gastrointestinal tract.

The medicinal effects of Ophiopogon japonicus have not been thoroughly studied. Patients who wish to use this treatment should do so only under the guidance of an herbalist and a physician. It is possible to have a bad reaction to the herb which could lead to serious health complications. The lack of study on this herb also makes it difficult to know exactly how it will interact with other medications or herbs a patient is taking.

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