The Isatis plant, a source of indigo dye, originated in China and India. The Isatis Root (Ban Lang Gen), derived from the root of the isatis plant, has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. Isatis root cools the blood and treats damp-heat jaundice conditions. It is used in combination with other herbs to treat the common cold, sore throat, mumps, respiratory aliments, other febrile diseases and malignant tumors.
Isatis root became a well known household name during Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) breakout due to its supposed toxin-killing capabilities in combating the disease. Respiratory infections such as mild tonsillitis, bronchitis, and sinitis don’t stand a chance when confronted with isatis root. Containing tryptanthrim (bacteria killer), banlangen fights inflammation and reduces fever, but its effectiveness depends on timing: “The secret is to use banlangen at the first sign of a tickly throat,” says Stefan Brinkop, a Beijing-based TCM practitioner. In Traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that Ban Lang Gen acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and alleviates infections of the intestinal tract, kidney and bladder. Herbs such as Ban Lang Gen, chamomile and dandelion are well known kidney enhancers.
Ban Lang Gen (Isatis root) is available in powder/crystal form. Dried and cut isatis root is also available at many Asian supermarkets.
Depending on the condition being treated, a typical dosage of isatis root is 10-30 grams. There are no known drug interactions with isatis root. Only large dosages or long term usage can be toxic to the kidneys. Always consult with your physician before taking Ban Lang Gen (Isatis root) or any other herbal supplement.
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