Erect annual or perennial plant with oblong leaves and dense clusters of small flowers.
Habitat & Cultivation
Native to China, da ji is cultivated mainly in the eastern and central provinces. The root is unearthed in early spring.
Da ji contains euphorbon.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Da ji is classified as a toxic herb in Chinese herbal medicine, and therefore it is prescribed only for relatively serious illnesses. It is taken as a cathartic to purge excess fluid in conditions such as pleurisy and ascites (excess fluid in the abdomen), and for the treatment of kidney problems, especially nephritis. Da ji is applied externally to inflamed sores to reduce swelling.
Research in China indicates that da ji is therapeutically useful in the treatment of ascites and nephritis; however, it produces significant side effects.
E. kansui is similar to da ji but has a stronger cathartic action. In Chinese herbal medicine it is only given to people with strong constitutions.
Da ji is a toxic plant. Take only under professional supervision.