Herbal Exhibition
Radix Asparagi
Cochinchinese Asparagus Root


The root tuber of Asparagus cochinchinensis (Lour.) Merr. (Fam. Liliaceae).

Mainly in Chinese provinces such as Guizhou, Sichuan and Guangxi; also in Hong Kong.

Harvest & Processing
Collect root tubers in autumn and winter; wash away soil, remove top part and fibrous roots; cook or steam root tubers thoroughly; peel off cork while still hot; wash clean; dry under the sun. Commonly used in Hong Kong in the form of length-wise cut and compressed slices, with the woody core removed.

Oblong and spindle-shaped, slightly curved; 5-18 cm long, 0.5-2 cm in diameter. Outer surface yellowish-white to pale yellowishbrown; translucent; smooth or marked with longitudinal wrinkles of varying depths, and occasionally with remnants of greyishbrown cork. An opaque fine woody core visible when held against the light. Hard, or soft and smooth; sticky. When broken, surface cuticular, with a yellowish-white stele. Odour: faint; taste: sweet and slightly bitter.

1. Cough and sputum due to wasting disease
2. Chronic bronchitis
3. Thirst
4. Constipation
5. Pyogenic skin infection, snakebite (external use)

Chemical Composition
Mainly contains steroidal saponins such as Asp-IV, Asp-V.


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The information and images in this Online Herbal Exhibition is form the book, "An Illustrated Chinese Materia Medica in Hong Kong", edited by Professor Zhao Zhongzhen, School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University. For the complete collection of Chinese Materia Medica compiled by Professor Zhao, please go to this website: http://www.bucmm.org.

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