Bai Zhu, Atractylodes macrocephala, Reveal Date: 2/16

Article published at: Feb 9, 2024 Article author: Lily Michaud
BaiZhu Atractylodes macrocephala
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This week's herb is the root of Bai Zhu or atractylodes macrocephala (reveal dates 2/16/24), an herb commonly used to tonify spleen qi in Chinese medicine. Let's see what the experience was. 


Mineral rich, sweet (sweeter on second and longer steeps), emphasis on the back of the mouth, soft palate, moist.

First Meditation: 

As soon as I start drinking it I felt my lungs relax and my breath deepen with a peaceful, comforted feeling.

For a long time I have been 'No' (Image: arm out, wrist flexed). Now I am open to interacting with people so they can become more like my heart.

I feel stomach, the herb shows the stomach, vomit/diarrhea--hands directing traffic:

"Spleen action: worry/work on preceived threats." 

Movement to "intestines" but this is actually the lowest part of the interior of the pelvis. It looks more like the bottom of the pelvic bowl. 

The person will act as the medicine, through narrative.

Second Meditation:

Energy is at the heart. Increase in fire. "Heart fire". Securely, confidently redefine focus of a current problem with a person--this problem is not about me and my reaction, this is an exterior problem. The awareness is: if I am angry, there is a problem outside myself. It no longer feels appropriate to work with the person of concern. It is important to go to the person who outranks them and talk to them. I am aware I am being discriminated against. The person's behavior is sexist. 

Third Meditation:

The herb reviews the person's strategic speaking, placating, controlling behavior. The herb says "No" and shakes my head no.

The herb says it helps the spleen say "no" to the right things. 

Up and out, vomit, diarrhea--is saying no, right away.

Same with people--the herb teaches you to say no at the correct times.

It is important to hold the food for the right length of time to digest properly.

The herbs says "What does a rabbit do? They have fear so they reject something too soon and so they have to eat it again." Interpretation: Haste due to fear makes you eat your own shit (errors). 

My rational response to this statement: The rabbits aren't built to get full absorption the first time. I am pretty sure the herb is sticking with their statements.

Overall confident words from this herb: A strong spleen means good decision making. Trust your heart, if something makes me angry is it is a bad sign.

Summary and Traditional Use:

The experience tended to be one of feeling comfortable, confident (in a self-secure way), peacefully grounding. I loved the tutorial I got on right decision making and the spleen. As a result of repeated meditations, this herb and/or the realignment it gives to the spleen appears to be about having the strength to directly fight if needed, and the wisdom to know how long to absorb something before release. For example we may immediately reject a food (throw it up or have diarrhea, or immediately reject a person's behavior) and alternatively we are wise to digest something healthy or have a healthy relationship for as long as is most beneficial. Heart and lung opening were experienced.

Bai Zhu is a traditional Chinese herb for tonifying the spleen which tends towards dampness. I healthier spleen means better food absorption and nutrition, which supports mental and emotional clarity. Bai zhu is used for a variety of gastrointestinal disorders such as chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and poor apetite. This herb is used by martial artists to strengthen legs and muscles (source). This herb can help with excessive sweating. It is known to calm the fetus (for certain types of threatened miscarriage). This herb is also used in Western herbalism.

Western Medicine Spleen and Body Talk

The herb was talking to me about the spleen, but from previous experiences talking to my organs they all act like the authority. For example the reproductive organs might say "have sex a lot!", whereas the heart might say "use caution so I get nurtured and love, instead of hurt" and the third eye might say "wow sex is opening up a can of worms, be judicious about who you create a long term energetic involvement with". Be the CEO of your own life, take all viewpoints into consideration and make the right decision for you.

In Western medicine the Spleen is about cleaning the blood and white blood cell production. It is the body's very grounded, defense mechanism. It affirms offense and defense. It takes cues from yor responses and fights where you or your body gave signs of a problem. The interpretation is not always as desired. For example, I had a rash on a tattoo for several months after getting it. I asked my spleen about it. It said 'that really hurt! we have been working on it ever since.' I told my spleen my tattoos were good and to let it go. It replied by saying 'great! now we can get to work on your lungs!' Great attitude, right? Two days later my rash was gone and my lungs, which had been experiencing a lot of allergies, were breathing easy.

Start opening up conversations with your body.


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