Platycodon grandiflorum (Jacq.) A. DC. (Campanulaceae)
Platycodon chinensis Lindl, P. autumnalis Decne., P. sinensis Lem., P. stellatum,
Campanula grandiflora Jacq., Campanula glauca Thunb., Campanula gentianoides
Balloon-flower, chieh keng, Chinese bell flower, gil gyeong, Japanese bellflower,
jiegeng, jieseng, kikiyou, kikyo, kikyokon, kikyou, platycodon radix
Perennial herb wholly glabrous, slightly glaucescent; root white, fleshy, radishshaped,
finger-thick, with abundant milky juice; stems ascending from base or straight,
simple, 40–50 cm, herbaceous, glabrous or smooth, longitudinally striate
in lower part; radical leaves alternate or sometimes nearly opposite, arranged
along the lower half of stem or even higher, ovate-lanceolate, sessile, tapering
at base, 2.5–3.4 cm long, 2–3 cm wide, rather large-toothed, pale
beneath, glaucescent, upper leaves reduced. Flowers usually 1, sometimes 2,
large, lengthily pedunculate, broadly campanulate or deeply saucer-shaped; calyx
in 5 segments; corolla 5-lobed, violet-blue, 4 cm long; stamens 5; ovary many-celled.
Fruit an ovoid capsule dehiscent at the top; seeds ovoid, compressed, obtuse,
first violet then brown; albumen fleshy
Plant material used
Triterpene saponins, not less than 2%. Saponin content of the root can be evaluated
by thin-layer chromatography–densitometry
Major chemical constituents
The major chemical constituents of Radix Platycodi root are triterpene saponins
based on the sapogenins platycodigenin and polygalacic acid; examples are platycodins
A–I and polygalacins D and D2
Dried roots, extracts, and other preparations.
Uses supported by clinical data
in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
As an expectorant and antitussive used to treat coughs, colds, upper respiratory
infections, sore throats, tonsillitis, and chest congestion. In Chinese traditional
medicine, Radix Platycodi has been used to treat cough with sputum, tonsillitis,
pertussis, and asthma. Also used to treat stomatitis, peptic ulcers, and chronic
Uses described in traditional medicine
Other medical uses for Radix Platycodi include the treatment of viral infections
and high blood pressure
No information available.
Playtcodon extracts have a very pronounced haemolytic effect, and therefore
the drug should not be administered by injection.
Radix Platycodi reportedly depresses central nervous system (CNS) activity.
Patients should avoid using alcohol or other CNS depressants in conjunction
with this drug. Patients should be cautioned that the combination of the drug
and alcohol may impair their ability to drive a motor vehicle or operate hazardous
Because of the CNS depressant activity, Radix Platycodi may act synergistically
with other CNS depressants such as alcohol, tranquillizers, and sleeping medications.
Radix Platycodon is also reported to be incompatible with Gentiana scabra and
Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
To date, no genotoxic effects have been reported. Platycodon root extracts were
not mutagenic in the Bacillus subtilis rec-assay or the Salmonella/microsome
reversion assay (28). Nor were they mutagenic in the SOS chromotest (E. coli
PQ37) and in the SOS umu test (S. typhimurium TA 1535/pSK 1002).
Pregnancy: teratogenic effects
Platycodon extracts are not teratogenic in vivo.
Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
No data available; therefore Radix Platycodi should not be administered during
Excretion of the drug into breast milk and its effects on the newborn infant
have not been established; therefore the use of the drug during lactation is
No information available on drug and laboratory test interactions or on paediatric
No information available.
The usual dose range is 2–9g daily