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Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu)

Close up of Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu)

What is Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu)?

Hogfennel Root (qian hu, 前胡), also known as Radix Peucedani, refers to the dry root of Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn, a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the Umbelliferae family. 

One of the most frequently used herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since 1500 years ago, Qian Hu is widely distributed in Anhui, Zhejiang Fujian, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu and Sichuan provinces in China.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Qian Hu falls under the category of ‘Cool herbs that transform phlegm and stop cough’. Such herbs can treat stagnation of fluids, which can become phlegm if it accumulates. Cool in nature, Qian Hu can help individuals with too much Heat in their body, such as those experiencing a Yang Excess or a Yin Deficiency, to restore a harmonious yin-yang balance.

Bitter and pungent in taste, Qian Hu can cleanse the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. Also, Qian Hu can promote the circulations of qi and body fluids. In particular, Qian Hu targets the Spleen and the Lungs.

Functions and Benefits of Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu)

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu) has the following health benefits.

Qian Hu can clear Heat, dispel phlegm and sputum to direct Lung qi downwards. This herb is indicated for Phlegm-Heat accumulation in the Lungs, as well as the failure of Lung qi to disperse and descend, manifested as symptoms such as cough, dyspnea, wheezing, fullness in chest, yellow and sticky phlegm. 

For Phlegm-Heat accumulation in the Lungs, Qian Hu can be combined with other Heat-clearing, phlegm-resolving, Lung-ventilating and qi-descending herbs to enhance its effectiveness. Also, Qian Hu can expel Wind-Heat with a headache too.

Close up of Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu)
Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu) can help to relieve common cold symptoms.

How to Use Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu)

The recommended daily dosage of Qian Hu is 6 – 10g, when used as a decoction or made into pills for consumption. To enhance its dispersing properties, you can use Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu) in its unprocessed form. To reduce the Cold nature of Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu), you can process Qian Hu with honey

You can find Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu) and its supplements in many herbal stores and Asian specialty markets.

Cautions and Side Effects of Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu)

Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu) should not be used by individuals experiencing cough caused by Yin Deficiency, cough or wheezing caused by Cold Phlegm, or pregnancy.

Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu) should not be used together with Veratrum Root and Rhizome (Li Lu) or Fructus Gleditsiae (Zao Jiao). Also, Qian Hu should not be used together with anticoagulants such as heparin, warfarin and enoxaparin, or antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin and clopidogrel.

We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider before deciding to add Qian Hu to your healthcare provider!


Here is a summary for Hogfennel Root (Qian Hu):

  • Herb name (Chinese): 前胡
  • Herb name (Pin Yin): qián hú
  • Herb name (English): Hogfennel Root
  • Herb name (Botanical): Radix Peucedani
  • Origin of species: Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn
  • Part(s) of herb used: Root
  • Geo-specific habitat(s): Zhejiang, Henan, Hunan, Sichuan, Jiangxi, Anhui
  • Taste(s) & Properties: Bitter, pungent; Slightly cold; Administrates the Lung Meridian
  • Actions: Eases coughs with large amounts of oral yellow discharge; Relieves symptoms of common colds

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Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.