This Japanese species of master plant is also found
in China. Known as fang-k'uei, the species is
mentioned in the herbal Tao Hung-ching: "feverish
persons should not take it, for it stupefies and
enables spirits to appear." This passage has been
interpreted as indicating a possible psychoactivity
The roots (radix peucedani, qian hu, zenko) of
several closely related species are used in
traditional Chinese medicine to treat disorders of
the lung and spleen (Paulus and Ding 1987, 376).
The root of Peucedanum decursivum (Miq.) Maxim.
is regarded as a nerve tonic and aphrodisiac (Stark
1984, 95*). The roots of the species known as
zenko (Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn) are used
in. Japanese kampo medicine to treat fever,
shivering, and headaches (Tsumura 1991, 175*).
Alkaloid-like substances do occur in the genus
Peucedanum. Coumarins have been detected in
Peucedanum japonicum (Schultes and Hofmann
1992, 54*). Additional chemical studies are needed