Balloon flowers are often thought of as merely beautiful ornamental plants, but the plant has actually been used in parts of Asia for thousands of years for its medicinal and health benefits. They are blue-violet flowers and are shaped like stars.
The Chinese call the balloon flower ‘Jie Geng, and the Koreans use it in their cooking. Fresh and dried roots of the flower are used in Korean salads and other dishes.
There hasn’t been much research on balloon flowers’ medicinal benefits, but they’ve been used for centuries in Asia. Although much of what we know about the plant is based on traditional use and anecdotes, its reputation as a medicinal herb is solid.
Pain relief, support for the immune system, digestive health benefits, allergy relief and relief from respiratory conditions are among the health benefits of the Balloon Flower Root.
Several studies have also suggested it might prevent some types of cancer.
Please continue reading this article if you’re interested in learning more about balloon flower root and its health benefits.
What is a Balloon Flower?
Originally from regions of Asia such as Korea, China, Japan, and Russia, balloon flowers are now cultivated around the world. There are several alternative common names for balloon flowers, but it is known scientifically as Platycodon Grandiflorus (PG).
Other names for Balloon Flower Root are Chinese bellflower, Blue balloon flower, Japanese bellflower, Jie Geng, and Platycodon.
Known for its distinctive shape and striking color, this flower also boasts five beautiful purple-blue petals. Despite being among the few herbal roots still widely used in popular culture, balloon flowers are among the oldest herbal remedies in use today.
Many of the plant’s beneficial effects can be attributed to its root, which contains a wide variety of volatile compounds.
Platyposides (saponins), inulin, phytosterol, betulic acid, and glucose all belong to this group of compounds. Many illnesses can be prevented or treated using these compounds.
Let’s explore the health benefits of balloon flowers in the following sections.
Also Read: 15 Health Benefits of Golden Kiwi
Health Benefits of Balloon Flower
Here are the Top 12 Health Benefits of Balloon Flower:
1. Neuroprotective Activity
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition affecting many developed nations. In total, about 50 to 70% of all dementias are caused by Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia (30 to 40%), mixed dementia (10 to 15%), and other dementing conditions/ illnesses (10 to 15%) (1).
Platycosides may serve as neuroprotective agents. It was once recommended to eat balloon flower roots as pickles to prevent NF-kappaB (2). Cell survival and cytokine production are believed to be influenced by the NF-kappaB protein complex, which controls DNA transcription.
2. Helpful for Stomach Concerns
Balloon flower herb is a well-known remedy for stomach upset, ulcers, dysentery, and other digestive issues. These ulcer-resistant properties of balloon flowers are mostly attributed to the presence of saponins in their roots.
Furthermore, this herb may be anti-inflammatory, thereby regulating digestion and reducing hemorrhoids symptoms. (3)
3. Antiobese and hypolipidemic effect
Diabetes, high cholesterol, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension are complications of obesity. Researchers have discovered that balloon flower improves insulin resistance and lipid profile in obese rats (4).
Researchers have found the saponins in platycodon grandiflorus (PG) decrease intestinal absorption of bile acids and increase elimination of bile acids in the feces, resulting in a decrease in serum cholesterol and blood lipid concentrations(5).
4. Enhances Heart Health
Despite having only studied balloon flower outside of human subjects, balloon flower has shown an impressive ability to lower “bad” cholesterol levels and increase “good” cholesterol levels, which in turn reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis, which eventually helps prevent heart attacks or strokes.
5. Anticancer Potential
Research clearly demonstrates that balloon flower’s active ingredients reduce the size of tumors linked to a wide range of cancers, despite some controversy about this claim. Aside from their antioxidant properties, balloon flowers’ roots are excellent at neutralizing free radicals, which are cellular byproducts that can cause mutations and a range of chronic diseases, including cancers! (6)
6. May Provide Respiratory Relief
Balloon flower is most commonly associated with its benefits for respiratory health. This flower’s roots have expectorant properties that can help break up phlegm and mucus, thereby relieving congestion faster and eradicating the bacteria and pathogens that thrive in mucus build-up.
The balloon flower’s anti-inflammatory properties may also help soothe sore throats and reduce symptoms of chest conditions, such as bronchitis. (7)
7. Lower blood pressure
They reduce cholesterol levels, which therefore reduces the chance of high blood pressure associated with high cholesterol levels.
8. May Provide Pain Relief
Analgesic properties make balloon flower root an effective treatment for pain and inflammation associated with injuries, surgeries, and chronic inflammatory conditions such as gout, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions.
Various parts of the body are relieved of pain quickly by the active ingredients, providing pain relief internally as well as externally. (8)
9. Balloon Flower May Boosts Immune System
The immune system can also be stimulated by balloon flower root’s antioxidant properties, reducing your likelihood of contracting the common cold, illness or influenza.
10. Anti-Allergenic Potential
There has been some evidence that balloon flower root may reduce allergy symptoms by blocking some of the histamines released by the body in response to certain substances. It’s great news for people who suffer from allergies, especially chronic or seasonal ones.
11. Gets Rid Of Liver Parasites
These parasites can infect a large number of species, including humans. As a result of its ability to protect against various parasites, balloon flowers have previously been found to improve the efficiency of the liver and boost your overall metabolism.
12. Balloon Flower May Aids in Weight Loss
Because fat accumulation causes weight gain, the chemicals in balloon flower root reduce fat, which in turn leads to weight loss. Any herbal medicine should always be used in conjunction with medical advice.
Precautions Of Using Balloon Flower
- Avoid in the event of chronic coughing.
- Vomiting, sweating, fatigue, restlessness, and nausea may result from excessive intake.
- People who cough up blood should not use the herb.
- Like all medicinal herbs, it is not recommended as medicine for chronic cough.
Balloon flowers do not contain particularly harmful volatile components, so they are not known to cause side effects.
Although this little herb has many health benefits, there is always the chance that it could cause a negative reaction, so use a small amount when adding it to your regimen at first, and consult your doctor before using this powerful herb!