8 Surprising Benefits of Balloon Flower

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The health benefits of balloon flower may include its potential ability to treat respiratory ailments, reduce pain, soothe the digestive tract, reduce the severity of allergic reactions, boost the immune system, and eliminate parasites.

What is Balloon Flower?

This common way of referring to Platycodon grandiflorus is due to the unique shape of the flower bud of this herbaceous and perennial flowering plant. With five striking purple-blue petals, this flower has been praised for far more reasons than its unique shape and color. It is native to East Asia. Balloon flowers are some of the few herbal root remedies still used in wide common practice in the world, but its popularity stretches back centuries. The roots of this powerful plant can be dried and crushed into a powder for supplemental forms or can be used in salads and various culinary creations. [1]

The wide range of benefits that can be gained by using balloon flowers in your health regimen are based on the volatile active ingredients found in the root, which include betulic acid, saponins, phytosterol, inulin, and glucose. Together, these chemicals, along with some other organic compounds, can act quickly on the body for some measurable effects. Now, let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of balloon flower. [2]

A close-up shot of Platycodon Grandiflorus

Platycodon grandiflorus, is commonly known as balloon flower. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Balloon Flower

Health benefits of balloon flower includes:

May Provide Respiratory Relief

The most commonly known benefit of balloon flower relates to its impact on the respiratory system. The expectorant properties of the flower’s root can help to ease congestion by breaking up phlegm and mucus, which can help relieve colds faster, and eliminate the bacteria and other pathogens that can thrive in mucus build-up. Furthermore, the possible anti-inflammatory ability of balloon flower can soothe sore throats and prevent chest conditions, such as bronchitis. [3]

May Help With Stomach Concerns

If you happen to suffer from an upset stomach, ulcers, dysentery, or any other gastrointestinal issue, you can count on the balloon flower herb to quickly remedy this pain and discomfort. These ulcer-resistant abilities mainly come from the saponins located in the root of balloon flowers. Furthermore, the possible anti-inflammatory aspect of this herb can help to regulate digestion and lessen symptoms of hemorrhoids. [4]

May Boost The Immune System

Aside from the immune response of possible antioxidants that balloon flower root possesses, it can also stimulate the regular immune system to lower your chances of contracting the common cold or influenza.

May Improve Heart Health

While these studies have thus far been conducted outside of human test subjects, balloon flower has shown an impressive ability to lower “bad” cholesterol levels and increase “good” cholesterol levels, which results in a lowered chance of developing atherosclerosis. [5]

May Help Rid You Of Liver Parasites

Liver flukes are foul little parasites that can affect many different species, including humans. Balloon flowers have shown an ability in the past to protect against various types of parasites, including those in the liver, increasing the organ’s efficiency and boosting your overall metabolism. [6]

May Provide Pain Relief

Due to its general analgesic qualities, balloon flower root has often been prescribed for general pain and inflammation, such as that following an injury or surgery, as well as for patients that suffer from gout, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. The active ingredients acts quickly on various parts of the body, providing both internal and external pain relief. [7]

Possible Anti-allergenic Potential

Some reports have suggested that consuming balloon flower root can significantly reduce the severity of allergic reactions by inhibiting some of the histamines that are released by the body when certain substances are encountered. This could be great news for people with chronic or seasonal allergies! [8]

A Final Word of Warning

There are no commonly known side effects of balloon flower, as there aren’t any particularly dangerous volatile components; however, as with any herbal remedy, there is always the chance of a negative reaction, so use a small amount when first adding this to your health regimen, and always consult with a medical practitioner or trained herbalist before trying this powerful little herb!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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