Atractylodes is an herb that has been used in Chinese herbal medicines for centuries, bitter and pungent in flavor, yet warm in nature. Atractylodes is native from Manchuria and Korea to Northern and Eastern China and Japan. It grows in mountain valleys, especially in China's Zhejiang province. It is in flower from July to August and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both the male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). This plant can grow in many different soils, but needs to be well drained. Atractylodes is one of the most important and commonly used herbs used in Chinese Tonic herbalism. It is found in the majority of formulations that are designed to build qi (life force or as we would say, immune system).