Atractylodes slices are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM. Known to the scientific community as Atractylodis macrocephalae, these sliced organic herbs resemble some kind of wild mushroom, but are in fact a form of whole natural herbs that are derived from the roots of a plant which grows in the mountain valleys of northern China, Manchuria, Korea and Japan. Practitioners of TCM associate Atractylodis macrocephalae with qi, or "life-force," the closest Western equivalent of which would be the immune system. In the traditional Chinese system of medicine, Atractylodes slices are considered "warm" and "dry" (in the sense that it is said to remove "excess dampness" from the digestive and intestinal tract), and is therefore one of the "yin" herbs.
Atractylodes slices are among those bulk herbs that are taken as an infusion, meaning the atractylodis macrocephalae is boiled in hot water and served up as a kind of tea. Because TCM considers atractylodis macrocephalae as being among the "dry" organic herbs, it is said to be good for any ailments caused by cold or damp. It is used among the rural Chinese for digestive complaints; some athletes claim that a decoction made from these quality bulk herbs are effective in building vigor as well.
While there are no known interactions with this particular dried herbs, it should be understood that an infusion atractylodes slices acts as a diuretic; therefore, those who are suffering from dehydration should avoid taking it, and it is always recommended to speak with your healthcare provider before you begin taking any herbal products.
*info from Starwest Botanicals