Family name: Campanulaceae
Genus and Species: Platycodon grandiflora
Common Name: Balloon Flower, Chinese Bellflower
Lifespan: Perennial. The reason it is called balloon flower is the fact that the flower buds are round and closed when young (see picture below and bud in the top right hand corner of the photo). I love the flower in the perennial garden as an ornamental.
Growing Conditions: likes rich, well drained sandy soil in full sun
Propagation: by seed in autumn or spring; or by basal cuttings of non-flowering shoots in summer; seedlings are fragile and best planted when dormant
Parts used: roots
Harvest: dig roots in spring or fall from 2-3 year old plants
Preparation:peel roots and use fresh or dried for decoctions, and powders

Medicinal Uses:

I personally don't use balloon flower medicinally. It can be used effectively for throat. It can used for throat infections, especially combined with licorice, and for colds and bronchitis