1.1 What is a Litsea mollis?
The Litsea mollis (Chinese Pinyin: Bi Cheng Qie, Simplified Chinese: 毕澄茄), is a species of deciduous, flowering, fruit-bearing shrubs or small trees in genus Litsea in the Laurel family, Lauraceae. The term Litsea mollis can refer to the plant as well as the fruit or seeds of the plant. The inedible fruit is nearly spherical, small in size, about 5 mm in diameter with dark blue skin when ripe. The plant can grow up to 10 m tall. Native to South China and also cultivated in North Thailand, habitats of Litsea mollis include hillside, alpine shrub and forest edges (usually found from between 1,000 to 2,800 meters in elevation). Characteristics of Litsea mollis include deep roots, adaptations to different growth conditions and ability to withstand cultivation at high altitudes.
Other simplified Chinese names for Litsea mollis include: 大木姜, 奕良, 香桂子, 毛叶木姜子, 木香子, 毗陵茄子, 毕橙茄, 澄茄.
1.2 How does Litsea mollis taste?
Fruits of Litsea mollis are drupes but inedible with a favor that is aromatic, hot, vibrant and mildly bitter. Ripe Litsea mollis fruits are normally dried, refined and used as medicine in traditional Chinese medicine.
1.3 How is Litsea mollis used in traditional Chinese medicine?
The dried fruits of Litsea mollis are considered to have pungent, warm and nontoxic properties and to be associated with the spleen, stomach, kidney and bladder meridians. It is used as cold-dispelling drug, Qi (vital energy) circulation promoter, analgesic and appetite stimulant drugs in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as spleen deficiency and nausea.
2. Uses, Health Benefits of Litsea Mollis & Medical Formulas
2.1 Spleen Deficiency
[CTM Formula] Pills made with Litsea mollis, ginger juice, fermented dough and rice paste are taken orally with ginger soup to treat spleen deficiency.
2.2 Nausea And Vomiting
[CTM Formula] Pills made from pounded Litsea mollis and rice paste are taken orally with ginger soup to treat nausea and vomiting.
2.3 Typhoid Fever
[CTM Formula] Powdered Litsea mollis and galangal are taken orally to treat typhoid fever (a serious infectious disease that produces fever and diarrhea and can cause death).
2.4 Chronic Toothache
[CTM Formula] Powdered Litsea mollis can be used in teeth brushing to relieve chronic toothache.
The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.
The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.
Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by ChinaAbout.net. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.