4 Surprising Health Benefits of Almond (Prunus Dulcis)- Ben Cao Medical Book

1. Description

The almond (scientific name: Prunus Dulcis, synonymy: Amygdalus amara Duhamel, also known as Badam; Chinese Pinyin: Ba Dan Mu, Simplified Chinese: 巴旦木), is a species of deciduous, fruit bearing tree with white to pale pink flowers and grey-green drupes in genus Prunus in the rose family, Rosaceae. Native to the Mediterranean climate region of the Middle East, the plant can grow up to 10 m tall. Characteristics of almond include adaptation to different land properties and tolerance for drought. The seed of almond is used as antihypertensive, antitussive, expectorant, carminative and anti-diarrheal in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as high blood pressure and neurasthenia.

Other simplified Chinese names for almond include: 巴旦杏, 美国大杏仁, 薄壳杏仁, 扁桃仁, 八担杏, 忽鹿麻.

2. Odour, Properties And Channels

Almond is considered to have sweet, neutral, warm and nontoxic properties and to be associated with the lung and large intestine meridians.

3. Uses, Health Benefits of Almond & Medical Formulas

3.1 Antioxidants

Oxidant by-products of normal metabolism cause extensive damage to DNA, protein, and lipid. Such damage (the same as that produced by radiation) is a major contributor to aging and to degenerative diseases of aging such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, immune-system decline, brain dysfunction, and cataracts. Almonds are loaded with antioxidants which can fight against this damage.

3.2 Cholesterol Level

Studies found out that almond is a healthy food that can remarkably increase vitamin E levels in the plasma and red blood cells and at the same time lower the cholesterol level and may help to prevent high cholesterol related coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure.

3.3 Weight Control

Researches showed that almonds exert a positive influence on the sense of satiety by decreasing the hunger hormone ghrelin and increasing the appetite-reducing hormone leptin, and in return reduce the total intake of calorie and control our body weight.

3.4 Coughing

A decoction of almond and other herbs is taken orally to treat chronic coughing, as well as relieve chest heaviness and depression.

This is what almonds look like in the tree. (Image source: www.114piaowu.com)

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.

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