4 Surprising Uses of Capparis Masaikai – Ben Cao Medical Book

1. Description

1.1 What is a Capparis masaikai?

Capparis masaikai (Chinese Pinyin: Ma Bing Lang, Simplified Chinese: 马槟榔), is a species of flowering, fruit-bearing climbing shrub in genus Capparis in the caper family, Capparaceae. The term Capparis masaikai can refer to the plant as well as the mature seeds of the plant. The flowers are white, with 4 petals. The inedible fruit is nearly spherical or oval, medium in size (like a tennis ball) with greenish skin. The plant can grow up to 3 m tall. Native to southern China (Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Guizhou), habitats of Capparis masaikai include mountainside, near mountain streams and open forest (usually found from between 0 to 2,000 meters in elevation). Characteristics of Capparis masaikai include tolerance for cold and ability to withstand cultivation at high altitudes.

Other simplified Chinese names for Capparis masaikai include: 马金囊, 水槟榔, 紫槟榔, 太极子, 屈头鸡.

1.2 How does Capparis masaikai taste?

Fresh Capparis masaikai fruits have a bitter taste, the fruit is not edible though a super sweet named Mabinlins can be extracted from the seeds. Its seeds are usually used as herbal medicine in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM).

This is what Capparis masaikai looks like in the wild. (Image source: taobao.com)

1.3 How is Capparis masaikai used in traditional Chinese medicine?

The seed of Capparis masaikai is considered to have sweet, bitter and cold properties and to be associated with the stomach, lung and spleen meridians. It is used as heat-clearing drug, detoxicant, secretory, antidipticum, in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as typhoid fever and sore throats.

2. Uses, Health Benefits of Capparis Masaikai & Medical Formulas

2.1 Sterilization

[CTM Formula] Regular chewing of Capparis masaikai seeds makes a female unable to reproduce.

2.2 Sore Throats

[CTM Formula] A decoction of Capparis masaikai seeds is taken orally to treat a sore throat as well as aid digestion.

2.3 Summerheat

[CTM Formula] Chewing Capparis masaikai seeds helps to treat summer heat.

2.4 Typhoid Fever

[CTM Formula] Capparis masaikai seeds is powdered and taken orally with normal water to treat typhoid fever.

3. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions

Administration with caution for women, especially pregnant women.

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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