6 Health Benefits of Mung Beans – Ben Cao Medical Book

1. Description:

Mung beans (scientific name: Vigna radiata (Linn.) Wilczek., also known as moong bean, green gram, or mung, Chinese Pinyin: Lv Dou, Simplified Chinese: 绿豆, 青小豆, 菉豆, 植豆), is a species of annual, erect, flowering vine with yellow flowers and fuzzy brown pods in genus Vigna (bean family, Fabaceae). Widely cultivated in India, China, Korea, and Southeast Asia, the plant can grow up to 60 cm tall. Mung beans are used as heat-clearing drug, detoxicant and discutient (reducing swelling) in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as diabetes, dysentery and edema.

2. Odour, Properties And Channels:

Mung beans are considered to have sweet, cold and nontoxic properties and to be associated with the heart and stomach meridians.

3. Uses, Health Benefits of Mung Beans & Medical Formulas:

3.1 Diabetes

Mung bean sprout (MBS) and Mung bean seed coat (MBSC) were orally administrated to KK-A (y) mice for 5 weeks. It was found that MBS (2 g/kg) and MBSC (3 g/kg) lowered blood glucose, plasma C-peptide, glucagon, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and BUN levels and at the same time markedly imporved glucose tolerance and increased insulin immunoreactive levels. These results suggest that MBS and MBSC exert an antidiabetic effect in type 2 diabetic mice (Yao 2008).

Mung bean porridge is often taken to treat diabetes.

3.2 Reducing Inflammation, Swelling And Relieving Pain

A decoction of mung beans and Aconitum carmichaelii root is taken orally before meal to treat edema (swelling caused by fluid retention).

Water solution of mung bean powder and sugar is taken orally to treat acute gastritis (a sudden inflammation or swelling in the lining of the stomach).

3.3 Detoxification

[Ancient Prescription] Mung bean powder, gypsum rubrum powder and isatis root are taken orally to detoxify arsenic poisoning.

3.4 Skin Health

Mung beans, rice bean and black soybean are pounded and mixed with vinegar for external application to treat acne and inflammation.

Mung bean, soapstone and grin powder are pounded for external application to treat prickly heat rash.

Mung bean powder (fried) and honey locust powder are mixed with vinegar for external use to stop sores and boils at the beginning stages.

3.5 The Excretory System

A decoction of juice extracted from Cannabis sativa seeds and mung bean (Vigna radiata) is taken on an empty stomach to treat dysentery (diarrhea with viscid red or white grains).

3.6 Malaria

A mixture of arsenolite, mung bean, water and yellow lead can be processed into pills for oral taking to cope with malaria.

List of reference

Antidiabetic activity of Mung bean extracts in diabetic KK-Ay mice.
J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Oct 8;56(19):8869-73. Epub 2008 Sep 4
Yao Y, Chen F, Wang M, Wang J, Ren G.

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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