Abutilon Theophrasti As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Abutilon theophrasti (velvetleaf, velvetweed, Chinese jute, China jute, buttonweed, butterprint, pie-marker, Indian mallow, Qing Ma, 苘麻 or 白麻) is an annual plant in the family Malvaceae, native to southern Asia. It is a shrub-like herb, it can grow up to 1-2 meters in height. Roots, seeds and leaves of abutilon theophrasti are important herbs in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM).

Odour & Nature:

Bitter, neutral, non-toxic,


Abutilon theophrasti functions by influencing the spleen and the kidney.

Health Benefits of Abutilon Theophrasti & Formulas:

Eye Diseases And Eye Disorders

[Ancient Prescription] Cooked pork liver with powdered abutilon theophrasti seeds is taken orally with rice soup to treat various eye diseases (such as macula of retina).

Acting As A Diuretic

Prescribed with other herbs, roots of abutilon theophrasti can act as a diuretic to increase production of waste fluids.

Skin Problems

Smashed abutilon theophrasti leaves is applied externally to treat skin ulcers.

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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