Aralia Cordata As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Aralia cordata is a perennial plant in the Araliaceae family which can grow up to 2 to 3 metres (6.6 to 9.8 ft) in height, the plant is native to Japan, Korea and eastern China. It usually grows on the slopes of mountains. The dried roots of aralia cordata is used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with effects of perspiration inducing, swelling-diminishing and pain-easing, it can also acts as a diuretic. It roots of aralia cordata is called Tu Dang Gui (土当归) in traditional Chinese medicine.

Odour & Nature:

Pungent, warm-natured, non-toxic,


Aralia cordata functions by influencing the liver and kidney.

Indications & Formulas:

A decoction of roots of aralia cordata, bark of phellodendron amurense and atractylodes is taken orally to treat swollen joints.

A decoction of roots of aralia cordata, schizonepeta and onion is used externally to relieve muscle strains.

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 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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