Artemisia Argyi As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book

1. Description:

Artemisia argyi (also known as silvery wormwood, Chinese mugwort, Chinese: Ai Cao, 艾草), a species of herbaceous perennial plant in genus Artemisia (Asteraceae family). Native to China, Korea, Mongolia, Japan, and the Russian Far East, the plant can grow up to 1.5 meters. The whole plant of artemisia argyi acts as dampness-dispelling drug, cold-dispelling drug, hemostatic, antiphlogistic, antitussive and anti-miscarriage drug in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) used in treating diseases including stroke, diarrhea, ascariasis and haemorrhoids. Dried mugwort (moxa) is burned on particular points on the body which is called Moxibustion, it is often used in correcting breech presentation of babies.

2. Odour & Nature:

Bitter, slightly warm-natured, non-toxic,

3. Channels:

Artemisia argyi functions by influencing the liver, spleen and kidney.

4. Uses, Health Benefits of Artemisia Argyi & Medical Formulas:

4.1 Pregnancy

A decoction of rhizome of gentiana macrophylla, Zhi Gan Cao (processed licorice root, radix glycyrrhizae preparata, 炙甘草, 灸甘草), fried deer horn gelatin (Lu Jiao Jiao, 鹿角胶), artemisia argyi and sticky rice is taken to prevent miscarriage.

A decoction of artemisia argyi leaves and wine is taken orally to treat a fever during pregnancy as well as abnormal and painful fetal movement

A decoction of artemisia argyi leaves, Sichuan lovage rhizome, licorice root, Angelica sinensis, rehamnnia root, peony root, donkey-hide gelatin and wine is taken orally to treat abnormal vaginal bleeding during pregnancy.

A decoction of old ginger and artemisia argyi leaves is taken to treat postpartum haemorrhage.

4.2 Reducing Inflammation And Relieving Pain

Using a decoction of nutgrass root and artemisia argyi in a mouth wash can help to relieve toothache.

Dried mugwort (moxa) is burned and smoked to relieve toothache and gum swelling.

Artemisia argyi juice is taken orally to treat a sore throat.

4.3 Gynecologic Diseases and Disorders

Pills produced with chain fern roots, radix ampelopsis, pilos deer horn, moxa (dried mugwort) and sticky rice paste can be taken with wine in treating red and white vaginal discharge.

4.4 Typhia Fever

Proper dosage of powdered sulfur can be taken with moxa soup (Chinese: 艾汤, a decoction of vinegar, draba nemorosa and moxa) to heal typhia fever (also known simply as typhoid, is a bacterial infection due to Salmonella typhi that causes symptoms which may vary from mild to severe and usually begin six to thirty days after exposure).

4.5 Strokes

Died artemisia argyi (moxa) is burned on particular points on the body to treat strokes.

4.6 Ascariasis

A decoction of artemisia argyi is taken to treat ascariasis (infestation of the intestines with the roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides, causing abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, etc).

4.7 Diarrhea

Old artemisia argyi, dried ginger, vinegar and rice paste are processed into pills for oral taking to treat dysentery and severe diarrhea with mucus in the feces.

A decoction of artemisia argyi leaves and dried tangerine peel is taken to heal chronic diarrhea (loose stools that last for at least four weeks).

4.8 Skin Health

Dried artemisia argyi (moxa) is burned on particular points on the body to cope with anal fistula.

Ointment made with artemisia argyi ashes and mulberry ashes is applied externally to help remove black moles on skin.

4.9 Bleed Stopping

A decoction of artemisia argyi is used in treating hematemesis.

5. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions:

Overdose on artemisia argyi may cause poisoning; over 100g of artemisia argyi can be lethal.

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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