Asarum Sieboldii As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Asarum is a genus of plants in the birthwort family Aristolochiaceae, widely known as wild ginger. Asarum sieboldii is a perennial plant growing to 0.2 m (0ft 6in), its roots can be used as analgesic, diaphoretic, expectorant, secretory and sedative in traditional Chinese medicine where it is known as Xi Xin (细辛).

Odour & Nature:

Pungent, warm-natured, non-toxic,


Asarum sieboldii functions by influencing the lung, kidney and heart.

Indications & Formulas:

Powdered asarum sieboldii root can be used with the method of insufflation to treat stroke as well as nasal polyps.

A mixture of asarum sieboldii root and muskmelon pedicel (a main herb to pour out phlegm and retained food) is to be pounded and taken orally with meal to treat loss of appetite and deficient cold.

A mixture of asarum sieboldii root and cinnamon is to be used in comforting a frightened baby.

Powdered asarum sieboldii root and coptis mixed with vinegar can be applied externally to heal mouth and tongue blisters.

A decoction of asarum sieboldii root can be applied externally to treat swollen gums.

A mixture of beeswax and asarum sieboldii root can be processed into pills for oral taking to treat deafness.

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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