Black Ink Stick As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book

Definition: The basic ingredients of each Oriental ink stick are plant soots, animal and plant oils, graphite produced from charcoal, plant dyes and often elements of other mineral inks.

Odour & Nature: Pungent, wet in nature, non-toxic,

Indications & Formulas:

Water solution of ink stick powder can help with urinary obstruction, heavy bleeding during periods in women, a difficult labor as well as stenocardia (or angina pectoris, a sudden shortage of oxygen in the heart muscle).

Alcohol solution of ink stick powder may be used to treat retention of placenta.

A mixture of pounded ink stick and dried rehmannia root can be used to treat vomiting blood, or hematemesis.

Putting drops of dark ink into a patient’s nose can help treat his / her nosebleed.

A decoction of ink stick powder and donkey-hide gelatin can be used to treat haematochezia (the passage of fresh blood through the anus, usually in or with stools).

Dried ginger, fine ink stick, vinegar are to be made into pills for oral taking; proper dosage can be used to treat dysentery.

Soak burnt ink stick in vinegar and pound it into powder for internal taking; it can be taken to treat unusually heavy bleeding after abortion.

Vinegar solution of ink stick can be used to help carbuncle (a cluster of boils) in a patient’s back.

A mixture of urine and ink stick powder can be used to treat postpartum dizziness.

Putting dark ink drops in a patient’s eye can help remove a foreign object in his / her eye.

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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