Cynanchum Glaucescens As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Cynanchum Glaucescens (Chinese: Bai Qian, 白前) is in the genus of cynanchum which involves 300 species including some swallowworts, belonging to the family Apocynaceae. It grows at an altitude of 100-300 meters on the river banks or rocky areas.

Odour & Nature:

Bitter, slightly warm-nature, non-toxic,


Cynanchum glaucescens functions by influencing the lungs.

Indications & Formulas:

A decoction of cynanchum glaucescens can help to treat coughing with difficulty in breathing.

A decoction of cynanchum glaucescens, platycodon root, the root bark of white mulberry and licorice root can be used as a treatment for chronic hemoptysis (coughing up blood).

A decoction of cynanchum glaucescens, aster, pinellia ternata and root of Beijing euphorbia can be used in healing cough with bloating or fullness.

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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