Dictamnus Albus Root As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Dictamnus albus, the only species in the genus dictamnus in the family Rutaceae. The plan is also called burning bush, dittany, gas plant, fraxinella and Bai Xian (白鲜). It is a herbaceous perennial, native to warm, open woodland habitats in southern Europe, north Africa and much of Asia. The dried root of dictamnus albus is a useful herb in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) as a detoxicant as well as a bitter tonic

Odour & Nature:

Bitter, brackish,


Dictamnus albus functions by influencing the lung, spleen, small intestine, stomach and bladder.

Indications & Formulas:

A decoction of root of dictamnus albus, radix sileris, ginseng, rhizoma anemarrhenae, adenophora hunanensis nannf root and radix scutellariae is taken to clear lung heat.

A decoction of root of dictamnus albus and artemisia capillaris thunb is taken to cope with jaundice.

Boiled water with root of dictamnus albus is taken to treat various rodent borne diseases as well as postpartum stroke.

Application in Modern Medicine:

A decoction of root of dictamnus albus, tribulus terrestris, zaocys dhumnade, fresh rehamnnia root, radix sileris, Angelica sinensis and licorice root is taken to treat hives (urticaria) as well as chronic eczema.

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 ChinaAbout.net. 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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