Elsholtzia Ciliata As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Elsholtzia ciliata (also known as Vietnamese Balm, Xiang Ru, 香薷), native to Asia it is a plant in genus Elsholtzia in the family Lamiaceae. Besides being cultivated as an ornamental plant, it is used in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) as a carminative, astringent and discutient.

Odour & Nature:

Pungent, warm in nature.


Elsholtzia ciliata functions by influencing the lung and stomach.

Uses, Health Benefits of Elsholtzia Ciliata & Medical Formulas:


A decoction of elsholtzia ciliata and polygonum criopolitanum is taken orally to treat acute gastritis related diarrhea.

Clearing Summer-heat

Powdered elsholtzia ciliata is taken with water to clear away summer-heat and also treat heatstroke.

An Aid For Digestion

Boiled water with elsholtzia ciliata is taken daily to warm the stomach and improve its functioning.

Elsholtzia ciliata (root removed), Zhi Gan Cao (processed licorice root, radix glycyrrhizae preparata), white lablab bean (fried), mangnolia officinalis (bark removed, fried with ginger juice) and poria with hostwood are pounded into powder for internal taking to treat nausea caused by gastric disorder.

Skin Health

A decoction of elsholtzia ciliata is taken orally to treat measles.

Reducing Swelling and Relieving Pain

Juice from smashed elsholtzia ciliata is taken to relieve sharp pain in hypochondriac region.


Pounded elsholtzia ciliata is taken with water to cope with severe nosebleeds.

Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions:

Patients with kidney deficiency should avoid taking medicine that contains elsholtzia ciliata.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *