Gastrodia Elata Roots As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Gastrodia elata (Chinese: Chi Jian, 赤箭, 天麻) is a saprophytic perennial herb in the Orchidaceae family. It is commonly found in Nepal, Bhutan, India, Japan, North Korea, Siberia and China. Gastrodia elata roots can be prescribed with other herbs to strengthen the liver and kidney and treat the relevant symptoms including headaches, dizziness, tetanus, and epilepsy.

Odour & Nature:

Astringent, warm-natured, non-toxic,


Gastrodia elata roots functions by influencing the liver and kidney.

Indications & Formulas:

A decoction of gastrodia elata root can be taken to treat dizziness, tetanus, and epilepsy.

Pills made with gastrodia elata roots, Sichuan lovage rhizome and honey can be taken after meals to clear mucus in chest / mucus in lungs and treat liver deficiency caused headache.

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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