Gentiana Scabra As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Gentiana scabra (commonly known as Korean gentian, Japanese gentian, Long Dan/龙胆) is a species of flowering plant in the Gentian family (Gentianaceae). The rhizome of gentiana scabra in traditional Chinese medicine serves as a bitter tonic to improve digestion and cope with a variety of diseases related to the liver.

Odour & Nature:

Bitter, cold-natured, non-toxic,


Rhizome of gentiana scabra functions by influencing the liver and gallbladder.

Indications & Formulas:

A decoction of powdered rhizome of gentiana scabra may serve as a therapy for hematuria.

Powdered rhizome of gentiana scabra mixed with egg white are taken with honey water to treat typhoid fever.

A decoction of powdered rhizome of gentiana scabra and fresh ginger juice are taken orally to relieve liver deficiency related muscle aches.

Pills made with rhizome of gentiana scabra, sophora root and ox-bile is take to treat yellow skin discoloration caused by eating large amounts of beta-carotene-rich foods.

A mixture of rhizome of gentiana scabra, pig gall and wine is taken to cope with excessive sweating.

Water solution of powdered rhizome of gentiana scabra is a remedy for sore throats.

A mixture of gentiana scabra juice and coptis chinensis juice is used externally to treat dry eye syndrome.

Powdered rhizome of gentiana scabra and Angelica sinensis is taken with warm water to treat pus discharge from the 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’ 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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