Health Benefits of Amorphophallus Konjac – Ben Cao Medical Book

1. Description:

Amorphophallus konjac (Synonyms: Amorphophallus mairei, also known as konjak, konjaku, konnyaku potato, devil’s tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam, Chinese Pinyin: Ju Ruo, Simplified Chinese: 局箬, 蒟蒻, 鬼芋, 鬼头, 蒻头), is a species of perennial flowering plant in genus Amorphophallus (spadix family Araceae). Originated from Japan, India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia and found in open forest and wetland and damp places (from between 310 to 2,200 meters in elevation), the plant can grow up to 200 cm tall. The root of Amorphophallus konjac is used as detoxicant, discutient and diuretic in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as indigestion and diabetes.

2. Odour, Properties And Channels:

The root of Amorphophallus konjac is considered to have pungent, cold and medium toxicity properties and to be associated with the lung, large intestine, small intestine and bladder meridians.

3. Uses, Health Benefits of Amorphophallus Konjac & Medical Formulas:

3.1 Used For Food

Amorphophallus konjac is a highly healthy and welcome food substance despite the fact that it is indigestible. It is an alkaline food that provides a number of nutrients to our human body. It contains water, protein, carbohydrate, lipids, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, pantothenate, niacin, fatty acid, folic acid and dietary fiber.

3.2 Diabetes

Amorphophallus konjac has an effect on diabetes as well. Its ability to move through the digestive tract very slowly also slows down carbohydrate absorption. This slowed absorption will keep the blood sugar at a moderate level.

3.3 Coughing

A decoction of Amorphophallus konjac root can be used to treat a wet cough with mucus and tonify the lung.

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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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