Health Benefits of Saccharina Japonica (Kombu) – Ben Cao Medical Book

1. Description:

Saccharina japonica (also known as Laminaria japonica, Chinese Pinyin: Kun Bu, Simplified Chinese: 昆布, 纶布), is a species of edible marine seaweed in genus Saccharina (seaweeds family, Laminariaceae). Native to Japan and widely cultivated in China, Japan, Russia, France, and Korea, the plant can grow up to 1.5 m long. Saccharina japonica is used as expectorant, lump resolver, diuretic and discutient in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as swollen and painful testis.

2. Odour, Properties And Channels:

Dried Saccharina japonica is considered to have brackish, cold, aperitive and nontoxic properties and to be associated with the liver, stomach and kidney meridians.

3. Uses, Health Benefits of Saccharina Japonica & Medical Formulas:

3.1 Tuberculosis

Dried Saccharina japonica mixed with vinegar is kept in mouth to treat tuberculosis (a serious infectious disease that affects lungs).

3.2 Reducing Inflammation, Swelling And Relieving Pain

A decoction of Saccharina japonica is taken orally to treat swollen and painful testis.

3.3 Hernia

A decoction of Sargassum pallidum, Saccharina japonica and foeniculum vulgare is taken internally to heal hernia in small intestine.

4. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions:

Administration with caution for people with spleen and stomach deficiency.

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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