Health Benefits of Smilax Glabra – Ben Cao Medical Book

1. Description:

Smilax glabra (also known as Chinaroot or sarsaparilla, Chinese Pinyin: Tu Fu Ling, Simplified Chinese: 土茯苓, 冷饭团, 硬饭头, 红土苓), is a species of perennial flowering shrub in genus Smilax (Smilacaceae family). Found on hillside or under the forest and native to China, the Himalayas, and Indochina, the dried root of Smilax glabra is used as detoxicant, dampness-dispelling drug and secretory in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as arthralgia (joint pain) and myalgia (muscle pain).

2. Odour, Properties And Channels:

The root of Smilax glabra is considered to have sweet, neutral and nontoxic properties and to be associated with the liver and stomach meridians.

3. Uses, Health Benefits of Smilax glabra & Medical Formulas:

3.1 Syphilis

A decoction of Smilax glabra root and honeylocust seeds is taken daily to treat syphilis.

3.2 Relieving Pain

A decoction of Smilax glabra root, radix scutellariae and rhizomes of coptis chinensi is taken daily to relieve arthralgia (joint pain) and myalgia (muscle pain).

3.3 Skin Health

A decoction of Smilax glabra root can be used in treating scrofula of the neck.

4. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions:

Administration with caution for people with kidney deficiency.

Smilax glabra.jpeg

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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