Inula Japonica As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Inula japonica is a species in the genus inula in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe, Asia and Africa. Its flower and roots are used medically in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) where it is called Xuan Fu Hua (旋复花). The root of inula japonica acts as a detoxicant and antitussive while the flower of inula japonica helps to expel damp and reduce phlegm.

Odour & Nature:

Brackish, warm-natured, low to medium toxicity (flower),


Inula japonica functions by influencing the lung, spleen and the large intestine.

Indications & Formulas:

Calcined and powdered inula flower and refined honey are made into pills for oral taking to treat a stroke.

Ointment made with inula flower, gastrodia elata root and radix sileris is applied externally to treat eyebrow rash.

Calcined and powdered inula flower mixed with mutton fat can be applied on affected part to heal eczema intertrigo behind the ear.

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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