Nepeta Cataria As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book

1. Description:

Nepeta cataria, commonly known as catnip, catswort, and catmint, is a species of the genus Nepeta in the family Lamiaceae, native to southern and eastern Europe, the Middle East, central Asia, and parts of China. Nepeta cataria is used as a discutient, antipyretic, diaphoretic and expectorant in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) where it is called Jia Su (假苏, 荆芥).

2. Odour & Nature:

Pungent, warm-natured, bitter.

3. Channels:

Nepeta cataria functions by influencing the lung and liver.

4. Uses, Health Benefits of Nepeta Cataria & Medical Formulas:

4.1 Postpartum Stroke

A mixture of porphyrized Angelica sinensis and spikes of nepeta cataria can be taken with wine and urine of boys under ten to treat postpartum stroke.

4.2 An Aid For Digestion

Cooked nepeta cataria is taken to excite perspiration and improve digestion.

4.3 Reducing Inflammation And Relieving Pain

A decoction of roots of aralia cordata, nepeta cataria and onion is used externally to relieve muscle strains.

A mixture of calcined gypsum, radix sileris, nepeta cataria, asarum (细辛) and angelica root(白芷) can be pounded and used in tooth brushing to treat gastropyretic toothache.

Smashed nepeta cataria is applied externally to treat injuries from falls, fractures, contusions and strains.

4.4 Cold And Fever

Powdered Angelica root and spikes of nepeta cataria is taken orally with tea to treat a common cold.

4.5 Rectal Prolapse

A decoction of nutgrass root and spikes of Schizonepeta is used externally to treat rectal prolapse.

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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