Perilla Frutescens As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book

1. Description:

Perilla frutescens (also known as perilla, Korean perilla, Zi Su, 紫苏) is a species of Perilla in the mint family Lamiaceae. It is an annual plant native to Southeast Asia and Indian highlands, and widely grown in Korean peninsula, Southern China and India. The plant is used as discutient, detoxicant, antitussive, carminative and diaphoretic in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM).

2. Odour & Nature:

Pungent, warm-natured, non-toxic.

3. Channels:

Perilla frutescens functions by influencing the lung and spleen.

4. Uses, Health Benefits of Perilla Frutescens & Medical Formulas:

4.1 Typhoid Fever

Boiled water with perilla frutescens is taken daily to treat typhoid fever (an acute illness associated with fever caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria).

4.2 Acute Gastritis

Fresh perilla frutescens juice is taken orally to treat acute gastritis.

4.3 Bleed Stopping

Smashed perilla frutescens is applied externally to stop a wound from bleeding.

4.4 Reducing Inflammation And Relieving Pain

A decoction of perilla frutescens is taken orally to treat acute mastitis.

Pills made with perilla frutescens seeds, lesser galangal, orange peel and honey is taken on an empty stomach with wine to treat rheumatoid arthritis with foot pain symptoms.

4.5 Coughing

A decoction of ginseng and perilla frutescens is used in treating coughing accompanied with shortness of breath.

4.6 Aid For Digestion

Juice from smashed perilla frutescens and hemp seeds is taken with meal to improve digestion.

4.7 Diabetes

Powdered perilla frutescens seeds (fried) and radish seeds (fried) are taken with mulberry root soup to treat diabetes.

4.9 Food Poisoning

A decoction of perilla frutescens is taken to treat food posioning after eating contaminated crab.

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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