Rhizomes of Picrorhizae As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Rhizomes of picrorhizae (also known as Hu Huang Lian, 胡黄连) is the dried rhizome of Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora Pennell (Scrophulariaceae). The rhizome is collected in autumn, fibrous root and soil removed, then dried under the sun to obtain Picrorhizae Rhizoma. In traditional Chinese medicine, the rhizomes of picrorhizae has heat-clearing and detoxifying effects, it can be used in disinfestation.

Odour & Nature:

Bitter, neutral, non-toxic,


Rhizomes of picrorhizae functions by influencing the liver, stomach and the large intestine.

Indications & Formulas:

Pills made from rhizomes of picrorhizae, gardenia jasminoides, pig’s gall and honey is taken for treatment of typhoid fever.

Pills made from rhizomes of picrorhizae, radix bupleuri and honey is taken orally to heal excessive sweating in infants.

The rhizomes of picrorhizae, trogopterus dung, pig’s gall are to be processed into pills, the pills is taken orally with rice soup to cope with infantile malnutrition with fever.

Powdered rhizomes of picrorhizae and ginger are taken with licorice root soup to cope with diarrhea in infants.

Powder rhizomes of picrorhizae and Sichuan rhizoma coptidis can be used internally to treat infant jaundice (a yellow discoloration in a newborn baby’s skin and eyes).

A mixture of rhizomes of picrorhizae and prunus mume is taken with tea to remedy dysentery with bloody stool.

Ointment made with rhizomes of picrorhizae and tea is applied on palm of hands to treat irritated and red eyes in infants.

Ointment made with powdered rhizomes of picrorhizae, manis pentadactyla (burnt with original property possessed) and tea leaves is to be applied on affected part to treat ulcers.

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 ChinaAbout.net. 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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