Desmodium Heterophyllum As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Desmodium heterophyllum (Chinese: Tian Xian Cao / 铁线草) is a more-or less prostrate perennial plant, branching freely and rooting from strongly stoloniferous stems to form dense mats of growth. The whole plant including roots can be used as medicine, it is often used to improve and promote kidney function and increase urine output.

Odour & Nature:

BItter, neutral, cool-natured, non-toxic,


Desmodium heterophyllum works by influencing the liver.

Indications & Formulas:

A decoction of desmodium heterophyllum can be taken to help improve functions of the kidneys and bladder.

Powdered desmodium heterophyllum, cortex acanthopanacis and radix sileris can be taken internally to cope with postpartum stroke.

Juice of desmodium heterophyllum can dripped into ears to treat stomachache as well as some other stomach diseases.

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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