Mercury (Metal) As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book

Definition: Mercury is the only metallic element that is liquid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure. Mercury has high toxicity, but it can also serve as medicinal material under specific conditions.

Odour & Nature: Pungent, toxic, cold in nature,

Indications & Formulas:

Proper dosage of mercury, arisaema erubescens (生南星), musk (麝香), naphtalan oil (石脑油) to be made into pills for oral taking in treatment of convulsion (a medical condition where body muscles contract and relax rapidly and repeatedly, resulting in an uncontrolled shaking of the body).

A decoction of lead, mercury, sulphur, cinnamon (官桂), rice and ginger can be taken to treat gastric disorder.

A decoction of mercury, cinabar (丹砂) and musk can be taken to heal gallbladder related nose bleeding and excessive sweating (also known as hyperhidrosis).

Proper dosage of mercury can be used to expel a dead fetus and gold or jewelry swallowed by mistake.

A mixture of mercury and hot candle wax can be used to kill head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis).

A mixture of mercury, goldthread (黄连) and water can be used in mouth rinse to treat mouth sores.

External application of mercury can also help to heal leucoderma (also known as vitiligo is a distressing skin condition which is mainly caused by excessive mental worry).

A mixture of mercury, ginger and flour can be used to treat pinworms and itchy anus.

External application of the ailment made from mercury, goldthread and lead can be used to treat sores.

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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