The Great Herbs: The first of China's nine immortal herbs



Li Shizhen (1518 - 1593), a famous medical and pharmacist of the Ming Dynasty, is recognized as the great master of Medicine in China. He put all his heart and soul into medicine, only to save the dying and heal the wounded.

The Compendium of Materia Medica

, written by Li Shizhen, is known as the "encyclopedia of ancient China". This book, which not only recorded the new medicinal materials but also put forward and modified the feudal superstitious pharmaceutical and medical methods at that time, was the result of more than 30 years of his hard work.

A total of 1094 herbs are recorded in this book. CGTN takes you through the past and present lives of these plants in this book.

Sculpture of Li Shizhen /VCG


is used to treat spleen and stomach damage or visceral weakness, eliminate various diseases caused by cold, heat, rheumatism and other diseases of the skin, and treat deficiency-heat and sweating caused by Yin deficiency and so on, as Li Shizhen wrote inCompendium of Materia Medica


According to

the Chinese Pharmacy Dictionary


can treat Yin deficiency, viscera loss of moisture.

Dendrobium /CGTN's Gao Yuxin


belongs to the orchid family, which mainly distributes in tropical Asia and Pacific islands and mainly distributes in Yunnan Province, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guangdong Province, Guizhou Province in China.

It prefers to grow in a warm and humid environment. Wild


can be found growing on loose and thick bark or tree trunks, and some also can be found in rock crevices.

Dendrobium /CGTN's Gao Yuxin

The stem of


, which has a sweet taste, is usually used as medicine.Dendrobium officinale

is a species ofDendrobium

, which was regarded as the first of China's nine immortal herbs by ancient people. Mei Lanfang, a famous Chinese Peking Opera performer, also used it to make tea to the smooth throat and keep in good health, according to the Chinese Academy of Science.



has a very good health effect, it should not be taken indiscriminately due to its cool nature.

Chinese herbs /VCG

About The Great Herbs series:

Chinese herbal medicine is the precious legacy of the Chinese people's struggle against diseases for thousands of years and the essence of Chinese culture accumulated over thousands of years.

The Compendium of Materia Medica

, written by Li Shizhen, is a valuable heritage of ancient Chinese medicine and botany, which has played a significant role in promoting the development of medicine and pharmacy in China and even the world. In this series, CGTN guides you through the journey of exploring the great herbs mentioned in the book.

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at [email protected].)