Lai Fu Zi (Semen Raphani)——Ri Hua Zi Ben Cao (Rihuazi Materia Medica)
The Processing of 莱菔子
The mature seeds of Raphanus sativus L. of family Cruciferae.
All parts in China.
Collected in summer when the fruits are ripe.
The true smell and taste
No smell, sweet, slightly pungent.
Big without impurity, red.
Dry in the sun and then collect the seeds, eliminate impurity, use the raw or stir-baked, broken when used.
The Effect of 莱菔子
Pungent, sweet and bland; lung, spleen and stomach meridians entered.
Promote digestion and relieve distension, direct qi downward and resolve phlegm.
A. Food stagnation syndrome
It is pungent in flavor and has the actions of promoting digestion and dissipating food stagnation, moving qi and relieving distension. For gastric and abdominal distension or pain caused by food retention and qi stagnation, it is usually combined with qi-moving and digestion-promoting herbs. For instance it is combined with Shan Zha, Shen Qu and Chen Pi in Bao He Wan from Dan Xi Xin Fa. For food stagnation complicated with spleen deficiency, it is combined with spleen-invigorating and qi-tonifying herbs for both elimination and reinforcement. For instance it is combined with Bai Zhu in Da An Wan from Dan Xi Xin Fa.
B. Cough and dyspnea with profuse sputum, oppression in chest and poor appetite
It can not only promote digestion and dissipate food stagnation but also direct qi downward and resolve phlegm. For cough and dyspnea with profuse sputum, oppression in chest with food stagnation, it is usually combined with antitussive and antasthmatic herbs. For instance it is combined with Bai Jie Zi and Su Zi in San Zi Yang Qin Tang from Han Shi Yi Tong (Han's Experience Collection).
Dosage and Administrations
Decoct 6~10 g. The stir-baked one is a bit on the side of promoting digestion, directing qi downward and resolving phlegm.
It is contraindicated with Ren Shen. It should be used with cautions for qi deficiency without food stagnation and /or phlegm accumulation.