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Raphanus/Radish Seeds (莱菔子,lai fu zi)

Radish-Seeds-(lai-fu-zi,-莱菔子)Name: Radish Seeds or Raphanus

Chinese Name: 莱菔子 (lai fu zi)

Latin Name: Semen Raphani

Overview

Radish seeds or Raphanus is the dried, ripe seeds of Raphanus sativus L. of the family Cruciferae, which is grown in all parts of China.

It is collected in summer, dried and used unprocessed or stir baked as roasted radish seed.

Raphanus is used to improve digestion as a carminative and corrective agent for food stagnation and gastrointestinal distension.

The seeds are peptic, diuretic, carminative, corrective and expectorant.

Use of Radish Seeds in TCM

Pungent in taste and neutral, it acts on the spleen, stomach and the lung meridians.

Effects and Medicinal Uses

  1. Improves digestion and removes food stagnation: for abdominal distension, impaired digestion, belching, acid regurgitation, and abdominal pain due to retention of undigested food and gas. Raphanus is combined with hawthorn fruit, medicated leaven and tangerine peel.
  2. Depresses the abnormal flow of lung qi and resolves excess phlegm. Radish seed is used with white mustard seed and perilla seed for excessive phlegm, cough and dyspnea.
  3. Treats primary hypertension
  4. Treats hyperosteogenesis. For conditions of cervical spondylosis, spondilitis, bone spur and hyperosteogenesis, Raphanus is combined with processed Rehmannia, Epimedium, Paederia, Drynaria, Pyrolae in a decoction.

Dosage

In a decoction of 3 – 9 grams

Precautions

People with Qi deficiency and those not suffering from food stagnation should use this herb with caution.

Side Effects and Toxicity

The stir-fried and processed Raphanus is safe and nontoxic. The raw seed is slightly toxic to the heart and causes nausea.

Chemical Constituents

Radish Seeds contains fatty oil and a small amount of volatile oil. The main components in the oil are erucic acid, linoleic acid, glycerol sinapate, sinapine and raphanin.

Pharmacological Findings

  1. Raphanus significantly inhabits bacteria such as S. aureus, S. pneumoniae, and E. coli.
  2. Raphanus is anti-fungal and a decoction lowers blood pressure.
  3. Raphanus demonstrated anti-inflammatory, analgesic and detoxification properties