Lai Fu Zi – Radish Seed – Semen Raphani

Lai Fu Zi

English Name: raphanus, radish seed

Pharmaceutical Name: Semen Raphani

Medica Category: Digestive Herbs

Properties: Lai Fu Zi enters the Spleen, Stomach, and Lung channels; it is acrid and sweet in nature and neutral in temperature.

What is Lai Fu Zi?:

The Chinese Herb Lai Fu ZI is the dried seed from the cultivated radish (Raphanus sativus L.).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Lai Fu Zi:

Lai Fu Zi strongly disperses qi in the Spleen and Stomach channels, which has the effect of promoting digestion primarily by dissolving food stagnation (as in the formula Bao He Wan). Clinical manifestations of food stagnation include: abdominal distention/pain and fullness, belching, indigestion, and diarrhea.

Student/practitioner notes: This herb should only be used in persons with food stagnation; furthermore, it is contraindicated in persons with qi and blood deficiencies. In persons with Spleen deficiency add Bai Zhu… use of Ren Shen and Lai Fu Zi together is also contraindicated as Ren Shen strongly consolidates qi and Lai Fu Zi strongly disperses it.

Lai Fu Zi enters the Lung channel to descend qi and dissolve phlegm; this action address cough and wheezing due to phlegm stagnation (dry-fried is better for this purpose).