Off-the-Eaten Path Food Experience in Japan. "Meet the People and Places behind your Plates! "

Monday 14 March 2016

Learning about medicinal plants from a nun in Mt. Hiei, Kyoto

Ikenotani Medicinal Plants Garden 

Interestingly, traditional knowledge of medicinal plants is closely linked with Bhuddhism in Japan, as well as other Asian countries.

Ikenotani medicinal plants garden is located at a foot of Mt. Daimonji, famous for its five mountains bonfire, and taken care by Ikenotani jizo son (jizo is also called Ksitigarbha, bodhisattva who looks over children), the temple is also called "yakuso (medicinal plant in Japanese) temple" as there is a medicinal plants garden.

When I visit there, a num was explaining about these plants.

Until modern time, monks played important role of doctors. 
Selected monks, especially zen monks learned traditional medicine from  China, and helping others was considered as a part of their duty.

water flow source of the mother river kamogawa, and yodogawa, which flows into Osaka bay.

Medicinal plants in Kyoto


Inu Saffron (meadow saffron, or autumn crocus)
colchicum autumnale

コルヒチン 染色体数を倍加させ、品種改良に使われる

genno shoko 現の証拠  (Geranium thunbergii )

most popular folk medicines and also an official antidiarrheic drug in Japan.
In the west, kansai region, there are more pink colored flowers, and  more white in the east, kanto region.
It is said that it can cure various illness and elder people tend to take it daily as a medicine.


Ikenotani medicinal plants garden
website: (japanese)