Citrus medica L. var.
BUDDHA'S HAND, FO SHOU GAN
The finger citron, fo shou gan
(Buddha's hand mandarin) is also called fo shou (Buddha's hand), wu
zhi gan (five finger mandarin) and xian yuan (fragrant citron). It is an
evergreen small tree or shrub
growing to 3-4 meters. The branches have thorns.
The fruit is egg shaped or oval, 100-200mm long and 50-70mm in diameter. The
end is creased and folded in such a way that it may be likened to a human
hand, which is why the ancients called the fruit
The fruit ripens in the autumn when the skin turns yellow and has a granular
appearance. The flesh is white. There is no juicy part of the fruit or seed.
The fruit has a fragrant smell, but the flavor is acid and bitter. Its
nature is warm and it has no poison.
The fruit can clear phlegm, ease coughing, benefit the spleen, relieve the
effects of alcohol promote circulation of vital energy and help ease pain.
It contains vitamin C, organic acids, carbohydrate citropten, orange peel
1. INDIGESTION; SWOLLEN STOMACH; VOMITING AND DIARRHOEA. Take 30 grams of
fresh fruit, slice, cover with water, steam and serve. Do this in the
morning and again in the evening.
2. STOMACH, COLD FEELING AND PAINFUL. Take 15 grams of dried fruit and 30
grams of rice. Stir fry the rice till golden, then cover both with water,
steam till cooked and serve. Do this every day, 3 times.
3. COUGH WITH EXCESSIVE PHLEGM. Take 30 grams of fresh fruit and 15 grams of
sugar. Cover with water and steam for half an hour then serve. Do this once
4. HICCUPS THAT WILL NOT STOP; GASTRIC DISORDERS WITH NAUSEA. Take 15-30
grams of fruit skin (use a knife to peel the fruit, collecting also the
green coloured part). Add an equal quantity of sugar and slowly chew.
5. INJURIES FROM FALLS. Take 15 grams of pickled fruit, 15 grams
of rice wine* and an
appropriate amount of water. Steam, and serve while still warm. Do this
twice a day. (*Japanese sake can be used. Ed.)
6. MENSTRUATION, WITH
STOMACH PAINS OR IRREGULARITY. Take 15-30 grams of fresh fruit, 6 grams of
Chinese angelica (Angelicae sinensis) and 30 grams of
rice wine*, plus an
appropriate amount of water. Steam and serve. Do this both in the morning
and in the evening. (*Japanese sake can be used. Ed.)
Generally speaking, the finger citron should not be eaten fresh. It can be
covered with vinegar (pickled), salt (salted) or sugar (candied). Leave for
some time and it will be ready for use.