NPO Eggshell Membrane Association

About Eggshell Membrane

Traditional Wisdom

For centuries human beings have been tapping the unique properties of eggshell membrane to enhance their lives. Eggshell membrane appears as a remedy for wounds and other ailments in the Bencao gangmu (Compendium of Materia Medica)(completed in 1596), the classic work on Chinese herbal medicine compiled from ancient sources and current practices by the great Ming dynasty herbalist Li Shizhen (1518–93).

In Japan, eggshell membrane was used as first aid treatment for wounds on battlefields since the Warring States period of the sixteenth century. The use of eggshell membrane seems to have spread from the early Tokugawa period on, after the Bencao gangmu entered Japan in 1609.

This traditional wisdom lives on in the national sport of sumo, where eggshell membrane remains a standard treatment for wounds.

Why would they continue to use eggshell membrane when they have access to modern medical treatment? The reason has to do with the way wounds heal. Surgical sutures close a wound quickly, but because they leave behind hard, brittle scar tissue, the wound can easily open up again when an impact hits the same site. In contrast, when a wound is treated with eggshell membrane plaster, the skin underneath regenerates naturally, and the tissue that grows at the site is soft and flexible, making the site less prone to re-injury. Past experience has taught people the benefits of eggshell membrane, and they continue to take advantage of them.

In this way, traditional wisdom has made eggshell membrane an integral part of daily health for over four centuries.