Introduction of Qing Dai:Natural Indigo or Indigo Naturalis.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The TCM herbalism is also known as pharmaceutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Chinese pharmaceutics, is the branch of health science dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and proper utilization of Chinese herbs. It is majorly composed of Introduction of Chinese Medicinals, Classification of Chinese Herbs, Formulas, and Patent medicines.

Classifications of Herbs:Herbs Clearing Heat and Counteracting Toxins.

 TCM Herbs Icon05 Introduction:Herbs Clearing Heat and Counteracting Toxins:an agent or substance herbs that counteracts heat toxins or fire toxins, mainly indicated in the treatment of boils, sores, abscess, erysipelas, epidemic infectious diseases, mumps, dysentery, insect or snake bite, and burns.

 
Indigo Naturalis(Natural Indigo).

Indigo Naturalis Pin Yin Name: Qīnɡ Dài.
 English Name: Natural Indigo.
 Latin Name: Indigo Naturalis.
 Property and flavor: cold, salty.

 Brief introduction: The herb Indigo Naturalis is deep blue powder prepared from the leaves of Baphicacanthus cusia(Nees)Bremek.(family Acanthaceae), Polygonum tinctorium Ait.(family Polygonaceae) or Isatis indigotica Fort.(family Cruciferae), used chiefly for the treatment of eruptive epidemic diseases and high fever in children, and used externally for oral ulcers, mumps, and skin infections. The herb is commonly known as Indigo Naturalis, Natural Indigo, Qīnɡ Dài.

 Botanical source: The herb Indigo Naturalis(Natural Indigo) is the deep blue powder prepared from the leaves of species (1). Baphicacanthus cusia(Nees)Bremek.(family Acanthaceae),(2). Polygonum tinctorium Ait.(family Polygonaceae), or (3). Indigofera tinctoria L.(family Leguminosae), or (4). Isatis indigotica Fort.(family Cruciferae). It is commonly known as "Natural Indigo,Common Baphicacanthus Rhizome and Root". The species (2). Polygonum tinctorium Ait. And (3). Indigofera tinctoria L. are introduced in the above sections under the title "Folium Polygoni Tinctorii(Indigoplant Leaf)" and "Folium Isatidis(Dyers Woad Leaf)". Other commonly used species are introduced as:

 Baphicacanthus cusia Nees Bremek. (1).Baphicacanthus cusia(Nees)Bremek.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Mǎ Lán. Herbs perennial, 30~70 cm tall. Stems and leaves appear blue or dark green when dry. Rhizome thick, cross-sectionon is blue. Stem base slightly lignified, slightly square, slightly branched, nodes swollen, brown slightly hairy when young. Leaves opposite; Petiole 1~4 cm long; Leaf blade obovate-elliptic or obovate-elliptic, 6~15 cm long, 4~8 cm wide; Apex acute, slightly obtuse, base gradually tapering, margin lightly serrate or undulate or entire, upper glabrous, densely tapering stalactite lines, lower veins slightly brownish microstuctate on young veins, lateral veins 5~6 pairs. Flowers sessile, sparsely spike, terminal or axillary; Bracts leaf-like, narrowly obovate, caducous; 5 calyx lobes, striate, 1~1.4 cm long, usually one larger, spatulate, glabrous; Corolla funnelform, mauve, 4.5~5.5 cm long, 5-lobed nearly equal, 6~7 mm long, apex slightly concave. 4 stamens, 2 strong, pollen elliptic, striated, striated with two wavy ridges; Ovary superior, style slender. Capsule slightly narrow spatulate, 1.5~2 cm long. 4 seeds, slightly hairy. It is flowering from June to October, fruiting from July to November.

 Baphicacanthus cusia Nees Bremek. Ecological environment: The plant grows in wild fields or cultivated in moist areas of mountain or forest margins. The plant mainly distributes in the Yangtze River area and the Zhujiang river area, southwest area of China.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is dark blue powder, light-body, easy to fly; Or an irregular, porous mass, finely twisted by hand. Slightly grass smell, tasteless.

 Pharmacological actions: In vitro, 0.5 mg/mL of Indigo Naturalis alcohol extract has inhibitory effects on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus pneumoniae, Bacillus shigellosis, Vibrio cholerae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Staphylococcus alba, but had no inhibitory effects on Bacillus typhimurium, Staphylococcus, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which may be due to different extraction methods.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat and detoxify, cool blood, clear liver and reduce fire, arresting convulsion. It is indicated for epidemic heat syndrome and macula, warm disease pyretic toxin and macula, blood heat and spitting blood, epistaxis, liver heat and frightened epilepsy, liver fire attack the lung and cough, chest pain and cough blood, macula, canker(sore of the mouth), mumps, carbuncle and swelling, pharyngitis, sore throat, infantile convulsive epilepsy, erysipelas, snake and insect bites. 

 Administration of Indigo Naturalis(Qīnɡ Dài): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Indigo Naturalis(Qīnɡ Dài)
TCM Books: Internally:1.5~3 grams,better prepare to pill,powder.Externally:proper amount(CP),Internally:water decoction, 5~8 fen(about 1.5~2.4 grams), or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:sprinkle the dry powder,or apply stick(DCTM),Internally:grinded into fine powder, 1.5~6 grams, or prepared to pill.Externally:proper amount, sprinkle the dry powder, or apply stick(CHMM).

 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Qing Dai:Natural Indigo or Indigo Naturalis.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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