Introduction of Ku Shen:Light-yellow Sophora Root or Radix Sophorae Flavescentis.

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 Drying Dampness.

 TCM Herbs Icon05 Introduction: Herbs Clearing Heat and Drying Dampness: an agent or substance bitter in taste and cold in property that is effective for eliminating heat and dampness, usually used in the treatment of diseases caused by damp-heat, such as acute jaundice, acute dysentery, urinary infection, eczema, boils and abscesses.

 
Radix Sophorae Flavescentis(Light-yellow Sophora Root).

Light-yellow Sophora Root Pin Yin Name: Kǔ Shēn.
 English Name: Light-yellow Sophora Root.
 Latin Name: Radix Sophorae Flavescentis.
 Property and flavor: cold, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Radix Sophorae Flavescentis is the dried root of Sophora flavescens Ait. (family Leguminosae), used to clear heat, dry dampness, kill parasitic worms and induce diuresis for treating acute dysentery, jaundice, morbid leukorrhoea, and externally for eczema and scabies. The herb is commonly known as Radix Sophorae Flavescentis, Light-yellow Sophora Root, Kǔ Shēn.

 Botanical source: The herb Radix Sophorae Flavescentis(Light-yellow Sophora Root) is the dried root of Sophora flavescens Ait., it is a plant of the Sophora Genus, the Fabaceae(Leguminosae) family of the Fabales order.

 Sophora flavescens Ait.01 (1).Sophora flavescens Ait.:
 Botanical description: The Sophora flavescens Ait., is a plant of the Leguminosae(bean or pea family) family and Sophora genus, it is commonly known as "Sophora flavescens", "Light yellow Sophora", or "shrubby sophora". Subshrub, 50~120 cm high. The root is cylindrical and the outer skin is yellow. Stems herbaceous, green, with irregular longitudinal grooves, yellow fine hair when young. Single-pinnately compound leaves, alternate; sub locate stipules; leaf blade 20~25 cm long, rachis pubescent; 5~21 locules, sessile, ovate-ovate to oblong-lanceolate, apex round or blunt, base round or broadly cuneate, entire.

 Sophora flavescens Ait.02 Racemes terminal, 10~20 cm long, shortly pubescent; bracts linear; flowers yellowish white; calyx campulate, slightly obliquely, apex 5-lobed; corolla butterfly, slightly longer than other petals. The apex is nearly round; 10 stamens, filaments free, only base healing; 1 pistil, ovary superior, ovate stalk sessate.

 The pod is linear, with a long apex and no cracking when mature. The seeds are usually 3 to 7 seeds, and the seeds are contracted, black, and nearly spherical. The flowering period is from May to July, the fruiting period is from July to September.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in sandy land or sunny hillside grass and gully side. Resource distribution: The plant distributes throughout China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant grows on the slopes of grassland, plains, roadside, sandy and red soil in the sun. The soil requirements are not strict, general sandy soil and clay soil it suitable, for deep roots of plants, should choose low groundwater level, good drainage plot for planting. In winter, the leaves turn yellow and fall off and enter dormancy. In the next spring, they turn green and grow again. In June, the buds bloom, and the fruits mature from July to mid-August, and the annual growth period is about 210 days.

 Characters of herbs: Root cylindrical, lower often branched, 10~30 cm long, 1~2.5 cm in diameter. The surface is brownish to grayish brown, with longitudinal wrinkles and transverse lenticels. Emboli are thin, often broken and rolled back, easily flaking, exposing the yellow endothelium. Hard, not easily broken, broken surface fiber. Sections 3~6 mm thick, yellow and white, with radial texture. Smell light, taste bitter. The herb with plain strip, cross-section yellow-white, taste extremely bitter is better.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.Diuretic effect: the decoction of Radix Sophorae Flavescentis and the matrine contained in it can produce a diuretic effect when given orally or by injection to rabbits, and the increase of salt excretion will occur before the increase of urine volume. ②.Resistance to pathogens: a high concentration of decoction in the test tube, has an inhibitory effect on tuberculosis bacilli. Decoction 8%, water infusion(1:3) in vitro have different degrees of inhibition on dermatophytes.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat and drying dampness, insecticide, diuretic. It is indicated for heat dysentery, hemafecia, jaundice and urodialysis, leukorrhea with reddish discharge, swelling and itching of the genital region, eczema, wet sores, skin itching, scabies and leprosy, externally for trichomonas vaginitis.

 Administration of Radix Sophorae Flavescentis(Kǔ Shēn): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Sophorae Flavescentis(Kǔ Shēn)
TCM Books: Internally:4.5~9 grams.Externally:proper amount,wash the affected area with water decoction(CP),Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian(about 4.5~9 grams), or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:wash with water decoction(DCTM),Internally:water decoction, 3~10 grams, prepared to pill, powder.Externally:proper amount,fumigation wash with water decoction,or grinded into powder and apply stick, or infusing in wine and smear(CHMM).

 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Ku Shen:Light-yellow Sophora Root or Radix Sophorae Flavescentis.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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