Introduction of Tong Cao:Ricepaper-plant Pith or Medulla Tetrapanacis.

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:Diuretics and Hydragogues Herbs:Herbs Diuretics.

 TCM Herbs Icon09 Introduction: Herbs Diuretics: also known as damp-draining diuretic herbs,an agent or substance herbs that increases urine excretion and water discharge for treating internal retention of dampness.

Medulla Tetrapanacis(Ricepaper-plant Pith).

Medulla Tetrapanacis Pin Yin Name: Tōnɡ Cǎo.
 English Name: Ricepaper-plant Pith.
 Latin Name: Medulla Tetrapanacis.
 Property and flavor: slight cold, sweet, tasteless.

 Brief introduction: The herb Medulla Tetrapanacis is the stem pith of Tetrapanax papyriferus(Hook.)K.Koch(family Araliaceae),used (1).to clear heat and remove damp in cases of stranguria and oliguria, and (2).to promote milk secretion in cases of inadequate lactation. The herb is commonly known as Ricepaperplant Pith, Medulla Tetrapanacis, Tōnɡ Cǎo.

 Botanical source: Official herbal classics and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Medulla Tetrapanacis(Ricepaper-plant Pith) as the stem pith of the species (1). Tetrapanax papyriferus(Hook.)K.Koch. It is a plant of the Tetrapanax Koch genus, the Araliaceae family of the Apiales order. This commonly used species is introduced as:

 Tetrapanax papyriferus Hook.K.Koch. (1).Tetrapanax papyriferus(Hook.)K.Koch.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Tōng Tuō Mù. Evergreen shrubs or small trees, 1~3.5 meters tall, base 6~9 cm in diameter; bark dark brown, slightly wrinkled; New branches are light brown or yellowish-brown, with obvious leaf marks and large lenticels, dense yellow stellate thick tomentose when young, later hair gradually falling off. Leaves large, clustered apex of stem; Leaf blade papery or heavy leather qualitative, 50~75 cm long, 50~70 cm wide, palmate 5~11 crack, lobes usually 1/3 or 1/2 of blade length, thin to two-thirds, pour egg shape oblong ovoid or oblong, usually divided into 2 to 3 small lobes, apex acuminate, dark green, glabrous, densely white thick hairs below, margin entire or hydrophobic coarse teeth, lateral veins and net vein is not obvious; Petiole stout, 30~50 cm long, glabrous; Stipules and petiole base connate, conical, 7.5 cm long, densely pale brown or white thick tomentose.

 Tetrapanax papyriferus Hook.K.Koch. Panicles 50 cm or longer; Many branches, 15~25 cm long; Bracts lanceolate, 1~3.5 cm long, densely white or light brown stellate tomentose; Inflorescences 1~1.5 cm in diameter, mostly flowered; Pedicels 1~1.5 cm long, pedicels 3~5 mm long, dense white stellate villi; Bracteoles linear, 2~6 mm long; Flowers pale yellow and white; Calyx 1 mm long, margin entire or subentire, densely white stellate tomentose; 4 petals, 5 sparses, triangular-ovate, 2 mm long, densely stellate tomentose outside; Stamens and petals equal, filaments ca. 3 mm; Ovary 2-chambered; 2 styles, free, apex reflexed. Fruit ca. 4 mm in diameter, globose, purplish-black. Its flowering period is from October to December, fruiting from January to February of the following year.

 Tetrapanax papyriferus Hook.K.Koch. Ecological environment: The plant grows on sunny, thick soil with an elevation of 10~2,800 meters, or cultivated in gardens. Or cultivated in court circles. It usually grows on the thick soil exposed to sunlight, and sometimes cultivated in gardens. The altitude ranges from 10 meters to 2,800 meters. It widely distributes from Taibai mountain in the north, Guangxi, and Guangdong in the south, northwest Yunnan and southwest Sichuan in the west, to Taiwan, Guizhou, the middle and lower reaches areas of the Yangtze River.

 Growth characteristics: The tetrapanax papyriferus prefers a warm and humid and sunny environment, not resistant to cold, and passes winter safely at a temperature above 5℃. Rich sandy loam is suitable for cultivation.

 Characters of herbs: The stem arc was cylindrical, 20~40 cm long, 1~2.5 cm in diameter. The surface is white or light yellow, with shallow longitudinal groove. The body is light, soft, slightly elastic, easy to break, the section is flat, showing silver luster, there is a diameter of 0.3~1.5 cm hollow or translucent film, longitudinal section is arranged in a ladder, solid (only in a small part of the small stem arc) rare. Odorless, tasteless. The herb which is thick, white, elastic, hollow diaphragm is better.

 Pharmacological actions: The herb Medulla Tetrapanacis has a diuretic effect, Medulla Tetrapanacis can significantly increase the excretion of potassium ions in rat urine but has no obvious effect on urinary sodium, urinary chlorine, so it is believed that its diuretic effect is related to potassium excretion. The herb also has the function of promoting milk secretion.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat and diuretic, ventilation and prompt milk secretion, purging the lung of pathogenic fire. It is indicated for damp-warm syndrome with red urine, gonorrhea with pain, dysuria(difficulty in micturition), short urine red, oliguria with reddish urine, gonorrhea, edema, edema and oliguria, jaundice, dampness-warm syndrome, no milk, postpartum little milk, menischesis, morbid leukorrhea, blurred vision(cloudy vision), stuffy nose(nasal obstruction).

 Administration of Medulla Tetrapanacis(Tōnɡ Cǎo): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Medulla Tetrapanacis(Tōnɡ Cǎo)
TCM Books: Internally:3~5 grams(CP),Internally:water decoction, 0.5~1.5 qian(about 1.5~4.5 grams), or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:grinded into fine powder,wrapped with medical cotton and stuff nose(DCTM),Internally:water decoction,2~5 grams(CHMM).

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  • 1.Introduction of Tong Cao:Ricepaper-plant Pith or Medulla Tetrapanacis.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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