Radix Aristolochiae(Dutchmanspipe Root).

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.

Classifications of Herbs.

 TCM Herbs Icon 09 Introduction: The Diuretics and Hydragogues Herbs:Herbs Diuretics are known including:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

 ✵Till the date Oct 10th,2019, there are totally [27] kinds of common TCM herbs, [32] kinds of related plant species, [2] kinds of related fungus species, [2] kinds of related insect species, [1] kind of related mineral are recorded in this category. These Diuretics and Hydragogues Herbs:Herbs Diuretics are briefly introduced separately:

Radix Aristolochiae(Dutchmanspipe Root).

 Radix Aristolochiae Brief Introduction: The herb Radix Aristolochiae is the dried root of Aristolochia debilis Sieb.et Zucc.(family Aristolochiaceae), used (1).to move Qi and alleviate pain for treating thoracic, epigastric, hypochondriac and abdominal distension and pain, and (2).to counteract toxins and reduce swelling for treating boils, sores, eczema, and venomous snake-bite. The herb is commonly known as Radix Aristolochiae, Dutchmanspipe Root, Qīnɡ Mù Xiānɡ.

 ✵Official herbal classics defined the herb Radix Aristolochiae(Dutchmanspipe Root) as the dried root of the species (1). Aristolochia debilis Sieb. et Zucc., other famous herbal classics defined the herb as the dried root of the species (1). Aristolochia debilis Sieb. et Zucc., or (2). Aristolochia contorta Bunge. They are plants of the Aristolochia L genus, the Aristolochiaceae family of the Aristolochiales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

 Aristolochia debilis Sieb. et Zucc. (1).Aristolochia debilis Sieb. et Zucc.:  It is commonly known as Mǎ Dōu Líng. Grass vine. Root cylindrical. Stem weak, glabrous. Leaves alternate; Petiole 1~2 cm long, effeminate; Leaf blade ovate-triangular, oblong-ovate or halberd, 3~6 cm long, base 1.5~3.5 cm wide, apex obtuse or shortly acuminate, base cordate, lobes rounded on both sides, pendulous or slightly extended; 5~7 basal veins, all levels of veins evident on both sides.

  Aristolochia debilis Sieb. et Zucc. Flowers solitary or 2 clustered in leaf axils; Pedicels 1~1.5 cm long; Bracteoles triangular, easily detached; Perianth 3~5.5 cm long, base bulged globose, narrow into a long tube, tube mouth expanded into a funnel, yellowish-green, mouth purple spots, inside glandular hair; Eaves extremely short on one side, the other side gradually extended into a tongue; Tongue ovate-lanceolate, apex obtuse; Anthers adnate near base of stamen column; Room cylindrical, 6 edges; Pistil apex 6-lobed, slightly papillary convex, lobes apex obtuse, extending downward to form undulate ring.

  Aristolochia debilis Sieb. et Zucc. Capsule subglobose, apex rounded and concave, with 6 ribs, dehiscent from base to space 6 valves upward at maturity. Pedicels 2.5~5 cm long, often torn into 6. Seeds are flat, obtusely triangular, margin with white membranous broad wings. Its flowering period is from July to August, fruiting from September to October.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in valleys, ditches, wet places on roadsides, and thickets on hillsides at an elevation of 200~1,500 meters above sea level. It prefers light, slightly shade, sand-like yellow soil, cold. Adaptable. The plant distributes in the south of the Yellow River to the south of the Yangtze River. It is also planted in the Zhujiang river area.

 Aristolochia debilis Sieb. et Zucc. Trait identification: Roots cylindrical or slightly flat, slightly curved, 3~10 cm long, 0.5~1.5 cm in diameter. The surface is yellowish-brown or gray-brown, with longitudinal wrinkles and fibrous root marks. The skin is pale yellow, the wood ray is broad, milky white, the xylem bundle is yellow, radiating, the duct hole is obvious. It has a distinctive aroma and a bitter taste.

 Aristolochia contorta Bunge. (2).Aristolochia contorta Bunge.:  It is commonly known as běi mǎ dōu líng. Herbaceous vine, stem more than 2 meters long, glabrous, after dry longitudinal groove. Leaves papyriform, ovate-cordate or triangular cordate, 3~13 cm long, 3~10 cm wide, apex shortly acute or obtuse, base cordate, lobes rounded on both sides, pendulous or spreading, ca. 1.5 cm long, margin entire, green above, light green below, glabrous on both sides; 5~7 basal veins, two lateral veins of adjacent middle veins parallel upward, slightly forked, all levels of leaf veins on both sides obvious and slightly convex. Petiole effeminate, 2~7 cm long. Racemes with 2~8 flowers or sometimes only one in leaf axils; Peduncle and rachis extremely short or subabsent; Pedicels 1~2 cm long, glabrous, base with bracteoles; Bracteoles ovate, ca. 1.5 cm long, ca. 1 cm wide, with long stalk.

  Aristolochia contorta Bunge. Perianth 2~3 cm long, base dilated spherical, up to 6 mm in diameter, upward narrow as a long tube, tube about 1.4 cm long, green, outside glabrous, inside mask glandular hair, tube mouth expanded as a funnel; One side of eave extremely short, sometimes margin down or slightly difid, the other side gradually expanded into a tongue; Tongue ovoid lanceolate, apex long acuminate extending into 1~3 cm linear and twisted tail tip, yellow-green, often with purple longitudinal veins and reticulate; Anthers oblong, adnate near base of pistil column, single opposite to lobes;

 Ovary cylindrical, 6-8 mm long, 6 rows; Pistil apex 6 lobed, lobes acuminate, extending downward into undulating rings. Capsule broadly obovate or obovate, 3~6.5 cm long, 2.5~4 cm in diameter, rounded and slightly concave at the top, 6 ribs, smooth and glabrous, yellowish-green when mature, dehiscent 6 valves upward from base; Fruit stalk pendulous, 2.5 cm long, dehiscent with fruit; Seeds triangular-cordate, taupe, 3~5 mm long and 5 mm wide, flattened, with verrucous spots, with 2~4 mm wide, light brown membranous wings. Its flowering period is from May to July, fruiting from August to October.

 Aristolochia contorta Bunge. Ecological environment: The plant grows in thickets, gullies, and forest margins on hillsides at an elevation of 500~1,200 meters above sea level, it prefers warm, moist, fertile, and humus-rich sandy soil. The plant distributes in north, northwest, the middle and lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, and other areas of China.

 Trait identification: The root is similar as the root of Aristolochia debilis Sieb. et Zucc., the shape is smaller and slightly flat. The herb with a thick, solid quality, strong fragrance is better.

 The herbs containing aristolochic acid has small toxicity, which has long been recognized by the TCM community. In 2009, the WHO declared aristolochic acid to be a primary carcinogen. Since the disclosure of the renal toxicity of aristolochic acid, herbs containing aristolochic acid has been less and less used in practice. In proprietary Chinese medicine, containing aristolochic acid were used, or eliminated, or the prescription was changed to replace them with other herbs which have similar effects but without aristolochic acid. The main Chinese herbs containing aristolochic acid are known including Aristolochia fangchi, Aristolochia debilis Sieb. et Zucc., herba aristolochiae, Caulis aristolochiae manshuriensis, and Dutchmanspipe Root. These herbs are scarcely used today.


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