Retinervus Luffae Fructus(Luffa Vegetable Sponge).

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:Dispelling Wind-Damp Herbs.

 TCM Herbs Icon06 Introduction: Dispelling Wind-Damp Herbs: an agent or substance herbs that dispels wind and damp, mainly for relieving rheumatism and related conditions.

 
Classifications of Herbs.

 TCM Herbs Icon 05 Introduction: The Dispelling Wind-Damp Herbs are known including:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

 ✵Till the date Oct 10th,2019, there are totally [22] kinds of common TCM herbs, [47] kinds of related plant species, are recorded in this category. These dispelling wind-damp herbs are briefly introduced separately:

 
Retinervus Luffae Fructus(Luffa Vegetable Sponge).

 Luffa Vegetable Sponge Brief Introduction: The herb Retinervus Luffae Fructus is the dried vascular bundles of the ripe fruit of Luffa cylindrica(L.) Roem.(family Cucurbitaceae), used to dispel wind, unblock collateral meridians, and relieve toxins for treating rheumatalgia with muscular contracture, and also for treating mastitis. The herb is commonly known as Towel Gourd Vegetable Sponge, Vegetable Sponge of Luffa, Sī Guā Luò.

 ✵Official herbal classics defined the herb Retinervus Luffae Fructus(Luffa Vegetable Sponge) as the dried vascular bundles of (1).Luffa cylindrica(L.) Roem. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Retinervus Luffae Fructus(Luffa Vegetable Sponge) as the dried vascular bundles of (1).Luffa cylindrica(L.) Roem., or (2).Luffa Acutangula Roxb.. They are plants of the Luffa Mill. Genus, Cucurbitaceae family, Cucurbitales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

 Luffa cylindrica L.Roem. (1).Luffa cylindrica(L.)Roem.:  It is commonly known as Sī Guā. Annual climbing vine; Stems, branches rough, furrowed, puberulent. Tendrils slightly stout, pubescent, usually 2~4 angulus. Petiole scabrous, 10~12 cm long, with inconspicuous groove, subglabrous; Leaf blade triangular or suborbicular, 10~20 cm long, wide, usually palmate 5-7, lobes triangular, in the middle of a long, 8 and 12 cm long, apex acute or acuminate, margin serrate, base deeply cordate, curved short of 2 to 3 cm deep, 2~2.5 cm wide, dark green, rough, with warts, under the pale green, pubescent, veins palmate, white pubescent.

 Hermaphrodite. Male flowers: usually 15~20 flowers, on top of racemes, peduncle slightly stout, 12~14 cm long, pilose; Pedicels 1~2 cm long, calyx tube broadly bell-shaped, 0.5~0.9 cm in diameter, pubescent, lobes ovate-lanceolate or nearly triangular, upper end reflexed outwardly, ca. 0.8~1.3 cm long, 0.4~0.7 cm wide, inwardly densely pubescent, margin particularly conspicuous, outer coatless, apex acuminate, 3-veined; Corolla yellow, radial, spreading 5~9 cm in diameter, lobed oblong, 2~4 cm long, 2~2.8 cm wide, inner base densely yellow-white villous, outer with 3-5 convex veins, veins densely pubescent, apex obtuse, base narrow; 5 stamens, 3 thin, filaments 6~8 mm long, white pubescent at base, flowers slightly conjoined at first opening, finally completely separated, medicinal chamber much reflexed. Female flowers: solitary, pedicels 2~10 cm long; Ovary long terete, pilose, 3 stigmas, inflated.

 Luffa cylindrica L.Roem. Fruit terete, straight or slightly curved, 15~30 cm long, 5~8 cm in diameter, smooth, usually with dark longitudinal streaks, succulent when unripe, dry when mature, with reticulate fibers inside, opening from the top. Seeds numerous, black, ovate, flattened, smooth, margin is narrowly winged. Fruit and vegetable period summer, autumn.

 Ecological Environment: It grows and produced all over the country. The quality of loofah which is produced in Zhejiang and Jiangsu province is better. Towel gourd cloth is mainly produced in Guangdong.

 Trait identification: the whole herb composed of vascular bundle crisscross. They are mostly oblong, slightly curved, slightly thin at both ends, varying in length, up to 70 cm long, and 5~10 cm in diameter. The surface is yellowish-white, rough, with several shallow longitudinal grooves, sometimes with the residual rind and membranous fruit. The body is light, tough and elastic. Can post 3 cavities in cross-section, occasionally see the residual black seed. Slight smell, mild taste. Large, complete, clear, tough, light yellow and white, seedless is better.

 (2).Luffa Acutangula Roxb.:  It is commonly known as ào Sī Guā.

 
 

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