Semen Cuscutae(Dodder Seed).

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:Yang Tonics,Herbs for Reinforcing Yang

 TCM Herbs Icon14 Introduction: Yang Tonics,Herbs for Reinforcing Yang: also known as Yang-tonifying herb, or Yang-reinforcing herb, an agent or substance herb that tonifies Yang-Qi, used in treating Yang deficiency.

Classifications of Herbs.

 TCM Herbs Icon 14 Introduction: The Yang Tonics,Herbs for tonifies Yang-Qi are known including:, , , , , , , , , , , , .

 ✵Till the date Oct 10th,2019, there are Totally [15] kinds of common TCM herbs, [28] kinds of related plant species, [1] kind of related fungus species, are recorded in this category. These Yang Tonics, Herbs for tonifies Yang-Qi are briefly introduced separately:

Semen Cuscutae(Dodder Seed).

 Semen Cuscutae Brief Introduction: The Herb Semen Cuscutae is the dried ripe seed of Cuscuta chinensis Lam.(family convolvulaceae), used to tonify the liver and kidney, to improve eyesight and prevent miscarriage, for the treatment of nocturnal emission, impotence, enuresis, diabetes, decreased eyesight and threatened abortion. The herb is commonly known as Semen Cuscutae, Dodder Seed, Tú Sī Zǐ.

 ✵The common official herbal classics defined the herb Semen Cuscutae(Dodder Seed) as the dried ripe seed of the species (1).Cuscuta chinensis Lam. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Semen Cuscutae(Dodder Seed) as the dried ripe seed of the species (1).Cuscuta chinensis Lam., (2).Cuscuta australis R. Br., (3).Cuscuta japonica Choisy. They are plants of the Cuscuta Linn genus, the Convolvulaceae family of the Tubiflorae order. The officially defined species and other 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

 (1).Cuscuta chinensis Lam.: It is commonly known as Tú Sī Zǐ. Dodder, a leafless parasitic vine that attaches its reddish-orange threadlike stems to green plants through suckers to draw out nourishment. Pinkish-white flowers (July-September) have five sharp, spreading, triangular lobes and grow in dense clusters. The seeds may remain dormant for up to eight years. Dodder is a nuisance to farmers growing alfalfa and clover.

 Cuscuta chinensis Lam Dodder (Cuscuta and Grammica), is a twining yellow or orange plant sometimes tinged with purple or red. Occasionally it is almost white. The stems can be very thin and thread-like or relatively stout (a species characteristic).

 Dodder is classified as a member of the Morning-Glory Family (Convolvulaceae) in older references, and as a member of the Dodder Family (Cuscutaceae) in the more recent publications. Welsh et al. report twelve species of Cuscuta in Utah while Weber (1986) separates this family into two genera with one species in Cuscuta and five species in the genus Grammica. Weber's separation is based on the shape of the stigma.

 Cuscuta chinensis Lam Dodder parasitizes various kinds of wild and cultivated plants and is especially destructive to alfalfa, lespedeza, flax, clover, and potatoes. Ornamentals attacked included chrysanthemum, dahlia, helenium, Virginia-creeper, trumpet-vine, English ivy and petunias. Dodder is particularly troublesome where alfalfa, clover, and onion are grown for seed because dodder seed is difficult to remove from the desired seed crop and can be spread with infected seed. Its water, minerals, and carbohydrates are absorbed from the host through haustoria that penetrate the host's tissue. In dodder, the haustoria are modified adventitious roots.

 Dodder is said (Wilson, et al.) to contain some chlorophyll in the buds, fruits, and stems, but the amount of food manufactured in this tissue is of little significance to the survival of the plant.

 Cuscuta chinensis Lam Plant The flowers are numerous, white, pink or yellowish, small (2 to 4 mm long depending on species), and can be borne in tight balls or a loose cluster (again depending on species). Flowers normally appear from early June to the end of the growing season. The fruit is about 1/8th inch in diameter, with thin papery walls and contain 1 to 4 seeds. The seeds are yellow to brown or black, nearly round and have a fine rough surface with one round and two flat sides.

 Dodder produces seed that drops to the ground and germinates the next growing season if a suitable host is present. If no suitable host is present, the seed may remain dormant for five years.

 Dodder seedlings must attach to a suitable host within a few days of germinating, or they die. The young seedling is sensitive to touch and yellowish stem gropes in the air until it makes contact with a plant. The contact is made firm by one or more coils about the stem. If this plant happens to contain foods suitable to the dodder then a secondary stimulus is aroused which causes root-like branches (haustoria) to form and penetrate the stem. The basal part of the parasite soon shrivels away so that no soil connection exists.

 Cuscuta australis R.Br. (2).Cuscuta australis R.Br.:  It is commonly known as Nán Fāng Tú Sī Zǐ(literally it means south area Cuscuta). Annual parasitic herbs. Stems twining, golden, slender, 1 mm in diameter, leafless.

 Inflorescence lateral, few flowers or many flower clusters into a small umbel or small group inflorescence, racemes nearly absent; Bracts and bracteoles all small, scaly; Pedicels slightly stout, 1~2.5 mm long; Calyx cup-shaped, base connate, 3~5 lobes, oblong or subrounded, usually unequal, ca. 0.8~1.8 mm, apex rounded; Corolla milky or yellowish, cup-shaped, ca. 2 mm long, lobes ovate or oblong, apex rounded, ca. As long as corolla tube, erect, persistent; Stamens inserted in corolla lobes, slightly shorter than corolla lobes; Scales small, margin short fringed; Ovary oblate, 2 styles, equal or slightly unequal, stigma globose.

 Cuscuta australis R.Br. Capsule oblate, 3~4 mm in diameter, lower half enveloped by persistent corolla, irregularly dehiscent at maturity, not circumferential. Usually 4-seeded, pale brown, ovate, ca. 1.5 mm long, coarsely surfaced.

 Ecological environment: It is parasitic on the side of the field, the roadside leguminous, wormwood Compositae, Verbenaceae chasteex and other herbs or small shrubs, the altitude of 50~2,000 meters. It is distributed in Anhui, Gansu, Hebei, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Shaanxi, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Hubei, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangdong, Taiwan provinces of China; Also distributed in Central, southern, eastern Asia, south through some areas of Southeast Asia and even Oceania.

 Cuscuta australis R.Br. Trait identification: Similar to the above species, but the seeds are ovoid, the abdominal edges are not obvious, the size is greatly different, the length-diameter is 0.7~2.0 mm, short diameter 0.5~1.2 mm. Surface pale brown to brown, one end beaked and protruding to one side. The umbilicus is slightly concave under the enlarged microscope, located at the lower side of the seed apex.

 Cuscuta japonica Choisy. (3).Cuscuta japonica Choisy.: It is commonly known as Jīn Dēng Téng(literally it means Gold Lamp Vine). Herbs annual parasitic twining, stems stout, fleshy, 1~2 mm in diameter, yellow, often purplish-red nodular spots, glabrous, much-branched, leafless.

 Cuscuta japonica Choisy. Flowers sessile or few sessile, forming spikes, up to 3 cm long, base often much-branched; Bracts and bracteoles scaly, ovoid, ca. 2 mm long, apically acute, entire, thickened along the back; Calyx bowl-shaped, fleshy, ca. 2 mm long, 5-lobed nearly to base, lobes ovoid or suborbicular, equal or unequal, apex acute, abaxially often purplish-red tuberculate; Corolla campanulate, reddish or greenish-white, 3~5 mm long, apex 5-lobed, lobes ovate-triangular, obtuse, erect or slightly reflexed, shorter than corolla tube 2~2.5 times; 5 stamens, inserted between lobes of corolla throat, anthers ovoid, yellow, filaments absent or scarcely absent; 5 scales, oblong, margin fringed, inserted at base of corolla tube, elongated to middle or above middle tube; Ovary globose, smooth, glabrous, 2-locules, style slender, connate 1, as long as ovary or slightly longer, stigma 2-lobed.

 Capsule ovoid, ca. 5 mm long, subbasal parietal cleft. 1~2 seeds, smooth, 2~2.5 mm long, brown. Its flowering period is in August, fruiting in September.

 Cuscuta japonica Choisy. Ecological environment:It is distributed in the north and south provinces of China. Parasitic on herbs or shrubs. It is also distributed in some other areas of South East Asia.

 Trait identification:Seeds larger, ca. 3 mm long diameter, 2~3 mm short diameter, pale brown or yellowish-brown surface. Full-grain is the best.


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