Introduction of Bing Lang:Areca Seed or Semen Arecae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Areca Seed, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Areca catechu L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Areca Seed, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Semen Arecae(Areca Seed).

Semen Arecae:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Bīnɡ Lɑnɡ.
 English Name: Areca Seed, Betel Nut.
 Latin Name: Semen Arecae.
 Property and flavor: warm nature, tastes bitter, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Semen Arecae is the dried ripe seed of Betel Palm, Areca catechu L., used (1).to expel helminths for the treatment of ascariasis, fasciolopsiasis, ancylostomiasis, oxyuriasis and particularly taeniasis, (2).to remove undigested food for relieving abdominal distension and diarrhea with tenesmus in cases of food stagnation, (3).to induce diuresis for treating edema, and (4).to stop malarial episodes. The herb is commonly known as Semen Arecae, Areca Seed, Bīnɡ Lɑnɡ.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Semen Arecae(Areca Seed) as the dried ripe seed of Betel Palm, Areca catechu L. It is a plant of the Areca genus, the Arecaceae family (Palmae family) of the Principes order. This commonly used species is introduced:

Areca catechu L.

 Areca catechu L.:fresh fruits Botanical description: It is commonly known as Bīng Láng. Stem is upright, arborescent, the tree grows over 10 meters high, even up to 30 meters high, with distinct annular leaf markings. Leaves are clustered at apex of the stem, 1.3~2 m long, pinnacles are numerous, glabrous on both sides, narrowly lanceolate, 30~60 cm long, 2.5~4 cm wide, upper pinnacles united, apex is with irregular cleft teeth.

 Monoecious, inflorescence is much-branched, inflorescence axis is stout compressed, branches are sinuous, 25~30 cm long, upper part is slender, bearing 1 row or 2 rows of male flowers, female flowers are solitary at base of branch; Male flowers are small, sessile, usually solitary, rarely paired, sepals are ovate, less than 1 mm long, petals are oblong, 4~6 mm long, 6 stamens, filaments are short, deformable pistil 3, linear; Female flowers are larger, sepals are ovate, petals are nearly rounded, 1.2~1.5 cm long, 6 staminodes, connate; Ovary is oblong.

 Areca catechu L.:drawing of plant parts Fruit is oblong or ovoid, 3~5 cm long, orange-yellow, pericarp is thick, fibrous. Seeds are ovate, base is truncated, endosperm chewy, embryo basal. Its flowering period is from March to April.

 The main varieties: There are 36 areca species known in the world, and people in different regions have different classification methods for these cultivars. For example, according to the inflorescence and fruits, farmers in the Hainan divide areca into long-pedicle species and short-pedicle species. Areca nut yield, alkaloid species and content, medicinal value and biological and ecological characteristics of different varieties are greatly different.

 Areca catechu L.:fruiting tree Ecological environment: The tree was native to Malaysia, Areca catechu is mainly distributed in Southeast Asia, tropical Asia, and parts of Europe, in the Pacific region it is mainly distributed in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Micronesia, scattered in the skin's island, in the Mariana Islands and the Marshall Islands, Hawaii islands Areca catechu is only used as ornamental planting. In China, it is mainly distributed in the Zhujiang river area, Yunnan, Taiwan, and other areas. It is also planted and produced in commercial volume in Sri Lanka.

 Growth characteristics: Areca is a warm, moist and hot type of positive plants, likes high temperature, abundant rainfall humid climate environment. Common scattered in the bottom of the low valley, ridge foot, slope and plain stream side tropical rainforest secondary forest, but also grow in a piece of rich humus gully, ridge, thin forest and slightly acidic to neutral sandy loam desert mountain wilderness.

 Areca catechu L.:fruiting tree Areca is mainly distributed between north and south latitude 28 °. The optimum temperature is 10-36 °C (Celsius, or 50~96.8 degrees Fahrenheit), the minimum temperature is not less than 10 °C (Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit), and the maximum temperature is not more than 40 °C (Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit). It can grow well in areas with an altitude of 0~1,000 meters and an annual rainfall of 1,700~2,000 mm.

 Areca Seed:herb photoAreca Seed:herb photo Characters of herbs: Seeds are oblate or conical, the top is blunt and round, the base is flat and wide, the height is 1.5~3 cm, and the base diameter is 1.5~3 cm. The surface is yellowish-brown to dark brown, with slightly concave light reticulated lines, occasionally with silvery-white endocarp patches or pericarp fibers, with concave pits in the center of the base (the micropyle part) and a large light-colored navel beside it. The texture of the herb is extremely hard, marble-like lines can be seen on the cut surface, which is formed by the reddish-brown seed coat and outer endosperm mistakenly inserted into the white-like inner endosperm. There are gaps inside the longitudinal section of the micropyle, and there are embryos smaller than shrinkage. The herb has a slight odor, it tastes slightly bitter. The herb of better grade is big, heavy, hard, and unbroken.

 In 2003, the international center for research on cancer published the conclusion that "areca nut itself is the first type of carcinogen", which is the authoritative conclusion after collecting hundreds of areca nut research reports from seven countries and regions, including Taiwan, and Pakistan. This conclusion also tells people, often eat areca nut may cause cancer. Besides, a 2010 study by the Taiwan institute of health showed that the percentage of oral cancer cases in the public could be attributed to betel nut chewing (38%) and smoking (31%). The researchers also called for people to quit betel nut and quit smoking to prevent oral cancer.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.dispelling and killing parasites:the herb Semen Arecae has a strong inhibition effect on Taenia pellucida (measly tapeworm), can paralyze the whole worm body, can only paralyze the head and immature segments of Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm), also has a dispelling effect or killing effect to pinworm (threadworm), ascarid (roundworm), ancylostome (hookworm), mastigot, fasciolopsis and so on, has certain preventive effect on schistosomiasis (hemic distomiasis); ②.anti-pathogenic microorganisms effect: areca water infusion has different degree of inhibition on dermatophytes including Trichophyton Schoenleinii, Trichophyton violaceum; the water infusion of the herb has an inhibitory effect on influenza virus; ③.affect the process of sperm development and cause uterine spasms during pregnancy; ④.anti-hypertensive effect, anti-cancer effect and so on; ⑤.digestive system effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispelling and killing parasites, removing food retention or Qi stagnation, promoting the circulation of Qi, descending Qi, alleviate water retention, preventing attack or recurrence of malaria. It is indicated for taeniasis, ascaridiasis (ascariasis), fasciolopsiasis (intestinal distomiasis), parasitic malnutrition (malnutrition due to parasitic infestation), parasitic malnutrition and abdominal pain, dyspeptic retention (food retention and indigestion), indigestion and diarrhea, epigastric distended pain, tenesmus (rectal tenesmus), diarrhea and tenesmus, edema and beriberi, malaria, phlegmatic mass, etc.    

 Administration of Semen Arecae (Bīnɡ Lɑnɡ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Semen Arecae (Bīnɡ Lɑnɡ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~10 grams, to dispel tapeworm, fasciolopsis, 30~60 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction,1.5~3 qian(about 4.5~9 grams), to dispel parasite with single herb recipe, dosage could be up to 2~3 liang (about 60~90 grams);or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:wash with water decoction, or prepare to finely ground herb powder, mixed and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction,6~15 grams, to dispel parasite with single herb recipe, dosage could be up to 60~90 grams;or prepare to pill, powder.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:The herb Semen Arecae should be used cautiously or avoid using in conditions Qi deficiency and collapse.

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