Introduction of an Xi Xiang:Benzoin or Benzoinum.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Benzoin, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its officially defined botanical source one plant species, ①.Styrax tonkinensis (Pierre) Craib ex Hart., and another usable plant species, ②.Styrax benzoin Dryand., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Benzoin, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.


Benzoinum:herb photo Pin Yin Name: ān Xī Xiānɡ.
 English Name: Benzoin.
 Latin Name: Benzoinum.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Benzoinum is the dried resin obtained from Tokin Snowbell, Styrax tonkenensis (Pierre)Craib ex Hart.(family Styracaceae), used (1).as an aromatic stimulant for restoring consciousness in cases of apoplexy, and (2).to relieve pain of the chest and abdomen by activating the flow of Qi and blood. The herb is commonly known as Benzoinum, Benzoin, ān Xī Xiānɡ.

 Styrax tonkinensis Pierre Craib ex Hart.:fruits Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Benzoinum(Benzoin) as the dried resin obtained from the species (1). Styrax tonkinensis (Pierre) Craib ex Hart. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Benzoinum(Benzoin) as the dried resin obtained from the species (1). Styrax tonkinensis (Pierre) Craib ex Hart., or (2). Styrax benzoin Dryand. They are plants of the Styrax Linn. Genus, the Styracaceae family of the Ebenales order. These 2 commonly used species is introduced as:

(1).Styrax tonkinensis (Pierre) Craib ex Hart.

 Styrax tonkinensis Pierre Craib ex Hart.:fruits Botanical description: It is commonly known as Bái Huā Shù, or Bái Huā ān Xī Xiāng Shù(literally mean white-flower Styrax). Trees, 10~20 meters tall. Bark greenish-brown, branchlets covered with brown stellate hairs. Leaves alternate, long ovate, up to 11 cm long, up to 4.5 cm wide, margin with irregular teeth, slightly glossy above, densely covered with white short stellate hairs below; Petiole about 1 cm long. Racemose or paniculate axillary and terminal, felted; Bracts small, caducous; Calyx short campanulate, 5 shallowly toothed; Corolla 5-lobed, lobes lanceolate, ca. 3 times as long as calyx; Calyx and petals covered with silvery filamentous hairs, interior brownish red; 8~10 stamens, anthers linear, 2-locule; Ovary superior, ovate, densely covered with white fuzz, lower 2~3, upper single, style slender, brownish-red. Fruit oblate, ca. 2 cm long, grayish brown. Seeds nutty, reddish-brown, with 6 light streaks. Wild or cultivated near rice fields.

 Styrax tonkinensis Pierre Craib ex Hart.:drawing of plant parts Ecological Environment: The tree grows in the wild or cultivated near rice fields.

 Growth characteristics: The Styrax tonkinensis is a tropical subtropical tree, vertically distributed at the area with an altitude of 100~2000 meters above sea level, prefers a warm climate, grows in moist, loose and fertile soil, deep soil layer, slightly acidic, well-drained hillsides or valleys, open forest or forest margins.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is irregular small pieces, often bonded into a ball, slightly flat, the surface is orange-yellow, waxy luster (natural fat); There are also irregular round balls or flat blocks with gray-white to yellowish-white surfaces (artificial fat). The texture of the herb is brittle and fragile, the fracture surface is flat, white. After placement, it gradually changes to yellowish-brown or reddish-brown. The herb has an aromatic fragrance, it tastes slightly pungent, and gritty when chewed.

(2).Styrax benzoin Dryand.

 Styrax benzoin Dryand.:flowering treeStyrax benzoin Dryand.:flowering tree Botanical description: It is commonly known as ān Xī Xiāng Shù. Trees, up to 20 meters high. Bark gray, young branches stellate with yellowish-brown hairs, glabrescent. Leaves alternate, ovate, 4.5 to 10 cm long, 2.6 cm wide, apex short acute, base rounded or slightly cuneate, entire or near upper margin slightly dentate, smooth above, below except main veins and side veins with brownish-yellow tricuspid, elsewhere covered with silver-white tricuspid. Petiole 0.6-10 mm. Inflorescences paniculate, axillary or terminal, covered with yellow stellate hairs; Many flowers, white; Calyx tall cup-shaped, leathery, with 5-6 short triangular teeth; Corolla 5-lobed, imbricate arranged, lobes ovate-lanceolate, calyx and petals densely covered with yellow stellate hairs; Stamens 10, 2/3 of corolla lobes long; Anthers linear, filaments not joined and separated in tube, part of separation densely stellate hairs; Ovary semi interior, ovate, compressed, densely covered with yellow stellate hairs, 3-locules, style glabrous, fine. Fruit ovate, 10-12 mm long, covered with gray stellate hairs, 3-lobed. 1 seed, even 2.

 Styrax benzoin Dryand.:flowering treeStyrax benzoin Dryand.:trunk and resins Ecological Environment: The tree grows on slopes, valleys, sparse forests, or forest margins with an elevation of 100~2,000 meters above sea level. The tree mainly distributes in the lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, Zhujiang river area, west-south area, and other provinces of China. The tree also distributes in Laos and Thailand.

 Benzoin from southeast asia Benzoin from southeast asiaGrowth characteristics: The styrax benzoin is a fast-growing sun species. It prefers a warm, sunny environment, short period of frost resistance. It is suitable for growing in areas where the average annual temperature is 18~26℃, the average temperature in January is above 10℃, and the absolute minimum temperature is not below -3℃. Growth is better in sandy loam with a deep soil layer and good drainage. It prefers wet, distribution in the area with annual precipitation of 1200 ~ 1800 mm, but not water stains. Poor drainage, vulnerable to flooding, and high groundwater levels are not suitable for seedling or afforestation.

 Benzoin from southeast asia Benzoin from southeast asia Characters of herbs: The herb is a conglomeration of spherical particles, different in size, reddish-brown to brown, coarse and rough, embedded with yellow-white and gray-white opaque particles. The texture of the herb is crisp, softening, and melting when heated. The herb has an aromatic fragrance, it tastes slightly pungent.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.expectorant effect; ②.anticorrosive effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Inducing resuscitation, clear phlegm, promoting qi to activate blood, relieve pain. It is indicated for stroke and phlegm syncope, convulsive epilepsy and coma(frightened epilepsy and unconscious), apoplexy and sudden syncope, Qi stagnation and sudden syncope, attacked by pestilent factors then coma, abdominal pain, postpartum hemorrhea(fainting after childbirth), acute infantile convulsion, lumbago of wandering arthritis, arthrodynia of extremities due to wandering arthritis.

 Administration of Benzoinum(ān Xī Xiānɡ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Benzoinum(ān Xī Xiānɡ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:0.6~1.5 grams, mostly prepare to pill, powder;②.Internally:grinded into fine powder, 1~5 fen(about 0.3~1.5 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:burn the herb and smokes;③.Internally:grinded into fine powder,0.3~1.5 grams, or prepared to pill, powder.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Benzoinum should be used cautiously in conditions fire excess from yin deficiency(hyperactivity of fire due to yin deficiency). Should forbidden using in conditions Qi deficiency with reduced appetite, fire excess from Yin deficiency(hyperactivity of fire due to yin deficiency).

Aromatic Stimulants Herbs.

 Introduction: Aromatic Stimulants Herbs:also known as aromatic orifice-opening herbs, an agent or substance, fragrant in flavor, with a resuscitating effect, used for emergency treatment of impairment or loss of consciousness, also known as stimulant or orifice-opening herbs.
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