Introduction of Rou Dou Kou:Nutmeg or Semen Myristicae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Nutmeg, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Myristica fragrans Houtt., 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 Nutmeg, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Semen Myristicae(Nutmeg).

Semen Myristicae:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Ròu Dòu Kòu.
 English Name: Nutmeg.
 Latin Name: Semen Myristicae.
 Property and flavor: warm nature, tastes pungent.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Semen Myristicae is the dried kernel of Myristica fragrans Houtt., used as an antidiarrhetic agent by warming the spleen and stomach for the treatment of chronic diarrhea. The herb is commonly known as Semen Myristicae, Nutmeg, Ròu Dòu Kòu.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Semen Myristicae(Rou Dou Kou) as the seed, or kernel(or dry kernel) of the Myristicaceae family Myristica L. genus plant species (1). Myristica fragrans Houtt. Common herbal classics of USA (the United States of America) defined the herb Nutmeg(and Mace) as from species (1). Myristica fragrans Houtt. "The kernel is dried to produce nutmeg and the aril is dried to produce mace. Steam distillation of both yields an essential oil.". Common herbal classics of Europe defined the herb Nutmeg as the seed of species (1). Myristica fragrans Houtt. It is a plant of the Myristica Gronov genus, the Myristicaceae family (nutmeg family) of the Rosales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Myristica fragrans Houtt.

 Myristica fragrans Houtt.:drawing of plant parts Botanical description: The Myristica fragrans Houtt., is a plant of the Myristicaceae family (nutmeg family) Myristica L. genus, it is commonly known as "Myristica fragrans Houtt", or "Myristica fragrans, Nutmeg:myristica, nux moschata;Mace:macis, muscade.", or "Ròu Dòu Kòu". Evergreen trees are up to 20 meters tall. Leaves are alternate; Elliptic lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, 5~15 cm long, leathery, apex is caudate, base is pointed, entire margin, pale yellowish-brown upper, darker lower complexion, reddish-brown veins; Petiole length is 6~12 mm.

 Myristica fragrans Houtt.:fruiting tree Female flowers; The racemes of male flowers are 2.5~5 cm long. Bracts are scaly; Flowers sparsely growing, yellowish-white, elliptic or pitcher-shaped, 6 mm long, pendulous; 9~12 anthers, with cylindrical shank.

 Fruit is pear-shaped or nearly round in shape, drooping, 3.5~6 cm long, reddish or yellow, ripen into 2 valves longitudinally, showing hibanium-red pseudo seed skin, seeds globose, seed skin is reddish-brown, woody.

 Nutmeg is known by many names, such as Myristica fragrans, mace, magic, muscdier, muskatbaum, myristica, noz moscada, nuez moscada, and nux moschata. Nutmeg

 Myristica fragrans Houtt.:fruiting tree Nutmeg tree branch. is most commonly used as a cooking spice, comes from the fruit of a 50 ft (about 15.24 meters) tall tropical evergreen tree. This tree grows in Southeast Asia, New Guinea. The bark is smooth and grayish brown with green young branches and leaves. The oblong, fleshy fruit, called the nutmeg apple, contains a nut from which nutmeg is made. The dried nut and essential oil are both used as medicine.

 The nutmeg tree is a large evergreen tree native to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas and grows to a height of about 18 meters. It produces fruits fifteen to twenty years after planting. The fruit of the nutmeg tree, which is similar in color and size to apricot, splits when ripe revealing the brilliant red arils encasing the brown nut. The red arils on drying become orange and are the mace of commerce. The nut is also dried until the kernel inside rattles.

 Myristica fragrans Houtt.:fruiting tree The tree is about 25 feet (about 7.62 meters) high, has a greyish-brown smooth bark, abounding in a yellow juice. The branches spread in whorls - alternate leaves, on petioles about 1 inch (about 2.54 cm) long, elliptical, glabrous, obtuse at base-acuminate, aromatic, dark green and glossy above, paler underside and 4~6 inches (about 15.24 cm) long. Flowers are dioecious, small in axillary racemes. Peduncles and pedicles are glabrous. Male flowers are three to five more on a peduncle. Calyx is urceolate, thick and fleshy, covered with an indistinct reddish pubescence dingy pale yellow, cut into three upright teeth. Female flowers differ little from the male, except the pedicel is often solitary. The fruit is a pendulous, globose drupe, consisting of a succulent pericarp-the mace arillus covering the hard endocarp, and a wrinkled kernel with ruminated endosperm. When the arillus is fresh it is a brilliant scarlet, when dry more corneous, brittle, and a yellowish-brown color. The seed or nutmeg is firm, fleshy, whitish, transversed by red-brown veins, abounding in oil. The tree does not bloom until it is nine years old when it fruits and continues to do so for seventy-five years without attention. In Banda Islands, there are three harvests, the chief one in July or August, the next in November, and the last in March or April. The fruit is gathered utilizing a barb attached to a long stick. The mace is separated from the nut and both are dried separately. The nutmeg or kernel of the fruit and the arillus or mace are the official parts.

 Myristica fragrans Houtt.:fruiting tree Ecological environment: The Myristica fragrans Houtt., was native to the Maluku Islands, widely cultivated in tropical regions. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly cultivated in some areas of east-south Asia and Brazil. This species has been introduced in China and it is cultivated in the Zhujiang river area, southwest, Taiwan. The main output areas are Malaysia.

 Myristica fragrans Houtt.:fruiting tree Growth characteristics: It likes a tropical and subtropical climate. Suitable growth temperature of 25~30 °C (Celsius, or 77~86 degrees Fahrenheit), cold resistance is weak, cold damage in 6 °C (Celsius, or 42.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Annual rainfall should be between 1,700 and 2,300 mm, avoid water accumulation. Young trees like shade, old trees like the light. Suitable for cultivation with thick, soft, fertile and well-drained loam.

 Myristica fragrans Houtt.:fruits Characters of herbs: The kernel is ovoid or oval, 2~3 cm long or 2~3.5 cm wide. The surface is grayish-brown or grayish-yellow to dark brown, with reticulated furrows, often covered with white lime powder; The hilum of the seed is located at the wide end, a light-colored circular protrusion, the chalazal is located at the narrow end, a dark concave, and the raphe is in the shape of a longitudinal groove, connecting both ends. The texture of the herb is firm and hard, difficult to break, brown or dark brown endosperm are visible in the broken surface, which is interlaced with white endosperm to form marble-like stripes. When cutting longitudinally, we can see that there is a small cavity in the wide end, which contains small shriveled embryos and curl cotyledons. The herb has a strong fragrance, it tastes spicy and slightly bitter. The herb of better grade is big, heavy, solid, fragrant after being broken.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.sedative and hypnotic effects; ②.anesthetic effect; ③.antibacterial effect: its component methylisoeugenol can inhibit Staphylococcus aureus and Diplococcus pneumoniae, and Malabarone B has a strong antibacterial effect on Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Streptococcus durans; ④.other functions:stimulating the gastrointestinal tract and lowering the glutamic-pyruvic transaminase, etc.

 Medicinal efficacy: Warming middle energizer to promote Qi, descending Qi, promoting the circulation of Qi, help digestion, astringent intestines and relieve diarrhea. It is indicated for deficient cold of spleen and stomach (insufficiency of spleen-Yang, deficiency cold of the spleen), unstoppable chronic diarrhea, diarrhea of deficiency type, cold dysentery, poor appetite and emesia (take little food, vomit or throw up), dyspepsia or indigestion, abdominal distnetion pain, epigastric distended pain, etc. 

 Administration of Semen Myristicae (Ròu Dòu Kòu): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Semen Myristicae (Ròu Dòu Kòu)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~10 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 0.5~2 qian (about 1.5~6 grams);or prepare to pill, powder; ③.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~6 grams;or prepared to pill, powder.

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