Introduction of Zi Cao:Arnebia Root,Gromwell Root or Radix Arnebiae seu Lithospermi.

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:Herbs Clearing Heat and Cooling the Blood.

 TCM Herbs Icon05 Introduction:Herbs Clearing Heat and Cooling the Blood: an agent or substance herbs that has the effect of eliminating pathological heat from the nutrient and blood systems in cases of warm diseases marked by fever accompanied by delirium, eruptions and bleeding symptoms, and also in other diseases with bleeding due to heat in the blood.

Radix Arnebiae seu Lithospermi(Arnebia Root or Gromwell Root).

Lithospermum erythrorhizon Pin Yin Name: Zǐ Cǎo.
 English Name: Arnebia Root or Gromwell Root.
 Latin Name: Radix Arnebiae seu Lithospermi.
 Property and flavor: cold, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Radix Arnebiae seu Lithospermi is the dried root of Arnebia euchroma(Royle) Johnst. Or Lithospermum erythrorhizon Zucc.(family Boraginaceae), used for promoting eruption in cases of measles, and externally for treating burns, frostbite, dermatitis and eczema. The herb is commonly known as Radix Arnebiae seu Lithospermi, Arnebia Root, Gromwell Root, Zǐ Cǎo.

 Botanical source: The herb Radix Arnebiae seu Lithospermi is the dried root of Arnebia euchroma(Royle) Johnst., or Lithospermum erythrorhizon Zucc., they are plants of the Lithospermum genus, the Boraginaceae family of the unplaced order.

(1).Lithospermum erythrorhizon Sieb. et Zucc.

 Lithospermum erythrorhizon Sieb. et Zucc. Botanical description: The Lithospermum erythrorhizon Sieb. et Zucc., is a plant of the Boraginaceae family and Symphytum genus, it is commonly known as "Lithospermum erythrorhizon,", "Zi Cao, Zi Dan, Zi Cao Gen(Purple Grass Root), Ying Zi Cao.", etc. herbs perennial, 50~90 cm high. Root coarse, thick, conical, slightly curved, often branched, unbranched, or with branches above, whole plant densely covered with white coarse bristles. Leaves alternate; Sessile; Leaf blade oblong-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 3~8 cm long, 5~17 mm wide, apex acuminate, base cuneate, entire, both surfaces strigose.

 Racemes racemose, terminal or axillary; Flowers small, bisexual; Bracts lanceolate or narrowly ovate, 3 cm long, with coarse hairs on both sides; 5 calyx deeply divided near base, lobes linear, ca. 4 mm long; Corolla white, simple, 6~8 cm long, apex 5-lobed, lobes broadly ovate, laryngeal appendage hemispherical, apex slightly concave; 5 stamens, inserted slightly above the middle of corolla; filaments about 0.4 mm long; anthers 1~1.2 mm long; ovary deeply 4-lobed; style linear, 2~2.5 mm long; stigma globose, 2-lobed.

 Small nut ovoid, ca. 3 mm long, gray-white or yellowish brown, smooth, shiny. 4 seeds. Its flowering period is from June to August, fruiting period is from August to September.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Lithospermum erythrorhizon is resistant to cold, avoid high temperature, afraid of water immersion. It is better cultivated in calcareous loam, sandy loam, and clay loam.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is conical, twisted, branched, 7~14 cm long, 1~2 cm in diameter. The surface is purplish-red or purplish-black, rough, and has longitudinal grain, the cortex is thin, easily fall off. The texture is hard and brittle, easy to break, the cortex of the fracture surface is deep purple, the wood part is large, gray yellow.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.contraceptive effect; ②.impact on the circulatory system; ③.other effects: mild antipyretic effect, enhance the tension and contraction of the small intestine.

 Medicinal efficacy: Cool blood, activate blood, detoxify, and promoting eruption. It is indicated for blood heat and excessive toxicity, macula, macula purplish-black, measles, measles without adequate eruption, vomiting blood, epistaxis(nosebleed), hematuria, purpura(peliosis, hemokelidosis), jaundice, ulcer, swelling and ulcer on the body surface, eczema, ulcers, burns due to hot liquid or fire.

 Administration of Radix Arnebiae seu Lithospermi(Zǐ Cǎo): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Arnebiae seu Lithospermi(Zǐ Cǎo)
TCM Books: Internally:5~9 grams. Externally:proper amount, prepare paste or infusing in vegetable oil and smear(CP), Internally:water decoction, 1~3 qian(about 3~9 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:prepare paste and smear apply(DCTM), Internally:water decoction, 3~9 grams, prepared to powder. Externally:proper amount, prepare to paste or oil paste and smear apply(CHMM).

(2).Arnebia euchroma (Royle) Johnst.

 Arnebia euchroma Royle Johnst. Botanical description: The Arnebia euchroma (Royle) Johnst., is a plant of the Boraginaceae family and Arnebia genus, it is commonly known as "Lithospermum euchroma Royle", "Arnebia euchroma", "Arnebia Root", "Ruan Zi Cao", etc. Herbs perennial, 15~40 cm tall. Whole plant covered by white or light yellow long hard hair. Root stout.

 Stem erect, single or base divided into dichotomies, base with stem sheath formed by residual leaf base. Basal leaves tufted, linear lanceolate or linear, 5~20 cm long, 5~15 cm wide, apex short acuminate, base unsheathed. Without a petiole.

 Sickle cyme dense in stem leaf axils, 2~6 cm long; Flowers bisexual, bracts lobed, lanceolate, hirsute; Calyx short and simple, 5-lobed, lobes narrowly linear, both sides densely light yellow bristles; Corolla simple campanulate, purple or mauve, 1~1.5 cm long, lobes elliptic, spreading; Lateral slightly white, throat and base smooth, no appendage; 5 stamens, filaments short or absent, closed in the middle of corolla or larynx; Ovary 4-deep cleft, style slender, apex 2-lobed, stigma 2-obovate.

 Small nuts are broadly ovate, brown, 3.5 mm long and about 3 mm wide. Rough mesh and a few warts. Its flowering period is from June to July, fruiting period is from August to September.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is an irregular long cylinder with many twists, 7~20 cm in length and 1~2.5 cm in diameter. The surface is purplish red or purplish brown, the cortex part is loose, show strip sheet, often over 10 layers overlap, easy to fall off. Divergent stem residues are seen at the apex. The body is light, soft, easy to break, the fracture surface is not neat, the wood part is small, yellow white or yellow. Smells specific, taste slightly bitter, puckery.
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  • 1.Introduction of Zi Cao:Arnebia Root,Gromwell Root or Radix Arnebiae seu Lithospermi.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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