Introduction of Yin Chai Hu:Starwort Root or Radix Stellariae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Starwort Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Stellaria dichotoma L.var.lanceolata Bunge., 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 Starwort Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Radix Stellariae(Starwort Root).

plants of Stellaria dichotoma grow in a field Pin Yin Name: Yín Chái Hú.
 English Name: Starwort Root.
 Latin Name: Radix Stellariae.
 Property and flavor: cool, sweet, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Radix Stellariae is the dried root of Stellaria dichotoma L.var.lanceolata Bunge., used for clearing heat of deficiency type and malnutritional fever in children. The herb is commonly known as Radix Stellariae, Starwort Root or Yín Chái Hú.

 Botanical source: The herb Radix Stellariae (Starwort Root) is the dried root of Stellaria dichotoma L.var.lanceolata Bunge., it is a plant of the Stellaria L genus, the Caryophyllaceae family (carnation, pink family) of the Centrospermae order.

 Herbal classic book defined the herb Radix Stellariae (Starwort Root) as the dried root of (1). Stellaria dichotoma L.var.lanceolata Bunge. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Stellaria dichotoma L.var.lanceolata Bunge.

 flowering plants of Stellaria dichotoma and dried herb segments Botanical description: The plant, Stellaria dichotoma L.var.lanceolata Bunge is also known as Stellaria gypsophiloides Fenzl., it is commonly known as Xia Ye Qi Fan Lou. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 20~40 cm tall. Taproots are cylindrical, 1~3 cm in diameter, out bark is yellowish (light yellow), with many verrucous stem residues at the root head. The stem is upright and slender, the upper part is bifurcated and densely covered with short or glandular hairs; the stem node is slightly swollen. Single leaves are opposite; sessile; leaf blades are lanceolate, 4~30 mm long, 1.5~4 mm wide, the apex is sharply pointed, the base is circular, entire, the upper surface is sparsely covered with short hairs or glabrate (nearly glabrous), the undersurface is covered with short hairs.

 Flowers are solitary and grow in leaf axils, about 3 mm in diameter; pedicels are about 2 cm; 5 sepals (calyx lobes), lanceolate, about 4 mm long, green, margin is white membranous; 5 flower petals, shorter than sepal, white, entire, the apex is 2-parted; 10 stamens, in 2 whorls, filaments connate at the base, yellow; the ovary is superior, 3 styles, slender.

 Capsularfruit is subsphaeroidal, wrapped by a persistent calyx, and the apex is 6-dentate at maturity. Usually has seeds 1 grain, elliptic, dark brown, spermoderm (seed coat) has many small protrusions. Its flowering period is from June to July, and the fruiting period is from August to September.

 a drawing of Stellaria dichotoma,root,stem leaves and flowersEcological environment: The plant grows in arid grasslands, cracks of stones on hillsides, or rubble of suspended rock. Resource distribution: The plant is mainly distributed in west-north, northern, and other areas of China, it is also cultivated in some areas of west-north. 

 Growth characteristics: The stellaria dichotoma grows in dry grasslands, cracks of stones on hillsides or rubble of suspended rock. It prefers a warm or cool climate, cold resistance, and avoids water logging. It is appropriate to choose sandy loam for cultivation.

 Characters of herbs: The roots are subcylindrical, 15~40 cm long, and 1~2.5 cm in diameter, and most of the rootlets are broken. The surface is yellow-white or faint yellow (light yellow), has conspicuous vertical wrinkles, it is gradually twisted downward and leftward, with sparse hole-like concave (fine root marks), which are commonly known as "sand holes." The top of the root is slightly enlarged, with dense gray-brown, verrucous stem mark protrusions, and sterile spores, which are commonly known as "pearl plates." The texture of the herb is hard and brittle (crisp), easily broken, the fracture surface is uneven and loose with cracks, the cortex is thin, and the xylem (wood part) has a yellow and white radial texture (caused by alternating rays and xylem bundles). The herb has a mild smell, and it tastes light and slightly sweet.

 The cultivars (the cultivated plant) have branches, and the lower part is twisted, with a diameter of 0.6~1.2 cm. The surface is light yellowish brown or light yellowish brown, the vertical wrinkles are delicate and conspicuous, and the root marks of fine branches are mostly punctiform concave. There are few sand holes. The root has many verrucous protrusions. The texture of the fracture surface is tight, has few cracks, slightly floured, and the radial texture of the xylem (wood part) is not conspicuous. The herb tastes slightly sweet.

 The herb of a better grade has a slender root and long root strip, the surface is yellow-white and glossy, and there is a "pearl plate" at the top end, the texture of the herb is fine and glossy.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.antipyretic effect, which can reduce serum cholesterol concentration so that the content of lipids in the aorta decreased; ②.bactericidal effects.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat, eliminate infantile malnutrition with fever. It is indicated for Yin deficiency fever, bone steaming and consumptive fever, infantile malnutritional stagnation and fever.

 Administration of Radix Stellariae (Yín Chái Hú): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Stellariae (Yín Chái Hú)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1~3 qian (about 3~9 grams), or prepare to pill,powder;③.Internally:water decoction, 5~9 grams, or prepared to pill, powder.




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  • 1.Introduction of Yin Chai Hu:Starwort Root or Radix Stellariae.

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