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 Bge., 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).

Stellaria dichotoma:growing plant 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 Bge., 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 Bge., 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 Bge. This commonly used species is introduced:

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


 Stellaria dichotoma:plant and herb Botanical description: Perennial herb, 20~40 cm tall. Taproots are cylindrical, 1~3 cm in diameter, yellowish rind, with many verrucous stem residues at root head. Stem is upright and slender, upper bifurcated, densely covered with short or glandular hairs; Abridged. Leaves are opposite; Sessile; Leaf blade is lanceolate, 4~30 mm long, 1.5~4 mm wide, apex pointed, base rounded, entire, upper part is sparsely hirsute or nearly glabrous, lower part is hirsute. Flowers are solitary in leaf axils, about 3 mm in diameter; Pedicels ca. 2 cm; 5 sepals, lanceolate, ca. 4 mm long, green, margin is white membranous; 5 petals, shorter than guide, white, apex 2 deeply lobed; 10 stamens, 2-wheeled, filaments connate at base, yellow; Ovary is superior, 3 styles, slender. Capsularfruit is subglobose, externally persistent calyx, apex 6-dentate cleft at maturity. Seeds usually 1, elliptic, dark brown, seed coat with many small projections. It is flowering from June to July, fruiting from August to September.

 Stellaria dichotoma:drawing of plant and herbEcological environment: The plant grows on the dry steppe and rocky slopes. Resource distribution: The plant is mainly distributed in west-north, north, and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The stellaria dichotoma grows in dry grasslands, crevices, or rubble of suspended rock. It prefers a warm or cool climate, cold resistance, avoid water immersion. It is suitable for sandy soil cultivation.

 Characters of herbs: The roots are cylindrical, with a length of 15~40 cm and a diameter of 0.5~2.5 cm, and most of the branch roots have been broken. The surface is yellow-white or light yellow, light brown, with twisted longitudinal wrinkles and root marks, obvious, it is gradually twisted downward and left, with sparse hole-like concave (fine root marks), which are commonly called "sand holes". The top of the root is slightly enlarged, with dense gray-brown, verrucous stem marks and sterile spores, which are commonly called "pearl plates". The texture of the herb is hard and brittle, easy to break, the fracture surface is uneven and loose with cracks, the cortex is thin, and the wood part has yellow and white radial texture (caused by alternating rays and xylem bundles). The herb has a mild smell, 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 longitudinal wrinkles are delicate and obvious, 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, with few cracks, slightly powdery, and the radial texture of the wood part is not obvious. The herb tastes slightly sweet.

 The herb of better grade has slender root and long root strip, the surface is yellow-white and shiny, and there is a "pearl plate" at the top, 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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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Yin Chai Hu:Starwort Root or Radix Stellariae.

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