Introduction of Yu Xing Cao:Heartleaf Houttuynia Herb or Herba Houttuyniae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Heartleaf Houttuynia Herb, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Houttuynia cordata Thunb., 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 Heartleaf Houttuynia Herb, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Herba Houttuyniae(Heartleaf Houttuynia Herb).

Herba Houttuyniae:fresh root Pin Yin Name: Yú Xīnɡ Cǎo.
 English Name: Heartleaf Houttuynia Herb.
 Latin Name: Herba Houttuyniae.
 Property and flavor: slightly cold, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Herba Houttuyniae is the dried aerial part of Houttuynia cordata Thunb., used to clear heat, counteract toxins, evacuate pus and relieve stranguria for the lung abscess with purulent expectoration, cough in cases of lung heat, boils and sores, damp-heat stranguria, and acute dysentery. It is commonly known as Yú Xīnɡ Cǎo, Heartleaf Houttuymia Herb, Herb of Heartleaf Houttuynia.

 Houttuynia cordata Thunb.:shrubs Botanical source: Common herbal classics and official herbal classics defined the herb Herba Houttuyniae (Heartleaf Houttuynia Herb) as the dried aerial part of (1). Houttuynia cordata Thunb. It is a plant of the Houttuynia Thunb. Genus, Saururaceae family (Saururaceae Rich. ex T. Lestib. family), Piperales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Houttuynia cordata Thunb.


 Houttuynia cordata Thunb.:drawing of plant Botanical description: Houttuynia cordata Thunb is commonly known as Jí Cài. A perennial fishy herb, the plant grows up to 60 cm tall. The lower part of the stem is procumbent, radicelle (rootlets) grow in whorls on nodes, the upper part is upright, glabrous or the nodes are piliferous. Leaves are alternate, thinly chartaceous (papery), with glandular dots; petioles are 1~4 cm long; stipules are membranous, strip-shaped, about 2.5 cm long, lower part connate with petiole to a leaf sheath, the base is enlarged, slightly amplexicaular (stem-clasping). Leaf blades are oval (egg-shaped) or broadly ovate, 4~10 cm long, 3~6 cm wide, the apex is short and acuminate, the base is cordate, entire, the upper surface is green, the undersurface is often prunus (violet red), veins on both sides are pilose.

 Spikes grow on top of the stem, about 2 cm long, about 5 mm wide, opposite to leaves; 4 involucral bracts, long circular or obovate, 1~1.5 cm long, about 0.6 cm wide, white; flowers are small and dense, achlamydeous (having no perianth); 3 stamens, filaments are 3 times as long as anthers, lower part connate with the ovary; 1 pistil, consisting of 3 carpels, ovary is superior, 3 styles, detached.

 Capsularfruit is ovoid, 2~3 mm long, and the apex is dehiscent, with a persistent style. Seeds are many, oval (egg-shaped). Its flowering period is from May to June, and the fruiting period is from October to November.

 Houttuynia cordata Thunb.:flowering plant Ecological environment: Houttuynia cordata grows in gullies, damp places, or near water, streams and moist area in open forests. The plant is mainly distributed in the northwest, northern, central, and southern areas of the Yangtze River. It is mainly produced in areas of the Yangtze River, the Zhujiang river area, and the northwest of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Houttuynia cordata Thunb grows wild in wet or waterside lowlands, it prefers a warm and humid environment, avoid drought. It is tolerant to cold, afraid of strong light, can pass winter at -15 °C (Celsius, or 5 degrees Fahrenheit). It grows best in fertile sandy loam and humus loam, but clay and alkaline soil are not suitable for cultivation.

 Houttuynia cordata Thunb.:fresh herb with root Characters of herbs: Fresh Heartleaf Houttuynia Herb: The stem is oblate, shrinking and bending, 20~30 cm long, or 20~45 cm long, and 0.25~0.45 cm in diameter; the surface is yellowish-brown, the nodes are obvious, and the lower nodes have residual fibrous roots; the texture of the herb is crisp, easily broken. Leaves are alternate, mostly shriveled, cordate when it is flattened, 3~5 cm long, 3~4.5 cm wide; the upper surface is dull green (dark green) or yellowish green, with dense glandular spots, and the undersurface is olive-brown (green brown) or taupe brown; the petiole is thin and long, the base and stipules (peraphyllum) connate to a sheath. The spike is terminal (apical). It has a fishy smell when it is bruised and tastes slight puckery. The herb of a better grade has many leaves, green, with flower spikes and a strong fishy smell.

 Dry Heartleaf Houttuynia Herb: The stem is flat cylindrical, and twisted, the surface is yellow-brown, with several striations, and obvious nodes, and fibrous roots remaining on the lower nodes; the texture of the herb is crisp and easily broken. The leaves are alternate, the leaves are curled and shriveled, cordate after the leaf is flattened, the upper surface is dark yellow-green to dark brown, and the undersurface is gray-green or gray-brown. The spikes are yellow-brown.

 Herba Houttuyniae:dried herb Pharmacological actions: ①.inhibitory effect on staphylococcus aureus, diplococcus pneumoniae, mycobacterium tuberculosis, bacillus dysentery, and leptospirosis; ②.preventive effect on virus infection in mice; ③.significantly promote the phagocytosis of leukocytes and macrophages and has an anti-inflammatory effect; ④.Quercitin has a diuretic effect; ⑤.antitussive and antiasthmatic effects of houttuynia oil are obvious.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat and detoxification, elimination carbuncle and discharge pus, prompt diuresis and treating stranguria, prompt diuresis and reduce swelling. It is indicated for abscess of lung and pyemesis (spitting pus), pneumonia, lung abscess, phlegm heat and asthma cough, pyretic stranguria, malaria, carbuncle sore and ulcer, hemorrhoids, edema, gonorrhea, leucorrhea, rectocele, eczema, favus of the scalp, scabies, etc.

 Administration of Herba Houttuyniae (Yú Xīnɡ Cǎo): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Herba Houttuyniae (Yú Xīnɡ Cǎo)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:15~25 grams,should not decoct for long time,fresh herb double dosage,water decoction or extract juice and take. Externally: proper amount, mashed and apply stick, or fumigation wash the affected area with water decoction; ②.Internally:water decoction, 3~5 qian (about 9~15 grams), fresh herb 1~2 liang (about 30~60 grams), or extract juice. Externally:fumigation wash with water decoction, or mashed and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction, 15~25 grams, should not decoct for long time, or double dosage, extract juice from fresh herb. Externally:proper amount, mashed and apply stick, or fumigation wash with water decoction.

 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Yu Xing Cao:Heartleaf Houttuynia Herb or Herba Houttuyniae.

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