Introduction of Ma Bo:Puff-ball or Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Puff-ball, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source three plant species, ①.Lasiosphaera fenzlii Reichb., ②.Calvatia gigantea (Batsch ex Pers.) Lloyd., ③.Calvatia lilacina (Mont.et Berk.) Lloyd., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these three plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these three plant species, the features of the herb Puff-ball, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia(Puff-ball).

Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia:Puff-ball Pin Yin Name: Mǎ Bó.
 English Name: Puff-ball.
 Latin Name: Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia is the dried sporophore of Lasiosphaera fenzlii Reichb., Calvatia gigantea(Batsch ex Pers.) Lloyd or Calvatia lilacina (Mont.et Berk.) Lloyd (family Lycoperdaceae), used to clear heat, counteract toxins, soothe the throat and stanch bleeding for treating painful swelling of the throat and hoarseness of voice in cases of wind-heat afflictions or fire in the lung, and also for epistaxis, hematemesis and traumatic bleeding. The herb is commonly known as Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia, Puff-ball, Mǎ Bó.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia (Puff-ball) as the dried sporophore of (1). Lasiosphaera fenzlii Reichb., or (2).Calvatia gigantea (Batsch ex Pers.) Lloyd., or (3).Calvatia lilacina (Mont.et Berk.) Lloyd.(Lycoperdon genus, Grifolidae family.). These 3 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Lasiosphaera fenzlii Reichb.


 Lasiosphaera fenzlii Reichb Botanical description: Lasiosphaera fenzlii Reichb is also known as Tuō Pí Mǎ Bó. A deciduous parasitic fungus, the fruiting body is subsphaeroidal, 15~20 cm in diameter, and has no sterile base; the peridium is in 2 layers, thin, and easily disappears, out peridium easily separates from the inner peridium at maturity. Out peridium is cream white (milky white) in the initial stage, later turns taupe (dust color), and dirty gray; inner peridium is chartaceous (papery), pale fumeus (pale smoke color), gradually flake off without peridium at maturity, only leaving a mass of spore body, spore body is taupe (dust color) to smoke brown. Spores are globular shape, sporoderm has small spikes, brown, 4.5~5.5 μm (micrometre) in diameter. Capillitium is long, branched, and interweaved, mycelium (hypha) is 2~4.5 μm (micrometre) in diameter, and pale brown.

 Lasiosphaera fenzlii Reichb Ecological environment: The fungus grows in open grassland. The fungus is distributed in the Yangtze River area, southwest, northwest, northern, and other areas of China.

 Lasiosphaera fenzlii Reichb Characters of herbs: The encarpium (fruiting body) is oblate or near-spherical, 15~18 cm in diameter or more, and has no sterile base. The peridium is taupe brown or brown yellow, chartaceous (papery), and thin, most of which has fallen off, and a small part of spore skin is left; the spore body is yellowish-brown or tan (chocolate brown). The body is light, soft, elastic, and flocculent. When it is shaken gently, spores will fly out, when twirl it is subtle and refined. The herb has a faint odor. The herb of a better grade is big, full, loose and puffed, and elastic.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.hemostatic effect; ②.inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Streptococcus pneumoniae as well as a few pathomycete.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear lung and relieve sore throat, detoxify and stop bleeding. It is indicated for wind-heat lung inhibition and sore throat, sore throat and swelling, cough, loss of voice and hoarseness, epistaxis and vomiting blood, external treatment for nose bleeding, trauma bleeding, all sores do not collect.

 Administration of Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia (Mǎ Bó): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia (Mǎ Bó)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:1.5~6 grams. Externally:proper amount, apply stick at affected area; ②.Internally:water decoction, 0.5~1 qian (about 1.5~3 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder, apply stick, or blow; ③.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~6 grams, or prepared to pill, powder. Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply, or apply stick, or blow.

(2).Calvatia gigantea (Batsch ex Pers.) Lloyd.


 Calvatia gigantea Batsch ex Pers.Lloyd Botanical description: Calvatia gigantea (Batsch ex Pers.) Lloyd is also known as Dà Mǎ Bó. A deciduous parasitic fungus, its fruiting body is subsphaeroidal, 15~25 cm in diameter, the sterile base is inconspicuous. Peridium is white, gradually turn to pale yellow to pale bluish yellow, out peridium is membraneous, the surface has a floss texture in the initial stage, later falls off and smooth; the inner peridium is thicker and composed of loose mycelium (hypha). Peridium cracks when it is mature and turns to relic exfoliation. Sporogenous tissue is white in the initial stage and later turns bluish-brown. Spores are spheric shape (globular), sporoderm is smooth, pale greenish yellow, 3.8~4.7 μm (micrometre) in diameter. Capillitium is long, slightly branched, and has sparse transeptae, 2.5~6 μm (micrometre) in diameter.

 Calvatia gigantea Batsch ex Pers.Lloyd Ecological environment: The fungus grows out in late summer to late autumn and occurs in open grassland, grass, and sandy grass slopes on hillsides or mountain slopes. The fungus is distributed in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, northwest, southwest, and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The encarpium (fruiting body) is oblate, or asquish irregular lumps, 15~20 cm in diameter or more, has a small sterile base or is absent. The out peridium is sallow (grayish yellow), chartaceous (papery), and often falls off, the inner peridium is thick hard and crisp, split into lumps, yellowish-brown; the spore body is pale cyan brown (pale bluish brown), flocculent and light, loose, when it is shaken gently, spores will fly out. The herb has a faint odour, and it tastes slightly bitter and puckery. The herb of a better grade is big, full, loose and puffed, and elastic.

(3).Calvatia lilacina (Mont.et Berk.) Lloyd.


 Calvatia lilacina Mont.et Berk.Lloyd Botanical description: Calvatia lilacina (Mont.et Berk.) Lloyd is also known as Zǐ Sè Tū Mǎ Bó. A deciduous parasitic fungus, its fruiting body is suboblate, 1.5~12 cm in diameter, its base is constricted, and there are root bundles connected with stroma. The appearance is pale violet to fuscid (dirty brown), and there is resillage (pattern cracking) on the surface at maturity. The inside sporogenous layer (sporogenous tissue) is white in the initial stage, and later turns yellow to thick purple. The base is woven by vegetative hypha (nutrient hypha), sponginess, cream white (milky white) with pale puce (pale purple-brown), spores are mauve (lilac), spheric shape (globular), one end has a short stalk, sporoderm has spikes, size is (5~5.5) μm × (6~6.5) μm. Capillitium is long and many-branched, has septa, and mycelium (hypha) is 5~6 μm (micrometre) in diameter.

 Ecological environment: The fungus mostly grows on a meadow open area in summer and autumn. The fungus is distributed in the Yangtze River area, the Zhujiang river area, northwest, southwest, and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The whole fruiting body is oblate, the incomplete fruiting body is cyathiform (cuplike), 5~12 cm in diameter, and the sterile base is developed, has a stalk. The peridium is thin, puce (purple brown), rough and wrinkled, with round concave, after the upper peridium falls off, the purple spore body is exposed. The fruiting body is light and elastic, there are abundant spores flying out after it is crumbled by hand. The herb has a faint odor. The herb of a better grade is big, full, loose and puffed, and elastic.
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Ma Bo:Puff-ball or Lasiosphaera seu Calvatia.

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