Introduction of Lou Lu:Uniflower Swisscentaury Root or Radix Rhapontici.

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 Counteracting Toxins.

 TCM Herbs Icon05 Introduction: Herbs Clearing Heat and Counteracting Toxins: an agent or substance herbs that counteracts heat toxins or fire toxins, mainly indicated in the treatment of boils, sores, abscess, erysipelas, epidemic infectious diseases, mumps, dysentery, insect or snake bite, and burns.

Radix Rhapontici(Uniflower Swisscentaury Root).

Radix Rhapontici:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Lòu Lú.
 English Name: Uniflower Swisscentaury Root.
 Latin Name: Radix Rhapontici.
 Property and flavor: cold, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Radix Rhapontici is the dried root of Rhaponticum uniflorum(L.)DC.(family Compositae), used (1).to clear heat and counteract toxins for mastitis, and (2).to promote lactation in cases of galactostasis. The herb is commonly known as Radix Rhapontici, Uniflower Swisscentaury Root, Root of Broadleaf Globethistle, Lòu Lú.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics and official herbal classics defined the herb Radix Rhapontici(Uniflower Swisscentaury Root) as the dried root of (1).Rhaponticum uniflorum(L.)DC., or (2).Echinops latifolius Tausch. They are plants of the Stemmacantha genus, Asteraceae family, Asterales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

(1).Rhaponticum uniflorum(L.)DC.

 Rhaponticum uniflorum L.DC.:flowers Botanical description: It is commonly known as Qí Zhōu Lòu Lú. Herbs perennial, 30~100 cm tall. Rhizome thick, taproots cylindrical, 1~2 cm in diameter, upper densely covered with the residual petiole. Stem erect, unbranched, clustered or solitary, striate, with white woolly or short hairs. Basal leaves long-petiole, 6~20 cm long, thickly woolly; Basal leaves and lower stems and leaves are all oval, 12~25 cm long, 5~10 cm long, pinnate whole lobed in the shape of a harp, lobes are often deeply lobed or deeply lobed, both sides are covered with spider silk hair or rough hair velvet; Middle and upper leaves smaller, sessile or sessile. Inflorescence capitate, solitary stem apex, ca. 5 cm in diameter; Involucre campanulate, base concave; Involucral bracts multilayered, with a dry membranous appendage, outer layer short, ovate, middle appendage wide, palmately divided, inner layer lanceolate, apex acute; Corolla mauve, ca. 2.5 cm long, lower striate, upper slightly cylindrical, apex 5-lobed; 5 stamen, anther polymerization; Ovary inferior, style extended, stigma 2-lobed, purple. Achene, obconical, 5~6 mm long, tan, with four ribs; Crested bristly, feathered to produce too short hair. It is flowering from May to July, fruiting from June to August.

 Rhaponticum uniflorum L.DC.:flowering plantEcological environment: The plant grows on hilly slopes, under pine or birch forests, at an altitude of 390~2,700 meters above sea level. The plant distributes in the north, northwest, west, northeast, south of the Yangtze River area, Sichuan, and other areas of China.

 Uniflower Swisscentaury Root:herb photo Characters of herbs: Roots obconical cylindrical, some slightly twisted or compressed, usually unbranched, 10~30 cm long, 1~2.5 cm in diameter intact. Surface dark brown or dark brown, rough, with irregular longitudinal groove and whip-shaped network of cracks, often peeling the outer layer. Root head enlarged, with a few stem bases and scaly leaf bases, tip with grayish villi. Qualitative brittle, easy to be broken off, when broken, the skin often and wood part off, the skin color is darker, the wood part is yellowish-white, show to shoot a form, the wood ray place is broken more, the center of the wood part becomes star shape crack because of decay, show dark brown. The peculiar smell, taste slightly bitter. With strip thick, brown-black, qualitative and firm, do not shatter better.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anti-atherosclerosis; ②.antioxidant effect; ③.lipid peroxidation effect on tissue; ④.inhibition of type B monoamine oxidase activity in rats; ⑤.effect on animal immunity, etc.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat and detoxification, eliminate carbuncle, lactogenesis, free tendons and promote blood circulation, activate blood circulation and lactogenesis. It is indicated for acute mastitis and swelling pain, carbuncle boils swelling pain, carbuncle-abscess, scrofula, tuberculous lymphadenitis, obstruction of milk, rheumatic obstruction, hemorrhoid complicated by anal fistula, scabies prurigo, red eyes swollen and pain, dysentery, ascarid abdominal pain, rheumatism arthralgia, lumbar sprain and feel pain in the chest, traumatic injury of fall, no milk after childbirth, etc.

 Administration of Radix Rhapontici(Lòu Lú): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Rhapontici(Lòu Lú)
TCM Books: Internally:5~9 grams(CP),Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian(about 4.5~9 grams),fresh herb 1~2 liang(about 30~60 grams), or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:wash with water decoction,or grinded into powder and apply stick(DCTM),Internally:water decoction, 9~15 grams.Externally:proper amount,grinded into fine powder and apply stick with vinegar, or mash fresh herb and apply stick(CHMM).
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Radix Rhapontici should be used cautiously during pregnancy, should avoid using in conditions Qi deficiency, ulcer and pregnancy.

(2).Echinops latifolius Tausch.

 Echinops latifolius Tausch.:flowering plant Botanical description: It is commonly known as Yu Zhōu Lòu Lú. Herbs perennial, ca. 1 meter high. Stem erect, unbranched or sparsely branched, densely white woolly on the upper part, sparsely spiderlike on the lower part. Leaves 2-gyrus pinnately divided or deeply lobed, sparsely spiderlike or glabrous above, densely white woolly below, margin shortly spiny; Basal leaves petiole, leaves rectangular obovate, about 20 cm long; Upper leaves becoming smaller, elliptic to ovate, 10~20 cm long, basally clasped. Compound head, rounded, ca. 4 cm in diameter; Inflorescence nearly 2 cm long, outer involucral bracts bristly, base united; Spatulate outer layer of inner involucre, apex acuminate, margin with rachis eyelashes; Inner layer narrowly whiplash to rectangular circular, apex sharp, middle above eyelash; Corolla tubular, 5 lobes, striate, pale blue, tubular white; 5 stamen, anther polymerization; Ovary inverted bell-shaped, tomentose, stigma 2-lobed. Achene, round, densely tawny pilose; Crested hairs about 1 mm long, lower connexion florescence from July to September, fruiting in October.

 Echinops latifolius Tausch.:flowering plantEcological environment: The plant grows in forest edge, dry hillside, grass to the sun. The plant distributes in the north, northwest, and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The roots are cylindrical, slightly twisted, varying in length, 0.5~1.5 cm in diameter. Surface yellowish or grayish brown, rough, longitudinally wrinkled, apex with fibrous brown remnant petiole vascular bundles. The quality firm, section thick fiber shape, skin brown, wood with yellow and black chrysanthemum grain. Light smell, taste slight astringent. Its branches are thick and long. Surface soil brown, solid quality, length neat for the better.
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  • 1.Introduction of Lou Lu:Uniflower Swisscentaury Root or Radix Rhapontici.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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