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

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Uniflower Swisscentaury Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Rhaponticum uniflorum(L.)DC., ②.Echinops latifolius Tausch., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Uniflower Swisscentaury Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

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: The roots are inverted conical and cylindrical, some of which are slightly twisted or flattened, usually unbranched, and the intact ones are 10~30 cm long and 1~2.5 cm in diameter. The surface is dark brown or black brown, coarse and rough, with irregular longitudinal grooves and whip-shaped reticular cracks, and the outer layer is often cracked. The root head is enlarged, with a few stem bases and scaly leaf bases, and there are gray-white fluff grow on the top. The texture of the herb is brittle and easy to break. When it is broken, the cortex is regularly separated from the wood part. The cortex is dark, the wood part is yellow and white, and it is radial pattern. The wood rays are mostly broken, and the center of the wood is star-shaped and dark brown due to decay. The odor is peculiar, and the taste is slightly bitter. The herb which is thick, dark brown, solid and non-chipping strips are 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: ①.Internally:5~9 grams;②.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;③.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.
 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 similarly cylindrical, slightly twisted, varying in length and 0.5~1.5 cm in diameter. The surface is yellowish or gray-brown, rough and longitudinally wrinkled, with fibrous brown residual petiole vascular bundle at the top. The texture of the herb is hard, the fracture surface is coarse fiber-like, the cortex is brown, there are yellow and black chrysanthemum pattern on wood part. The herb has slight odor, tastes slightly puckery. The herb which has thick and long branches, the surface is earth brown, the texture is firm and solid, in regular length is better.
 
Herbs Clearing Heat and Counteracting Toxins.

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

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