Introduction of Bai Xian Pi:Dittany Root-bark or Cortex Dictamni.

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 Drying Dampness.

 TCM Herbs Icon05 Introduction: Herbs Clearing Heat and Drying Dampness: an agent or substance bitter in taste and cold in property that is effective for eliminating heat and dampness, usually used in the treatment of diseases caused by damp-heat, such as acute jaundice, acute dysentery, urinary infection, eczema, boils and abscesses.

 
Cortex Dictamni(Dittany Root-bark).

Cortex Dictamni Pin Yin Name: Bái Xiān Pí.
 English Name: Dittany Root-bark.
 Latin Name: Cortex Dictamni.
 Property and flavor: cold, bitter, salty.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Cortex Dictamni is the dried root-bark of Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz.(family Rutaceae), used internally or externally for skin diseases with excessive secretion and itching. The herb is commonly known as Cortex Dictamni, Dittany Root-bark, Bái Xiān Pí.

 Botanical source: The herb Cortex Dictamni(Dittany Root-bark) is the dried root-bark of Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz., it is a plant of the Dictamnus L. genus, the Rutaceae family of the Sapindales order.

 Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz.01 The Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz., is a plant of the Rutaceae family and Dictamnus L genus, it is commonly known as "Dictamnus dasycarpus", or "Densefruit Pittany", or "Bai Xian", perennial herb, base woody, up to 1 meter. The whole plant has a specific scent. Roots fleshy, more lateral roots, the skin yellow to brown. Odd-pinnate alternate; rachis narrowly winged have no petiole; 9~13 leaflets, blade ovate to elliptic, 3.5~9 cm, width 2~4 cm, apex acute, base cuneate, margin serrulate, dark green above, densely glandular dots, white and green below, glands more dilute. Racemes terminal, up to 30 cm, rachis, and pedicel pubescent Mixed white and black glandular hairs; long stalk 1~2.5 cm, the base has a linear bract; 5 sepals, ovate-lanceolate, long about 5 mm, width of 2 mm, base healing; 5 petals, and the color pink with purple lines, oblanceolate or oblong, about 25 mm, width 5~7 mm, a unit of the tapered shank was like: 10 stamens; ovary superior, 5 rooms. Capsule, densely glandular hairs, when mature 5-lobed, each flap having a tip apex. Seeds 2-3 pieces, a nearly spherical diameter of about 3 mm, apex mucronate, black, shiny. Its flowering period is from April to May, fruiting in June.

 Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz.02 Stem base woody perennial herb, 40~100 cm tall. The roots are slanted, and the meat is long and pale yellowish white. Stems upright, young and partly covered with long hairs and blisters. Leaves 9~13 leaflets, leaflets opposite, sessile, one at the top with long handle, elliptic to oblong, 3~12 cm long, 1~5 cm wide, grow on the upper part of the leaf axis. The leaf margins are serrated, veins are not obvious, the midribs are covered with hairs, and the hairs of the growing leaves gradually fall off; the leaf shafts have very narrow temporal lobes. Racemes ca. 30 cm in length; pedicels 1~1.5 cm long; sepals narrowly lanceolate; sepals 6~8 mm long, 2~3 mm wide; petals pale purple or pink with dark purple veins, Oblanceolate, 2~2.5 cm long, 5~8 mm wide; stamens project beyond petals; sepals and petals are densely covered with clear oil spots. Mature fruits (cockroaches) are cracked along the abdominal suture into 5 segmented fruit flaps. Each segmented lobe is also deeply split into 2 small lobes. The apex of the lobe is short-tipped, the endocarp wax is yellow, shiny, and each segment of the lobe 2-3 seeds; seeds broadly ovate or subglobose, 3~4 mm long, 3 mm thick, smooth. Its flowering period is in May, fruiting from August to September.

 ✵Common herbal classics of China defined the herb Cortex Dictamni, or Densefruit Pittany Root-bark(Bai Xian Pi) as cortex or root peel of the Rutaceae family plant species (1). Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz., or (2). Dictamnus angustifolius G. Don ex Sweet. The official herbal classics only defined the botanical source as the (1). Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz. Other common herbal classics defined the herb Burning Bush as from botanical origin species (3). Dictamnus albus. These 3 commonly used species are introduced as:

 Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz (1).Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz.:
 Botanical description: The Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz., is a plant of the Rutaceae family and Dictamnus L genus, it is commonly known as "Dictamnus dasycarpus", or "Densefruit Pittany", or "Bai Xian", perennial herb, base woody, up to 1 meter. The whole plant has a specific scent. Roots fleshy, more lateral roots, the skin yellow to brown. Odd-pinnate alternate; rachis narrowly winged have no petiole; leaflets 9~13, blade ovate to elliptic, 3.5~9 cm, width 2~4 cm, apex acute, base cuneate, margin serrulate, dark green at upper part, densely glandular dots, white and green below, glands more dilute. Racemes terminal, up to 30 cm, rachis, and pedicel pubescent Mixed white and black glandular hairs; long stalk 1~2.5 cm, the base has a linear bract; 5 sepals, ovate-lanceolate, long about 5 mm, width of 2 mm, base healing; 5 petals, and the color pink with purple lines, oblanceolate or oblong, about 25 mm, width 5~7 mm, a unit of the tapered shank was like: 10 stamens; ovary superior, 5 rooms. Capsule, densely glandular hairs, when mature 5-lobed, each flap having a tip apex. Seeds 2~3 pieces, a nearly spherical diameter of about 3 mm, apex mucronate, black, shiny. Its flowering period is from April to May, fruiting in June.

 Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz Stem base woody perennial herb, 40~100 cm tall. The roots are slanted, and the meat is long and pale yellowish white. Stems upright, young and partly covered with long hairs and blisters.

 Leaves 9~13 leaflets, leaflets opposite, sessile, one at the top with long handle, elliptic to oblong, 3~12 cm long, 1~5 cm wide, grow on the upper part of the leaf axis. The leaf margins are serrated, veins are not obvious, the midribs are covered with hairs, and the hairs of the growing leaves gradually fall off; the leaf shafts have very narrow temporal lobes.

 Racemes ca. 30 cm in length; pedicels 1~1.5 cm long; sepals narrowly lanceolate; sepals 6~8 mm long, 2~3 mm wide; petals pale purple or pink with dark purple veins, Oblanceolate, 2~2.5 cm long, 5~8 mm wide; stamens project beyond petals; sepals and petals are densely covered with clear oil spots.

 Mature fruits (cockroaches) are cracked along the abdominal suture into 5 segmented fruit flaps. Each segmented lobe is also deeply split into 2 small lobes. The apex of the lobe is short-tipped, the endocarp wax is yellow, shiny, and each segment of the lobe 2~3 seeds; seeds broadly ovate or subglobose, 3~4 mm long, 3 mm thick, smooth. It is flowering in May, fruiting period is from August to September.

 Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz Ecological environment: The Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz., grows on sandy soils, forest margins, and low shrublands on sandy soils, hilly slopes, or flatland shrubs or grasslands, or under sparse forests, or on limestone mountains. Geographical distribution: This species mainly distributes in the lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, The Ganjiang River area, the middle reaches area of the Yellow River, the northwest area, and other areas of China.

 The Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz., its adaptability is strong, like warm and moist environment, prefer to light, resistant cold, drought-resistant, not resistant of water.

 Growth characteristics: The Dictamnus dasycarpus prefers warm and humid climate, resistant to cold, afraid of drought, afraid of waterlogging, afraid of strong light.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is rolling, 5~15 cm in length, 1~2 cm in diameter, 0.2~0.5 cm in thickness. The outer surface is grayish white or light grayish yellow, with fine longitudinal wrinkles and fine root marks, often protruding granular small points, the inner surface is white with fine longitudinal stripes. The quality is crisp, when broken dust flying, the fracture surface is not flat, slightly lamellar, strip off the outer layer, meet the light visible twinkling small bright spot. It has the odor of sheep and tastes slightly bitter.

 Pharmacological actions: The decoction of Cortex Dictamni has different degree of inhibition to various pathogenic fungi in the test tube. It also has anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, anti-cancer, contractive uterine smooth muscle effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat and drying dampness, dispersing pathogenic wind and stop itching, and detoxify. It is indicated for heat dampness carbuncle ulcer, measles due to wind-heat and damp toxin, yellow water dripping, eczema, rubella, scabies and sores, rheumatic pyretic arthralgia, jaundice, jaundice and red urine.

 Administration of Cortex Dictamni(Bái Xiān Pí): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Cortex Dictamni(Bái Xiān Pí)
TCM Books: Internally:4.5~9 grams,Externally:proper amount,wash with water decoction,or grinded into powder and apply stick(CP),Internally: water decoction, 2~5 qian(about 6~15 grams),Externally:wash with water decoction(DCTM),Internally:water decoction,6~15 grams,prepared to pill,powder.Externally:proper amount,wash with water decoction or grinded into powder and apply stick(CHMM).


 Dictamnus angustifolius G.Don ex Sweet (2).Dictamnus angustifolius G.Don ex Sweet.:
 Botanical description: The Dictamnus angustifolius G. Don ex Sweet., is a plant of the Rutaceae family and Dictamnus L genus, it is commonly known as "Dictamnus angustifolius", or "Narrow-Leaf Dictamnus", or "Xia Ye Bai Xian", perennial herb, high 30-80 cm. Stems erect, much branched from the base, densely long hair, short hair and sometimes the lower part smooth, fragrant. Odd-pinnate alternate; rachis with hairs, base not winged; small petiole very short; 7~15 leaflets, oblong or oval, long 5~10 cm, width 2~3 cm, apex acuminate, base broadly cuneate or obtuse, margin with fine serrated, to the following curly, smooth above, the following along the veins sparse white hair. Inflorescence racemose, the students in the top of the stem, densely glandular hairs dark brown and light brown hair; bracts linear-lanceolate, densely dark brown glandular hairs; 5 sepals, lanceolate-linear, 7~9 mm, apex acute, densely glandular hairs; corolla lanceolate or oblong, 2~4.5 cm, pale pink, purple-brown hairy, apex acute or obtuse, base gradually forced into a claw; 10 stamens, separated filaments all hairy; ovary superior, with sparse white hair, smooth style. Capsule, densely glandular hairs, and fine hairs, when mature 5 cracks, each having a tip apex. Seeds 2~3 pieces, nearly spherical, black, shiny. Its flowering period is from May to July, fruiting from August to September.

 Ecological environment: The Dictamnus angustifolius G. Don ex Sweet., grows in mountain bushes and under forests, sunny slopes. Geographical distribution: This species mainly distributes in Xinjiang of China, mainly in the Yili and Altai regions. It distributes in other areas of Central Asia, etc.

 Burning Bush Dictamnus Albus (3).Dictamnus albus.: The Dictamnus albus(Burning Bush), is a plant of the Rutaceae family and Dictamnus L genus, "medicinal parts are the dried and occasionally the fresh leaves, the fresh or dried root, and the fresh or dried root rind.", the herb bear other names such like "Fraxinella, Dittany, Gas Plant, Diptam", the Burning Bush flowers are terminal racemes and pink with dark veins. They are large and irregular, with 5 sepals and 5 petals. There are 2 bracteoles that slightly zygomorphous. The 10 stamens are long, threadlike, and bent forward. The ovaries have 5 capels fused at the base on a short gynophore. The fruit is a capsule that bursts open into mericarps ejecting the seeds. The plant is 0.5~1.5 meter high perennial herb. Numerous erect, unbranched and sticky-glandular-haired shoots grow from the root. The leaves are the alternate, odd,7~11 pinnate, and transparently punctuated with oil glands. The plant has a strong lemon or cinnamon fragrance. The oil is easily inflammable.

 Burning Bush Dictamnus Albus Ecological environment: The Dictamnus albus(Burning Bush)., grows in mountain bushes and under forests, sunny slopes. Geographical distribution: This species is indigenous to Central Europe and parts of Asia, and is cultivated in the northern U.S.
 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Bai Xian Pi:Dittany Root-bark or Cortex Dictamni.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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