Introduction of Qin Pi:Ash Bark or Cortex Fraxini.
✵The article gives records of the herb Ash Bark, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source four plant species, ①.Fraxinus rhynchophylla Hance., ②.Fraxinus szaboana Lingelsh., ③.Fraxinus chinensis Roxb., ④.Fraxinus stylosa Lingelsh., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these four plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these four plant species, the features of the herb Ash Bark, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
Cortex Fraxini(Ash Bark).
Pin Yin Name: Qín Pí.
English Name: Ash Bark.
Latin Name: Cortex Fraxini.
Property and flavor: cold, bitter, puckery.
Brief introduction: The Herb Cortex Fraxini is the dried branch bark or trunk bark of Fraxinus rhynchophylla Hance, Fraxinus chinensis Roxb., or Fraxinus stylosa Lingelsh., used for treating acute dysentery and inflammation of the eye. The herb is commonly known as Cortex Fraxini, Ash Bark, Qín Pí.
Botanical source: The herb Cortex Fraxini (Ash Bark) is the dried cortex or tree bark of species (1). Fraxinus rhynchophylla Hance., (2). Fraxinus szaboana Lingelsh., (3). Fraxinus chinensis Roxb., or (4). Fraxinus stylosa Lingelsh., they are plants of the Fraxinus L. genus, the Oleaceae family (olive family) of the Contortae order. These 4 commonly used species are introduced:
(1).Fraxinus rhynchophylla Hance.
Botanical description: Fraxinus rhynchophylla Hance. is also known as Fraxinus chinensis Roxb.var.rhynchophylla (Hance) Hemsl., or Dà Yè Cén, Hua Qu Liu, or Big Leaf Fraxinus. Deciduous large trees, the tree grows up to 12~15 meters tall.[in editing] Bark is taupe (dust-color, grayish brown), smooth, and lobed when turns old. Winter buds are broadly ovate, the apex is pointed, black brown, and glossy, inside is densely covered with brown curly fluff. The branch of the same year is primrose yellow (pale yellow), straight as a ramrod, and glabrous, the branch of last year is darkish brown (dust-color), and lenticels are scattered. Leaf rhachis has shallow grooves on its surface, has joints at the part where the leaflet grows, sometimes brown curve pubescence grows on the joints; 5~7 lobules, coriaceous, broadly ovate, obovate, or ovate-lanceolate, 3~11 cm long, 2~6 cm wide, lobule of vegetative branches is broad and big, terminal lobules are significantly bigger than the lateral lobules, 1 pair lobules at the lower side are the smallest, apex is acuminate, sharp-pointed or tail-pointed, the base is blunt, leaf edge has irregular coarsely serrate, serrate tip slightly curls inward, sometimes undulating, usually the lower part is subentire, white pilose grow on along the vein axils, gradually turn glabrous.
Panicles are terminal or axillary at branch tip of the same year, about 10 cm long; Flower bracts are long lanceolate, about 5 mm long, caducous; Pedicels are about 5 mm long; Male flowers and hermaphroditic flowers are dioecious; Calyx is shallow cup-shaped, about 1 mm long, sepals are triangular and glabrous; corolla is absent; Hermaphroditic flowers have 2 stamens, about 4 mm long; Pistil has short style, stigma is deeply divaricated; Male flowers have small calyx, filaments are thin, up to 3 mm long.
Samara is linear, nut grow on the front end is about 1 cm long, slightly raised; With persistent calyx. Its flowering period is from April to May, the fruiting period is from September to October.
Ecological environment: The tree grows on slopes, riverbanks, and roadsides, in areas below an elevation of 1,500 meters above sea level. The tree is distributed in north China and the Yellow River basin provinces. In China, it mainly grows in the north and south of Tianshan Mountain in Xinjiang. It grows well in Yili and the southern margin of the Junggar basin and Urumqi in the north, and is also widely cultivated. It also grows in Hami and Turpan in the east and Korla, Aksu, Kashgar, and Hotan in the Tarim Basin in the south.
Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a warm and humid climate, and prefers sunlight. The soil requirements are not strict, it can grow in yellow soil, yellow-brown soil, and other soil. It is a light-loving tree species, suitable for the soil of deep soil layers, fertile and good drainage. The root system is developed and has strong cold resistance, and can adapt to a wide range of temperatures. The annual average temperature is 5.5~14.4 °C (Celsius, or 41.9~57.92 degrees Fahrenheit), the highest temperature is 47.6 °C (Celsius, or 117.68 degrees Fahrenheit) in July, and the lowest temperature is over -40 °C (Celsius, or -40 degrees Fahrenheit) in January. But the ability to withstand atmospheric drought is poor. When the relative humidity is about 45% in July-August and the temperature is above 38 °C (Celsius, or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit), the leaves will turn yellow or even fall off. It can still grow in soil when its salt content is less than 0.5%.
Characters of herbs: The bark of branches is rolled tube-like or groovelike, 10~60 cm long, and 1.5~3 mm thick. The outer surface is ash gray (grayish white), taupe brown (grayish brown) to black brown or patchy, flat or slightly coarse, with grayish-white dot-like lenticels and fine oblique wrinkles, and some with branch marks; the inner surface is yellowish white or brown, smooth. The texture of the herb is hard and brittle, the fracture surface is fibrous, and yellowish-white. The herb is odorless, it tastes bitter.
The dried bark is a long strip piece block, with a thickness of 3~6 mm. The outer surface is taupe brown (grayish brown), with reddish-brown round or lalongate lenticels and frustose rills. The texture of the herb is firm and hard, the fracture surface is strong fibrous.
Pharmacological actions: ①.Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect; ②.Effect on urine volume and urate excretion.
Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat and drying dampness, clear the liver and improve the eyesight, relieve cough and asthma. It is indicated for dampness heat and diarrhea dysentery, morbid leukorrhea, red eyes and swelling pain; eyesores and nebula, lung heat and asthma cough.
Administration of Cortex Fraxini (Qín Pí):
Administration Guide of Cortex Fraxini (Qín Pí)
①.Internally:6~12 grams, Externally:proper amount,wash affected area with water decoction; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian (about 4.5~9 grams), or prepare to pill,powder. Externally:wash with water decoction; ③.Internally:water decoction, 6~12 grams, Externally:proper amount,wash eyes with water decoction or drip eyes with liquid.
(2).Fraxinus szaboana Lingelsh.
Botanical description: Fraxinus szaboana Lingelsh. is also known as Fraxinus chinensis Roxb.var.acuminata Lingelsh. (F.chinensis Roxb.var.acuminata Lingelsh.); F.caudata J.L.Wu; F.rhynchophylla Hance var.huashanensis J.L.Wu et Z.W.Xie., or Jiān Yè Cén, or Sharp Leaf Fraxinus, or Jiān Yè Bái Là Shù (means pointed-leaf ash tree), Wěi Yè Cén, and so on. A deciduous small tree, it grows up to 3~8 meters high; Bark is gray. Winter bud is big, sharp conical, the outside is densely covered with tawny fuzz and white glandular hairs, the inside is densely covered with brown curly pilose. Twigs are yellow, glabrous, or covered with fine pubescence, gradually turning glabrous, lenticels are small and protuberant, brown, elliptic, and scattered. Pinnately compound leaves are 12~20 cm long; Petiole is 3~5 cm long, the base is slightly enlarged, brown curly pubescences grow in tufts on it when the petiole is tender, soon fall off; Rhachis is relatively thin, slightly curved, the upper surface has narrow groove, groove edge is deep, the part with lobule is articular, covered with fine pilose; 3~7 lobules, hard papery, ovate-lanceolate, rarely obovate-lanceolate, 4.5~9 cm long, and 2~4 cm wide, apical lobule is usually larger, the apex is long acuminate to tail pointed, the base is cuneate to blunt, leaf margin sharply serrate, the upper surface is glabrous, sometimes the sides of midrib and base on the undersurface is covered with pale yellow or white fluff, midrib concave on the upper surface, lateral veins are in 6~8 pairs, the upper surface is flat, the under surface is protuberant or raised, veinlets are raised and netting; Petiolule is 2~3 mm long, or subsessile.
Panicle is terminal or axillary and grows at the branch tip, 5~8 cm long; Peduncle is 1.5~2 cm long, sometimes branch base with leaf-like bracts, covered with sparse and scattering pilose or squarrose hairs, lenticels scattered, inconspicuous; Male flower and hermaphroditic flower are dioecious; Calyx is cup-shaped, about 1.5 mm long, calyx teeth have triangular pointed apex; corolla is absent; Style is shorter, stigma is bifurcated.
Samara is spatulate (spoon-shaped), 3~3.5 cm long, about 5 mm wide, the middle-upper part is widest, the apex is obtuse, the base is narrowing, wings extending downward to the middle of the nut, the nut is about 1.2 cm long, raised, veins edge is slender straight; Calyx teeth of the persistent calyx is orderly, distanced from the base of the nut. Its flowering period is from April to May, the fruiting period is from July to September.
This species is distinct from Fraxinus rhynchophylla Hance.: branchlets, rhachis, and lobules are covered with hairs on the undersurface. 3~7 lobules (leaflets), lobule apex is long acuminate to caudate, often has white pilose on midvein base of the under surface. Flowers are without corolla, bloom at the same time as leaves; the calyx is cup-shaped, distanced from the base of the nut.
Ecological environment: The tree grows in shaw of mountain areas at an altitude over 1,000 meters above sea level. It is distributed in the Yellow River area, and areas of the Yangtze River valley.
(3).Fraxinus chinensis Roxb.
Botanical description: Fraxinus chinensis Roxb. is also known as Fraxinus chinensis Roxb.var.rotundata Lingelsh.(F.chinensis Roxb.var.rotundata Lingelsh.), or Bái Là Shù, or White-Wax Fraxinus, or Bai Xun Mu, Shuǐ Bái Là, and so on. Deciduous trees, the tree grows up to 10~12 meters tall; The bark is taupe (dust color), split crack. The bud is broadly ovate or conical, covered with brown pilose or glandular hairs. Branchlet (twig) is tawny (yellow brown), coarse, glabrous, or sparsely covered with long pilose, gradually turns glabrous, lenticels are small, inconspicuous. Pinnately compound leaves are 15~25 cm long; petiole is 4~6 cm long, the base is not thickening; rhachis is straight and upright, the upper surface has shallow grooves, sparsely covered with pubescence in the initial stage, gradually turns glabrous; lobules 5~7, hard papery, oval (egg-shaped), obovate-oblong to lanceolate, 3~10 cm long, 2~4 cm wide, apical lobules are the nearly equal size as lateral lobules, or slightly larger, the apex is sharply pointed to acuminate, the base is obtuse to cuneate, leaf edge is orderly serrate, the upper surface is glabrous, smooth, the under surface is hairless or sometimes covered with white pilose along midrib sides, midrib is plat on the upper surface, lateral veins are in 8~10 pairs, bulging on the underside, veinlets are raised on both surfaces, obviously netting; petiolule is 3~5 mm long.
Panicles are terminal or axillary and grow at branch tip, 8~10 cm long; Peduncle is 2~4 cm long, glabrous or covered with fine pubescence, smooth, lenticels are absent; Flowers are dioecious; male flowers grow densely, the calyx is small, campanulate (bell-shaped), about 1 mm long, the corolla is absent, anther is the nearly equal length as filaments; female flowers are separated, the calyx is big, tubby, 2~3 mm long, 4-lobed, style is slender, stigma is 2-lobed.
Samara is spatulate (spoon-shaped), 3~4 cm long, about 4~6 mm wide, the middle-upper part is widest, the apex is pointed, often colter-shaped, the base is gradually narrowing, wings are explanate and extending downward to the middle of the nut, nut is cylindrical, about 1.5 cm long; persistent calyx closely attached on the base of the nut, often opening on one side and deeply cracked. Its flowering period is from April to May, the fruiting period is from July to September.
Different from the former two species: lobules are oval (egg-shaped), obovate-oblong to lanceolate, and the apex is pointed to acuminate; the calyx is tube-shape, closely attached to the nut base.
Ecological environment: The tree grows in shaw of mountain areas at an altitude over 800~1,600 meters above sea level. It is widely distributed from south to north in China, often cultivated. It is also introduced to Southeast Asia, South Asia, northeast Asia, Europe, and the USA (the United States of America).
Growth characteristics: The species has a long history of cultivation in China, it is widely distributed. The plant is tolerant to drought and barren, it can grow in light saline and alkaline soil. Its main economic uses are to feed wax insects and to produce white wax (insect wax). The tree grows quickly, is soft and tough, used to weave handicrafts, bark is used as herbs.
(4).Fraxinus stylosa Lingelsh.
Botanical description: Fraxinus stylosa Lingelsh. is also known as Fraxinus fallax Lingelsh.(F.fallax Lingelsh.), or Sù Zhù Cén. Deciduous small trees, the tree grows up to about 8 meters high, branches are sparse; bark is taupe (dust color), split crack; Bud is oval(egg-shaped), puce (dark brown), glossy after dried, sometimes has paint-like lustre; Branchlet (twig) is primrose yellow (pale yellow), straight and upright, smooth, node is enlarged, glabrous, lenticels are sparse and raised; Pinnately compound leaves are 6~15 cm long; petiole is thin, 2~5 cm long; rhachis is thin and straight, the upper surface has shallow grooves, has joints at the part where lobule grows, base is thickening, hairless; lobules 3~5, hard papery, ovate-lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, 3.5~8 cm long, 0.8~2 cm wide, apex is long acuminate, base is broadly cuneate, extending downward to short stalk, sometimes blunt, leaf edge is serrulate, both surfaces are glabrous or sometimes white fine pubscence cover veins on undersurface, midrib concave on upside and raised on underside, lateral veins are in 8~10 pairs, veinlets are extremely tiny and inconspicuous; petiolule is 2~3 mm long, glabrous.
Panicles are terminal or axillary and grow at the tip of the same year branch, 8~10 or 14 cm long, branches are slim and tender, loose; Peduncle is oblate, glabrous, with more lenticels, particularly conspicuous in fruit phase; Pedicels are thin, about 3 mm long; the calyx is cup-shaped, about 1 mm long, calyx teeth 4, narrowly triangular, sharp-pointed apex, the same length as calyx tube; corolla is primrose yellow (pale yellow), lobes are linear-lanceolate, about 2 mm long, about 1 mm wide, the apex is blunt; male flowers have 2 stamens, slightly longer than corolla lobes, anther is oblong, filaments are thin and long; the female flower is absent;
Samara is oblanceolate, 1.5~2 cm long, or up to 3.5 cm long, about 2.5~3 mm wide, or up to 5 mm wide, the middle-upper part is widest, the apex is sharp-pointed, blunt or slightly emarginate, with a small tip (persistent style), wings are extending downward above the middle of nut, the nut is protuberant. Its flowering period is in May, the fruiting period is in September.
The difference between this species and the other three species is that the leaflets (lobules) are sessile or subsessile, the leaf blades are ovate-lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, and the rhachis is thin and straight. Flower has a corolla, leaves grow out earlier than flowers; Calyx teeth are conspicuous.
Ecological environment: The tree grows in shaw on hillsides or mountain slopes, at an elevation of 1,300-3,200 meters above sea level. The tree is mainly distributed in the northwest and southwest, and middle area of the Yellow River.
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1.Introduction of Qin Pi:Ash Bark or Cortex Fraxini.