Introduction of Huang Bo:Amur Cork-tree or Cortex Phellodendri.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Amur Cork-tree bark, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Phellodendron chinense Schneid., ②.Phellodendron amurense Rupr., 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 Amur Cork-tree bark, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Cortex Phellodendri(Amur Cork-tree).

Amur Cork-tree:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Huánɡ Bò.
 English Name: Amur Cork-tree.
 Latin Name: Cortex Phellodendri.
 Property and flavor: cold, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Cortex Phellodendri is the dried bark of Chinese corktree, Phellodendron chinense Schneid. Or Amur Corktree, Phellodendron amurense Rupr., used (1).to clear heat and dry dampness in cases of acute dysentery, jaundice, morbid leukorrhea, and heat stranguria, (2).to purge fire and counteract toxins for treating boils, sores and ulcers, and (3).to relieve fever in cases of Yin deficiency with night sweats. The herb is commonly known as Cortex Phellodendri, Amur Cork-tree, Huánɡ Bò.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Cortex Phellodendri (Huang Bo) as the dry cortex or tree bark of the plant species (1). Phellodendron chinense Schneid., or (2). Phellodendron amurense Rupr., they are plants of Phellodendron Rupr genus, Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) of Rutales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Phellodendron chinense Schneid.


 Phellodendron chinense Schneid.:tree Botanical description: Phellodendron chinense Schneid is a plant of the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) and Phellodendron Rupr. Genus, is commonly known as Phellodendron chinense, or Huáng Pí Shù (means yellow bark tree). Deciduous trees, the tree grows up to 10~12 meters tall. The bark appearance is brown, labiated lenticels are visible, outer layer cork is thin. Imparipinnate leaves opposite; 7~15 leaflets, oblong-lanceolate to oblong-ovate, 9~15 cm long, 3~5 cm wide, the apex is long acuminate, base is wide cuneate or circular, asymmetrical, subentire, rust-colored pubescence grow on midribs of the upper leaf, the under surface is densely covered with rust-colored long pilose, leaflet is thick chartaceous (papery).

 Flowers are unisexual and dioecious; flowers arrange in terminal panicles, inflorescence axis (rhachis) is densely puberulent. Flowers are purple; male flowers have 5~6 stamens, longer than petals, pistillode is subulate (diamond-shape); female flower has 5~6 staminodes, the ovary is superior, short stipitate, 5-loculed, style is short, stigma is 5-lobed.

 The carpopodium (fruit stalk) and the pericarp are thick and big, often densely puberulent; the berry is drupe and subsphaeroidal, 1~1.5 cm in diameter, densely cluster into a mass, turn black at maturity, with 5~6 seeds inside. Its flowering period is from May to June, and the fruiting period is from October to November.

 Phellodendron chinense Schneid.:leaves and fruits Ecological environment: Phellodendron chinense Schneid grows in shaw (holt or miscellaneous wood forest). Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in the southwest area, the area of the Yangtze River, the area of the Hanjiang River, southwest area of China. This species is also cultivated in China.

 Growth characteristics: The tree prefers a cool climate and has a strong wind resistance, afraid of drought and waterlogging. Slightly shade-tolerant in seedling stage, adult tree likes sunshine, tolerant of cold. Young trees are vulnerable to freezing, fresh branch twigs are easily affected by freezing injury of late frost, leading to bifurcation, and branch shape looks not good. It is advisable to choose a field of slightly acidic or neutral loam with deep soil layers, loose and fertile, the upper layer rich in humus for cultivation.

 Characters of herbs: The dried bark or cortex of Phellodendron chinense is commonly known as "Chuan Huang Bo", the bark is shallow groove-shaped or disc-shaped, slightly curved, length and width are uneven, 1~6 mm thick, the out surface is tawny (sienna or cinnamomeous) or yellowish brown, flat, has longitudinal grooves, and the remaining cork bark is about 0.2 mm thick, taupe (dust-color), inelastic, with labiated transverse lenticels, the inner surface is dark yellow or pale brown, with fine longitudinal ridges. The herb is light, the texture of the herb is hard, the cortex layer of the fracture surface is slightly granular, phloem is fibrous, splintery and layered, and canary-yellow (bright yellow). The herb has a slight smell, and it tastes extremely bitter, stickiness when it is chewed. The herb of a better grade has thick bark and a yellow fracture surface.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.Anti-pathogenic microorganisms: water decoction of Cortex Phellodendri or alcohol infusion in vitro has different level inhibition on Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus albus and Staphylococcus citreus, hemolytic streptococcus, streptococcus pneumoniae, Bacillus anthracis, Bacterium diphtheriae, bacillus subtilis, e. coli, pseudomonas aeruginosa, typhoid and paratyphoid, meningococcal and vibrio cholerae. ②.Antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clearing heat and drying dampness, discharge fire and detoxify. It is indicated for dampness-heat dysentery, diarrhea, jaundice, nocturnal emission, stranguria with turbid discharge, morbid leukorrhea, bone steaming and consumptive fever, sores of mouth and tongue, red eyes swollen and painful, carbuncle ulcer sore poison, skin eczem, etc.

 Administration of Cortex Phellodendri (Huánɡ Bò): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Cortex Phellodendri (Huánɡ Bò)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 3~12 grams;Externally:proper amount; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian (about 4.5~9 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:prepare to ground herb powder apply stick or soaking infusing with water decoction; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~9 grams, or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, prepare to ground herb powder and apply stick, or embathe with water decoction.

(2).Phellodendron amurense Rupr.


 Phellodendron amurense Rupr.:leaves and flowers Botanical description: Phellodendron amurense Rupr is a plant of the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) and Phellodendron Rupr. Genus, is commonly known as Phellodendron amurense, or Huáng Bò. A deciduous tree, the tree grows up to 10~25 meters tall. The bark is thick, the out bark is taupe (dust-color), the cork is developed, with irregular reticular longitudinal groove crack, the inner bark is canary-yellow (bright yellow). Branchlets are usually taupe (dust color) or pale brown (light brown), uncommonly reddish brown, and have small lenticels. Imparipinnate compound leaves are opposite, petiolules are short; 5~15 leaflets, lanceolate to ovate-oblong, 3~11 cm long, 1.5~4 cm wide, apex is long acuminate, leaf base is unequal wide cuneate or orbicular, fine blunt teeth grow at leaf edge, there are glandular dots in the teeth, the upper surface is dark green and glabrous, the undersurface is pale asphyxia (pale white), the sides of middle rib base are densely covered with pubescence, chartaceous (papery).

 Phellodendron amurense Rupr.:big tree Flowers are dioecious, with coniform cyme, rachis and flowering branches are piliferous when young; flowers are small, greenish yellow; the staminate flower has 5 stamens, stretching beyond the petals, and the filament is piliferous at the base; the staminode of the pistillate flower is squamuliform; 1 pistil, ovary is short stipitate, 5-loculed, style is short, stigma is 5-lobed.

 Berry-shaped drupes are spheric shape, 8~10 mm in diameter, densely cluster into a mass, and turn atropurpureus (purple black) at maturity, with 2~5 seeds inside. Its flowering period is from May to June, and the fruiting period is from September to October.

 Phellodendron amurense Rupr.:small tree Ecological environment: Phellodendron amurense Rupr grows in mountain shaw (holt or miscellaneous wood forest) or near valley streams, mountain forests, or along mountain valleys. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in the northern area and also is distributed in northern Anhui, Henan, and Ningxia of China, and it is also distributed in Central Asia.

 Growth characteristics: Phellodendron amurense Rupr is adaptable, sunny and cold-resistant, suitable for planting on flat or low hill slopes, roadsides, residential sides, and near rivers.

 Phellodendron amurense Rupr.:trunk with a scar Characters of herbs: The dried bark of Phellodendron amurense is commonly known as Guan Huang Bo, the bark is plate-shaped, slightly curved, length and width are uneven, and 1~7 mm thick. The outer surface is flavovirens (yellowish green) or pale yellowish-brown, smooth, and the residual cork bark is taupe brown or ash gray (grayish-white), slightly elastic. The inner surface is dark yellow or light yellowish brown, with fine vertical veins. The herb is light, the texture of the herb is hard and brittle (crisp), the fracture surface is green-yellow or primrose yellow (pale yellow), granular in the cortex layer, and the phloem is fibrous, splintery layered. The herb has a slight smell, and it tastes extremely bitter, stickiness when it is chewed. The herb of a better grade has thick bark and a yellow fracture surface.
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Huang Bo:Amur Cork-tree or Cortex Phellodendri.

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