Introduction of Yin Chen:Virgate Wormwood Herb or Herba Artemisiae Scophariae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Virgate Wormwood Herb, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Artemisia capillaris Thunb., ②.Artemisia scoparia Kit., 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 Virgate Wormwood Herb, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Herba Artemisiae Scophariae(Virgate Wormwood Herb).

dried herb pieces of Virgate Wormwood Herb are piled together Pin Yin Name: Yīn Chén.
 English Name: Virgate Wormwood Herb,Capillary Wormwood Herb.
 Latin Name: Herba Artemisiae Scophariae.
 Property and flavor: cold, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Herba Artemisiae Scophariae is the dried young shoot or flowering top of Artemisia scoparia Kit. Or Artemisia capillaris Thunb., used to eliminate damp-heat in the liver and gallbladder for the treatment of jaundice and also for eczema. The herb is commonly known as Herba Artemisiae Scophariae, Virgate Wormwood Herb, Yīn Chén.

 Botanical source: The herb Herba Artemisiae Scophariae (Virgate Wormwood Herb) is the dried young shoot or flowering top of Artemisia scoparia Kit. Or Artemisia capillaris Thunb., they are plants of the Artemisia genus, the Asteraceae family (Compositae, daisy family) of the Asterales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Artemisia capillaris Thunb.

 shrubs of Artemisia capillaris Thunb grow in a cluster Botanical description: Artemisia capillaris Thunb is a plant of the Asteraceae family (Compositae, daisy family) and Artemisia genus, it is commonly known as Artemisia capillaris, or Yin Chen Hao. A suffrutescent perennial herb. The plant has a strong aroma. The main root is ligneous (woody), elongated vertically or obliquely pendulous; the rhizome is 5~8 mm in diameter, upright, sparsely slanted up or lying, often has fine vegetative shoots. A few stems grow in clusters, slant upward, the stem of the first year is usually solitary, the base is stout, degree of lignification is stronger than Artemisia scoparia Kit. Sometimes middle trichiform lobules are slender, straight and longer, reach to 2.5 cm long.

 Stems and branches in the early stage are covered with dense hoar (ash gray) or grayish-yellow sericeous fluff (silky soft hairs), and the pilose is sparse.

 seversl fresh shrubs of Artemisia capillaris Thunb grow in field There are dense leaves clusters at the end of the branches, and the basal leaves often form rosette; the basal leaves, the leaves of the lower stems and the surfaces of foliage branch (vegetative shoot) leaves are covered with brownish-yellow or grayish-yellow sericeous fluff (silky pilose), and leaves on the lower stem fall off. Leaves are ovoid or ovate-elliptic, 2~5 cm long, 1.5~3.5 cm wide, bipinnatisect, 2~3 or 4 lobes on each side, lobes are 3~5 divided, lobelets (lobules) are linear or linear-lanceolate, usually straight, not curved, 5~10 mm long, 0.5~2 mm wide, petioles are 3~7 mm long, axillary, the leaves in the middle part are broad-ovate, orbicular or ovoid, 2~3 cm long, 1.5~2.5 cm wide, pinnatisect to bipinnatisect, lobelets (lobules) are linear or silk thread-shape, usually thin and straight, not curved, 8~12 mm long, 0.3~1 mm wide, glabrate, basal lobes usually are half amplexicaular (stem-clasping); upper leaves and bract leaves are 5-pinnatisect or tripinnatisect.

 growing shrubs of Artemisia capillaris Thunb with small flowers Capitulum (flower head) are ovoid, rarely subsphaeroidal, many, 1.5~2 mm in diameter, has short pedicels and linear bracteoles, grow outward on the upper end of branches or ends of twigs, arrange to compound raceme, compose big, explanate panicles on the upper end of stems; phyllary (general involucre) is primrose yellow (pale yellow), glabrous; 6~10 male flowers; 3~7 hermaphroditic flowers; Achenes are oblong or long ovate, up to 1 mm long. The flowering period is from July to October.

 Ecological environment: Artemisia capillaris Thunb grows on riverbanks in areas at low altitude level, humid sand land near beaches, roadsides, and on low hillsides or low mountain slopes, it is mainly distributed in the northern, eastern, middle south, and southwest areas of China, southeast to Taiwan, and the Yellow River Basin is the distribution center. It is widely distributed all over the world.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a warm and humid climate and has a strong adaptability. Likewise, it is advisable to choose a sunny field with deep soil layers, loose and fertile, and sandy loam with good drainage for cultivation.

 dried herb pieces of Virgate Wormwood Herb are piled together Characters of herbs: Most of the herbs are curled into a ball, ash gray (grayish-white) or celadon (sage green), all of which are densely covered with white fuzz and soft as velvet. The stem is small, cylindrical, many-branched, 30~100 cm long, and 2~8 mm in diameter; the surface is mauve (lilac) or purple, covered with pubescence, and the fracture surface is off-white. Leaves mostly fall off; leaves on the lower part are 2-3-pinnately parted, lobes are strip-shaped, both surfaces are covered with white pilose; cauline leaves are pinnatisect to bipinnatisect, base is amplexicaular (stem-clasping), lobes are filamentous. Capitulum (flower head) is oval (egg-shaped), 1.2~1.5 cm long, 1~1.2 mm in diameter, with short pedicels; phyllary is mostly in 3~4 layers, out layer often has 6~10 female flowers, inner layer often has 2~9 hermaphroditic flowers. Achenes are oblong and yellowish-brown. The herb has a fragrant aroma and tastes slightly bitter. The herb of a better grade is fresh, soft, ash gray (hoar), has a strong fragrance.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.choleretic effect and hepatoprotective effects; ②.effect of lowering blood lipid and blood pressure; ③.anti-atherosclerosis effect; ④.analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects; ⑤.anti-pathogen microorganism and has a certain inhibitory effect on most bacilli and some dermatophytes, ECHO, influenza virus, and can 100% inhibit the growth of Aspergillus flavus mycelium, inhibit the production of sterigmatocystin; ⑥.promote leukocyte division, improve the immune activity of T cells, improve the immunity of the body; ⑦.anti-tumor effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat and dampness, clear heat and remove dampness through diuresis, and retreat jaundice. It is indicated for jaundice, oliguria, wet sore and pruritus, infectious icteric hepatitis.

 Administration of Herba Artemisiae Scophariae (Yīn Chén): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Herba Artemisiae Scophariae (Yīn Chén)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:6~15 grams. Externally:proper amount, fumigation wash with water decoction; ②.Internally:water decoction, 3~5 qian (about 9~15 grams), Externally:wash with water decoction; ③.Internally:water decoction, 10~15 grams, or prepared to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, wash with water decoction.

(2).Artemisia scoparia Kit.

 seedlings of Artemisia scoparia Kit. grow in a field Botanical description: Artemisia scoparia Kit is also known as Artemisia capllaris Thunb.var. scoparia Pamp (A. capllaris Thunb.var. scoparia Pamp), a plant of the Asteraceae family (Compositae, daisy family) and Artemisia genus, is commonly known as Artemisia scoparia, virgate wormwood or Zhu Mao Hao (means Pig Hair Artemisia). Annual to biennial or perennial herb, the plant has a strong aroma. The main root is fusiform (spindle-shaped) or conical, mostly are perpendicular. The whole plant is covered with ash gray silky fluff, an adult plant grows up to 45~100 cm high. The stem is often solitary, occasionally 2~4, and the base is often lignified. The surface is purple or yellow green, with vertical stripes, many branched, old branches are glabrate, young branches and fresh twigs are covered with grayish white silky fluff, sometimes has a sterile plate with big and dense leaves. Leaves grow densely, leaves on the lower part are the same shape as leaves on the sterile plate, have long petioles, leaves are oblong, 1.5~5 cm long, bipinnatisect to tripinnatisect, terminal lobes are lanceolate or linear, the apex is pointed, often covered with silky fluff or sparse on the upper surface; leaves in the middle part are 1~2 cm long, bipinnatisect, base is amplexicaular (stem-clasping), lobes are linear or capillary, piliferous or glabrous; leaves on the upper part are sessile, 3-lobed or indehiscent, lobes are short, capillary.

 a plant of Artemisia scoparia Kit. grow in field Capitula (flower heads) are abundant, pedunculate, and arrange into compound raceme on lateral branches of the stem; phyllary is oval (egg-shaped) or subsphaeroidal, 1~2 mm in diameter, involucre bracts are in 3~5 layers, 3 bracts in each layer, imbricate, oval (egg-shaped), elliptic, oblong or broadly ovate, the apex is blunt, bracts in out layer are short and small, bracts in the inner layer are big, the margin is membranous, the back surface is green, glabrate; flowers are hermaphroditic, all are tubiform florets (tubular flower); flowers in out layer are 5~15 female flowers, mostly are 10~12, fertile, style is bifurcated, ramificate, stretch beyond the corolla, the inner layer has 3~9 hermaphroditic flowers, the apex is slightly enlarged, 5-lobed, lobes are triangular, sometimes are purplish, lower part shrunk, obovate, ovary degenerates, sterile.

 Achenes are small, oblong, or obovate, about 0.7 mm long, with vertical stripes, and glabrous. Its flowering period is from August to September, and the fruiting period is from September to October.

 Growth characteristics: Artemisia scoparia grows on hillsides or mountain slopes, wilderness, roadside, and also on hillsides or mountain slopes, forest edges, roadsides, grassland in semi-arid or semi-humid areas, loess plateau, and desert margins. It is distributed throughout the country of China.

 Characters of herbs: Seedlings curl into a ball or block mass, ash gray (grayish-white) or celadon (grayish green), the whole herb is densely covered with white fluff and soft as velvet. The stem is small, 1.5~2.5 cm long, and 0.1~0.2 cm in diameter, and conspicuous vertical stripes are visible when the white fluff on the surface is removed. The texture of the herb is crisp and easily broken. The leaf is stipitate, 1~3 cm long after flattening; the lobelets are oval (egg-shaped) or slightly oblanceolate, strip-shaped, the apex is sharp-pointed. The herb has a fragrant odor, and it tastes slightly bitter.



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  • 1.Introduction of Yin Chen:Virgate Wormwood Herb or Herba Artemisiae Scophariae.

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