Introduction of Fan Bai Cao:Diverse-color Cinquefoil or Herba Potentillae Discoloris.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Diverse-color Cinquefoil, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Potentilla discolor Bunge., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Diverse-color Cinquefoil, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Herba Potentillae Discoloris(Diverse-color Cinquefoil).

a fresh herb of Herba Potentillae Discoloris,roots and leaves,and small flowers Pin Yin Name: Fān Bái Cǎo.
 English Name: Diverse-color Cinquefoil.
 Latin Name: Herba Potentillae Discoloris.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, slightly bitter, sweet.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Herba Potentillae Discoloris is the dried entire plant of Potentilla discolor Bunge., used for treating enteritis, dysentery, pharyngitis, and gastro-intestinal bleeding. The herb is commonly known as Herba Potentillae Discoloris, Diverse-color Cinquefoil, Fān Bái Cǎo.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Herba Potentillae Discoloris (Diverse-color Cinquefoil) as the dried entire plant of (1). Potentilla discolor Bunge. It is a plant of the Potentilla L. Genus, Rosaceae family (rose family), Rosales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Potentilla discolor Bunge.

 shrubs of Potentilla discolor Bunge grow in a cluster in field Botanical description: Potentilla discolor Bunge is commonly known as potentilla discolor, diversecolor cinquefoil, Fān Bái Cǎo. A perennial herb. The root is stout, and the lower part is often hypertrophic and in the shape of fusiform (spindle-shaped). Pedicels are upright, ascending, or slightly explanate, 10~45 cm tall, and densely covered with white fluff. Basal leaves have lobules (folioles) and lobules are in 2~4 pairs, opposite or alternate; petioles are densely covered with white woolly hairs, sometimes have long pilose, lobules (folioles) are opposite or alternate, sessile; stipule (peraphyllum) is membraneous, brown, outside is densely covered with white pilose; lobules are oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 1~5 cm long, 5~8 mm wide, the apex is obtuse, rarely sharp-pointed, the undersurface is dark green, covered with sparse white woolly hairs or hairs fall off and turns glabrate, the undersurface is densely covered with white or hoar (gray-white) wooly hairs; 1 or 2 cauline leaves, with 3~5 palmate lobules, stipules are herbaceous, oval (egg-shaped) or broadly ovate, edge is often incised-dentate, the undersurface is densely covered with white woolly hairs.

 flowering plants of Potentilla discolor Bunge grow in wild field with small yellow flowers. Flowers are hermaphroditic; Cyme, pedicels are 1~2.5 cm long, outside is woolly; flowers are 1~2 cm in diameter; Sepals are triangular-ovate, calycles are lanceolate, shorter than sepals, outside is covered with white woolly hairs; flower petals are yellow, obovate, apex is emarginated or obtuse, longer than sepals; style is subapical, stylopodium is papillary inflated, stigma is slightly enlarged.

 Achenes are subreniform, about 1 mm wide, and smooth. Its flower period and fruiting period are from May to September.

 fresh herb of Potentilla discolor Bunge,leaves,stems and roots with soil Ecological environment: The plant grows in the wasteland or barren land, mountain valleys, gullies, grassland on hillsides and mountain slopes, grassy marshland, and open forests, in areas at altitudes of 100~1,850 meters above sea level. The plant is mainly distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the Zhujiang River area, the North China plain area, and Taiwan of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a mild and humid climate. It is better to cultivate in loose and fertile sandy loam. The plant prefers slightly acidic to neutral sandy loam with good drainage, suitable for wet soil, and also resistant to drought and aridity. It is suitable for a mild, dry climate.

 dried herb pieces of Diverse-color Cinquefoil. Characters of herbs: The tuberous root is fusiform (spindle-shaped) or cylindrical, and a few are thin and long, with irregular twisted vertical grooves, 3~8 cm long, and 0.4~1 cm in diameter; the surface is yellowish-brown or reddish dark brown, the cork bark is flat, the texture of the herb is hard and brittle (crisp), the fracture surface is flat, and gray-white or yellow-white. The basal leaves are tufty, imparipinnate compound leaves are shriveled and curly, after flattening, the leaves are 4~13 cm long, have 3~9 leaflets (lobules), short or sessile, rectangular-circular or narrowly oblong oval, the apical leaflets are relatively larger, the upper surface is dark green or grayish green, there is dense white fluff on the undersurface, the edge is incised-dentate. The herb has a slight odor, and it tastes sweet taste, and slightly puckery.

 The herb of a better grade has a hypertrophic root with celadon leaves (grayish green leaves).

 Pharmacological actions: ①.inhibitory effect on Shigella dysenteriae and Shigella flexneri. ②.The herb has no anti-amoeba effect in vitro. ③.The components fumaric acid, gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, quercetin, ningerin, kaempferol, and m-benzoic acid have antibacterial effects on Shigella dysenteriae and Shigella flexneri, among them gallic acid and quercetin are the most active.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat and detoxification, relieve dysentery, hemostasis (stanch bleeding), cool blood and hemostasis, detumescence (reduce swelling). It is indicated for diarrhea and dysentery of heat dampness, dysentery, malaria, pulmonary heat and cough asthma, abscess of the lung, hemoptysis, spitting blood, blood heat and epistaxis, hemafecia (bleeding in stool), metrorrhagia and metrostaxis, carbuncle swelling and sore poison, scrofula, tuberculosis, etc.

 Administration of Herba Potentillae Discoloris (Fān Bái Cǎo): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Herba Potentillae Discoloris (Fān Bái Cǎo)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:9~15 grams, cautiously use for pregnant woman; ②.Internally:water decoction, 3~5 qian (about 9~15 grams), fresh herb 1~2 liang (about 30~60 grams), or infusing in wine. Externally:mashed and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction, 10~15 grams, or infusing in wine and take. Externally:proper amount, fumigation wash with water decoction, or mashed fresh herb and apply stick.




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  • 1.Introduction of Fan Bai Cao:Diverse-color Cinquefoil or Herba Potentillae Discoloris.

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