Introduction of Quan Shen:Bistort Rhizome or Rhizoma Bistortae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Bistort Rhizome, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its herbal classic book defined botanical source one plant species, ①.Polygonum bistorta L., another usable plant species, ②.Polygonum manshuriense V.Petr.ex Kom., 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 Bistort Rhizome, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Rhizoma Bistortae(Bistort Rhizome).

dried russet herb slices of Bistort Rhizome Pin Yin Name: Quán Shēn.
 English Name: Bistort Rhizome.
 Latin Name: Rhizoma Bistortae.
 Property and flavor: slightly cold, bitter, puckery.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Rhizoma Bistortae is the dried rhizome of Polygonum bistorta L., used (1).to clear heat and counteract toxins for treating dysentery, boils and sores, (2).to stanch bleeding for hematemesis, epistaxis, hemorrhoidal bleeding, and (3).externally for treating snake-bite. The herb is commonly known as Rhizoma Bistortae, Bistort Rhizome, Quán Shēn.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Rhizoma Bistortae (Bistort Rhizome) as the dried rhizome of (1).Polygonum bistorta L. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Rhizoma Bistortae (Bistort Rhizome) as the dried rhizome of species (1). Polygonum bistorta L., (2). Polygonum manshuriense V.Petr.ex Kom. They are plants of the Polygonum Genus, Polygonaceae family (buckwheat family), Caryophyllale order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Polygonum bistorta L.

 a flowering plant of Polygonum bistorta L.,with two pink flower spikes growing on the stem top Botanical description: Polygonum bistorta L is also known as Polygonum lapidosum Kitag (P. lapidosum Kitag.), it is commonly known as Quán Shēn, or Fist-Ginseng, Quán Liǎo, or Dào Gēn Cǎo. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 35~90 cm. The rhizome is hypertrophic and curved, and out bark is purple brown. The stem is upright, unbranched, and glabrous. Basal leaves have long petioles; leaf blades are coriaceous, oblong-lanceolate or lanceolate, 10~20 cm long, 2~6 cm wide, the apex is long acuminate, the base is blunt or truncated, sometimes cordate, decurrent along petiole to wing, margin is revolute, both surfaces are slightly piliferous, gradually fall off when aged, the undersurface has retiform veins; cauline leaves are alternate, upward petioles are gradually shortening to amplexicaular (stem-clasping), lanceolate or linear, sessile; stipule sheath is tubular, membranous, 2~5 cm long.

 Racemes are spicate, apical or terminal, cylindrical, upright or slightly curved, 3~6 cm long, 0.8~1.2 cm in diameter, compact; flowerlets are dense, flower bracts are oval (egg-shaped), membranous, pedicels are tiny and slim, explanate, 5~7 mm long, longer than bracts; flowers are faint red or white, about 2.5 mm in diameter, the perianth is 5-parted, tepals are elliptic, 2~3 mm long; 8 stamens, almost equal length as tepal or slightly longer; 3 styles, stigma is capitate.

 Achenes are prismatic elliptic, reddish brown, tapering at both ends, lustrous, about 3.5 mm long, wrapped inside persistent perianth. Its flowering period is from June to September, and the fruiting period is from September to November.

 plants of Polygonum bistorta L grow in cluster with four pinkish flower spikesEcological environment: The plant grows in the wild grass or the wet place in the forest. It is distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, west north and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a cool climate, and it is tolerant to cold and drought. It is better to choose a sunny field, sandy loam, or calcareous loam with good drainage for cultivation.

 dried reddish brown herb slices of Bistort Rhizome Characters of herbs: The rhizome is a flat cylindrical or flat strip, curved into a shrimp shape, some of which are bent to a roll, with slightly pointed ends or tapered ends, 4~15 cm long, and 1~2.5 cm in diameter. The surface is puce (purple-brown) or atropurpureus (purple black), slightly coarse and rough, with dense ring nodes and residual fibrous roots or root marks, one surface is raised and the other surface is flat or slightly grooved. The texture of the herb is hard, the fracture surface is subreniform, light brownish red, and yellow-white vascular bundles dots are arranged in intermittent rings. The herb has a slight smell, and it tastes bitter and puckery. The herb of a better grade is thick and big, firm and hard, and the fracture surface is light reddish-brown.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.hemostatic effect; ②.antibacterial effect on Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, and Escherichia coli in vitro; ③.effect on hemostasis and anti-inflammation.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clearing heat and detoxification, clearing heat and relieving convulsion, clearing heat and remove dampness through diuresis, detumescence (reduce swelling), cooling blood and hemostasis, detoxification, and dissipate stagnation. It is indicated for red dysentery (dysentery characterized by blood in the stool), pyretic diarrhea, fever and convulsions, lung heat and cough, fever and convulsions, carbuncles, scrofula, sores of the mouth and tongue, hematemesis, epistasis (nose bleeding), haemorrhoid bleeding, tetanus, carbuncles and swelling, sores ulcer, scrofula, snake bites, etc.

 Administration of Rhizoma Bistortae (Quán Shēn): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhizoma Bistortae (Quán Shēn)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:4.5~9 grams.Externally:proper amount; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1~3 qian (about 3~9 grams), or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:mashed and apply stick, mouth wash or wash with water decoction; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~12 grams, or prepared to pill, powder.Externally:proper amount, mashed and apply stick, or mouthwash,fumigation wash with water decoction.

(2).Polygonum manshuriense V.Petr.ex Kom.

 a plant of Polygonum manshuriense V.Petr.ex Kom. with a flower spike Botanical description: Polygonum manshuriense V.Petr.ex Kom is commonly known as Ear-Leaf Polygonum, or ěr Yè Liǎo. A perennial herb. The rhizome is short and stout, hypertrophic, curved, 3 cm long, about 1 cm in diameter, and black. The stem is simple, upright and grows up to 60~80 cm tall, usually several grow out from the rhizome, unbranched, smooth, and glabrous. The basal leaves are oblong or lanceolate, chartaceous (papery), 13~15 cm long, 2~3 cm wide, apex is acuminate, the base is cuneate, decurrent along petiole to wing, entire, the upper surface is green, the undersurface is celadon (sage green), both surfaces are glabrous, the petioles are up to 15 cm long; 5~7 cauline leaves, lanceolate, sessile, leaves on the upper part holding the stem (amplexicaular), with auricle (leaf ear); stipule sheath is tubular, membranous, the lower part is green, the upper part is brown, deflect, cracks to the middle part, no marginal seta (tricholoma).

 plants of Polygonum manshuriense V.Petr.ex Kom. grow in a field with a flower spike. Racemes are spicate, apical or terminal, 4~8 cm long, about 1.0 cm in diameter; flower bracts are oval (egg-shaped), membranous, apex is cuspidate; each bud contains 2~3 flowers; pedicel is 4~5 mm long, longer than bracts, with joints at the front end; perianth is 5-parted, faint red or white, tepals are elliptic, about 3 mm long; 8 stamens, longer than perianth; 3 styles, stigma is capitate.

 Achenes are oval (egg-shaped), with 3 sharp angles (arrises), about 3 mm long, lustrous, and wrapped inside persistent perianth. Its flowering period is from June to July, and the fruiting period is from August to September.

 Polygonum manshuriense V.Petr.ex Kom has similar morphological characteristics as Polygonum bistorta L., the main differences are: the leaf of this species is lanceolate or ovate-oblong, 5~9 cm long, 0.7~2.4 cm wide, the base is circular (round), the edge has relatively conspicuous raised vein end, both surfaces of the leaf blade are glabrous. Stems have 8~9 nodes. Achenes are brownish-black.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in grassland on hillsides or mountain slopes, forest edges and marshes in the valley, in areas at altitudes of 800~1,800 meters. It is mainly distributed in the northern area of China, and also distributed in Siberia, far east, and northeast Asia.



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