Introduction of Hu Huang Lian:Figwortflower Picrorhiza Rhizome and Rhizoma Picrorhizae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The TCM herbalism is also known as pharmaceutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Chinese pharmaceutics, is the branch of health science dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and proper utilization of Chinese herbs. It is majorly composed of Introduction of Chinese Medicinals, Classification of Chinese Herbs, Formulas, and Patent medicines.

Classifications of Herbs:Herbs Clearing Heat and Drying Dampness.

 TCM Herbs Icon05 Introduction: Herbs Clearing Heat and Drying Dampness: an agent or substance bitter in taste and cold in property that is effective for eliminating heat and dampness, usually used in the treatment of diseases caused by damp-heat, such as acute jaundice, acute dysentery, urinary infection, eczema, boils and abscesses.

 
Rhizoma Picrorhizae(Figwortflower Picrorhiza Rhizome).

Rhizoma Picrorhizae Pin Yin Name: Hú Huánɡ Lián.
 English Name: Figwortflower Picrorhiza Rhizome.
 Latin Name: Rhizoma Picrorhizae.
 Property and flavor: bitter, cold.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Rhizoma Picrorhizae is the dried rhizome of Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora Pennell(family Scrophulariaceae), used (1).to remove damp-heat for the treatment of acute dysentery and jaundice, and (2).to relieve consumptive fever in cases of phthisis and infantile malnutrition. The herb is commonly known as Rhizoma Picrorhizae, Figwortflower Picrorhiza Rhizome, Hú Huánɡ Lián.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Rhizoma Picrorhizae(Figwortflower Picrorhiza Rhizome) as the dried rhizome of species (1). Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora Pennell., or (2). Picrorhiza kurroa Royle., they are plants of the Neopicrorhiza(Picrorhiza Royle ex Benth.). genus, the Scrophulariaceae family of the Tubiflorae order. These commonly used species are introduced as:

 Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora Pennell (1).Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora Pennell.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Hú Huánɡ Lián. Perennial herb, hairy. Rhizome cylindrical, slightly woody, 15~20 cm long. Leaves nearly root, slightly leathery; Leaf blade spatulate, 5~10 cm long, apex acute, base narrow into the winged sheathed petiole, margin serrate. Flower stems are longer than leaves; Spikes 5~10 cm long, with a few bracts below; Bracts oblong or lanceolate, equal to calyx; 5 sepals, lanceolate, ca. 5 mm long, ciliate; Corolla shorter than calyx, apex 5 equal lobes, lobes ovate, ciliate, inner mask sparsely pilose, outer glabrous or subglabrous; 4 stamens, filaments slender, corolla extended, glabrous; Ovary 2-locular, style slender, stigma simple. Capsule long ovate, 6 mm long, slightly slotted laterally, mainly interlocular dehiscent. Seeds oblong, 1 mm long. It is flowering in June, fruiting in July.

 Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora PennellEcological environment: The plant grows in alpine meadows. The plant distributes in the area of the Himalayas.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers cool wet, fertile soil, suitable for high altitude areas of cultivation.

 Characters of herbs: Rhizome cylindrical, straight or curved, mostly unbranched, usually in small segments, 2~9 cm long, 3~8 mm in diameter. The surface is grayish-yellow to yellowish-brown, lustrous, rough, with longitudinal wrinkles and horizontal ring lines, emboli shed place is brown; There are residual leaf markings at the upper end, densely scaly, dark reddish-brown, or deciduous, semicircular nodules. Root mark round point shape, more near the node. Hard and brittle, easily broken, broken dust; The cross-section shows 4~7 small vascular bundles arranged in a ring. Slight smell, extremely bitter and lasting taste. With thick, broken when dusted, section gray-black, the bitter taste one is better.

 Pharmacological actions: The herb has the ①.Liver protective, cholagogue function: picrorhizin Ⅱ, namely the Vanilloylcatalpol isolated from the herb, proved has the effect that protect liver in the liver toxicity of poisoning mice caused by carbon tetrachloride, the choleretic effect in rats. ②.The antifungal effect, the water infusion of the herb Rhizoma Picrorhizae (1:4) in vitro, have different degrees of inhibition on Trichophyton violaceum, Trichophyton concentricum, Trichophyton gypseum, Achorion schoenleinii, Microsporon audouini, Microsporum ferrugineum, Microsporum lanosum, Microsporum gypseum, Epidermophyton inguinale, Epidermophyton rubrum, Kaufman-Wolf's Epidermis, Nocardia stella, and other dermatophytes, etc.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear dampness and heat, eliminate deficiency heat, remove bone steaming, clear heat and drying dampness, purge fire and detoxify. Indicated for dampness-heat dysentery, jaundice, hemorrhoid disease, Yin deficiency and bone steaming, bone steaming and hot flushes, hot flushes and night sweats, infantile infatile malnutrition with fever, dampness heat and dysentery, jaundice, vomiting blood, epistasis(nose bleeding), red eyes and swelling pain of eyes, carbuncle swelling ulcer sore, hemorrhoids swelling poison, etc.

 Administration of Rhizoma Picrorhizae(Hú Huánɡ Lián): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhizoma Picrorhizae(Hú Huánɡ Lián)
TCM Books: Internally:1.5~9 grams(CP),Internally:water decoction, 0.5~1.5 qian(about 1.5~4.5 grams), or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:grinded into fine powder and apply stick, or drop to eyes with infusing liquid(DCTM),Internally:water decoction, 6~12 grams, prepared to pill, powder.Externally:proper amount, grinded to powder and apply stick, or drop eyes with infusing liquid(CHMM).


 Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora Pennell (2).Picrorhiza kurroa Royle.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Xi Zang Hú Huánɡ Lián. Perennial herb, 5~10 cm tall. Rhizome stout, long conical, transverse, 15~50 cm long, internodes dense, often dark brown scaly old leaves and terete branches. Leaves subbasal, often integrated rosette; Leaf blade spatulate to ovate, 2~7 cm long, 1.5~3.5 cm wide, apex rounded or obtuse, base gradually narrowed into a short stalk, margin except base obtuse serrate, glabrous, blackened when dry. Scape arising from leaves, 5~15 cm tall, glandular-hairy, flowers dense into a spikelike panicle; Bracts, calyx hairy, bracts ovate; 4 sepals, 5~6 mm long, one lobe several linear, the other 4 lobes sublanceolate, narrowly oblong to narrowly elliptic; Corolla dark purple or light blue, bilobate, inside and outside with sparsely pilose; 4 stamens, 2-strong, inserted in middle of corolla tube; Ovary 2-chambered; Ovules numerous per compartment, style slender, stigma capitate. Capsule ovoid, 9~12 mm long, apex 4-lobed. Seeds numerous, oblong, glossy, reticulate. Its flowering period is from June to August, fruiting from August to September.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in the rocks and stone piles in the alpine region with an altitude of 3,600-4,400 meters or the sunny place of the shallow soil layer. The plant distributes in Sichuan, Yunnan, Xizang, and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: the rhizome is cylindrical, slightly curved, occasionally branched, 3~12 cm long, 2~14 mm in diameter. The surface is grey-brown to dark brown, have protuberant bud mark and round root mark or fine root remnant, the thicker has close horizontal furrow, the upper end is close by dark brown scale shape petiole remnant. Light, hard and brittle, easily broken, light brown or dark brown in section, with 4~10 white vascular bundles arranged in a ring. Slight smell, bitter taste. The herb which is thick, crisp, strong bitter taste is the better.
 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Hu Huang Lian:Figwortflower Picrorhiza Rhizome and Rhizoma Picrorhizae.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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