Introduction of Hu Zhang:Giant Knotweed Rhizome or Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Giant Knotweed Rhizome, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Polygonum cuspidatum Zucc., 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 Giant Knotweed Rhizome, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati(Giant Knotweed Rhizome).

Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Hǔ Zhànɡ.
 English Name: Giant Knotweed Rhizome.
 Latin Name: Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati.
 Property and flavor: slightly cold, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati is the dried rhizome of giant or japanese knotweed, Polygonum cuspidatum Zucc.(family Polygonaceae), used (1).to clear heat, counteract toxins, and promote bile flow in cases of hepatitis, jaundice, dysentery, bladder damp-heat, and lung heat with cough, (2).to activate blood and remove stasis for treating amenorrhea and traumatic injuries, and (3).externally for burns and venomous snake-bite. The herb is commonly known as Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati, Giant Knotweed Rhizome, Hǔ Zhànɡ.

 Botanical source: The herb Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati(Giant Knotweed Rhizome) is the dried rhizome of Polygonum cuspidatum Zucc., it is a plant of the Fallopia Genus, the Polygonaceae family of the Caryophyllales order. This commonly used species is introduced as:

(1).Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. et Zucc.

 Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. et Zucc.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. et Zucc is a plant of the Polygonaceae family and Fallopia genus, perennial shrub herb, up to 1 meter high. Roots lying underground, woody, brown, section obvious. Stems erect, tufted, glabrous, hollow, with scattered fuchsia spots. Leaves alternate; petiole short; stipules sheath membranous, brown, caducous; leaf blade broadly ovate or ovate-elliptic, 6~12 cm long, 5~9 cm wide, apex acute, base rounded or cuneate, entire, absent hair. Flowers unisexual, dioecious, axillary panicle; pedicel slender, central section, upper winged; perianth 5-parted, 2 lobes, outer 3-plex enlarged, fruiting on the back; 8 male flowers stamens; female flowers up to 3, stigma capitate. Achenes oval, 3 edges, dark brown. Its flowering period is from June to August, fruiting from September to October.

 Polygonum cuspidatum is a herbaceous perennial which forms large clumps 1~3 meters high. It is fully dioecious and can reproduce by seed and by large rhizomes which may reach a length of 5~6 meters. The stout stems are hollow and bamboo-like, extend from an erect base and are simple or little branched and glabrous with thinly membranous sheaths. Leaves are broadly ovate, truncate to cuneate at base, abruptly cuspidate, 5~15 cm long, 5~12 cm broad, with petioles 1~3 cm long. Greenish white flowers 2.5~3 mm long, densely arranged in axillary panicles; 3 styles; 8~10 stamens with longitudinally dehiscing anthers.

 Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. et Zucc.:growing plant Fruiting calyx wing-angled, 6-10 mm long. Achenes shiny black-brown, 3-4 mm long, acutely trigonous. Male flowers have branched panicles on upright racemes with the distal end of the raceme in the highest position; individual panicles generally point up. Female flowers are drooping or decumbent with the distal end in the lowest position; individual panicles are not oriented in a particular direction. Both male and female flowers possess vestigial organs of the opposite sex.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Polygonum cuspidatum is often found in valleys, near streams, or on the banks of rivers. It mainly distributes in central and southern China, southwest and north, northwest, and other areas. It prefers a mild and humid climate, cold, waterlogging resistance. Likewise, it is not strict to soil requirements, but it is better to grow with loose and fertile soil.

 Giant Knotweed Rhizome:herb photo Characters of herbs: The rhizome is cylindrical, mostly are cylindrical short segment or irregular thick slice, with branches, varying in length, some are as long as 30 cm, 0.5~2.5 cm in diameter, and slightly enlarged nodes. The surface is brown to gray-brown, with obvious longitudinal wrinkles, fibrous roots and punctate fibrous root marks, there are bud marks and sheath scales on the top and nodes of branches. Internodes are 2~3 cm long. The texture of the herb is hard, not easy to break, the fracture surface is brown-yellow, fibrous, the cortex is easy to separate from the wood part, the cortex is thin, the wood part accounts for the major part, it is brown-yellow, radial, with septa or hollows in the roots and pith of the rhizome, there are horizontal septa in the longitudinal section, the herb has slight odor, it tastes slightly bitter and puckery. The herb which is thick and strong, the texture of the herb is solid and firm, the fracture surface is yellow is better.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.antibacterial effect in vitro and has an inhibitory effect on a variety of viruses; ②.hypotensive effect and slows down the heart rate; ③.resveratrol glycoside(polydatin) has the effect of lowering blood lipid, protecting the liver, and dilating capillary; ④.increase the cardiac output and pulse pressure; ⑤.resist platelet aggregation and TXB2 production; ⑥.resveratrol has a strong inhibitory effect on the trichophyton rubrum, trichophyton interdigitalis that cause stubborn dermatitis, sweet scar tinea; ⑦.anti-tumor, hypoglycemia, sedation, hemostasis, diuresis, leukogenic effect(increase white blood cells).

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispel wind and eliminate dampness, disperse stasis and analgesic, break blood stasis, activate blood circulation and dissipate stasis, dispel the wind and free channels, relieve cough and reduce phlegm, detoxify. It is indicated for arthralgia and pain or numbness, rheumatic arthralgia and myalgia(aching of tendons and bones), jaundice with damp-heat pathogen, stranguria with turbid discharge, morbid leukorrhea, menischesis, menorrhalgia, postpartum lochia, abdominal mass, abdominal mass and gathering, hemorrhoids bleeding, water and fire burns, fall injury, carbuncle swelling and sore poisoning, cough with excessive phlegm, nasty sore and tinea, venomous snake bite, etc.

 Administration of Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati(Hǔ Zhànɡ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati(Hǔ Zhànɡ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:9~15 grams. Externally:proper amount, prepare to water decoction or ointment and smear stick; ②.Internally:water decoction, 0.3~1 liang(about 9~30 grams), infusing in wine or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:grinded into fine powder, burned to ashed and apply powder, prepare to paste and smear, or soaking with water decoction;③.Internally:water decoction, 10~15 grams, or infusing in wine, or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, grinded into fine powder and apply stick, or apply stick with concentrated decoction liquid, or prepare paste to smear.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati should be used cautiously during pregnancy, or should not be used during pregnancy.

Herbs Clearing Heat and Drying Dampness.

 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.
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