Introduction of Tu Fu Ling:Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome or Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Smilax glabra roxb., ②.Smilax lanceaefolia Roxb.var.opaca A.DC., 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 Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae(Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome).

a colorful drawing of Smilax glabra roxb.,roots,stem and leaves,fruit berries and root slices Pin Yin Name: Tǔ Fú Línɡ.
 English Name: Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome.
 Latin Name: Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, sweet, tasteless.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae is the dried rhizome of Smilax glabra roxb., used to counteract toxins and eliminate dampness for the treatment of syphilis, morbid leukorrhea, and heat stranguria. The herb is commonly known as Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae, Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome, Tǔ Fú Línɡ.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book and official herbal classics defined the herb Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae (Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome) as the dried rhizome of (1). Smilax glabra roxb., or (2). Smilax lanceaefolia Roxb.var.opaca A.DC. They are plants of the Smilax L. Genus, Liliaceae family (lily family), Liliflorae order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Smilax glabra Roxb.

 growing plants of Smilax glabra roxb with wines and green leaves Botanical description: Smilax glabra roxb is commonly known as Glabrous Greenbrier, Guāng Yè Bá Qiā (means glabrous leaf smilax), or Tǔ Fú Línɡ. A climbing shrub, the shrub grows to 1~4 meters long. The stem is smooth, without thorns. Rhizomes are thick, tuberous, often connected by stolons (creeping stems), 2~5 cm in diameter. Leaves are alternate; petioles are 5~15 mm long, or up to 20 mm long, about 3/5~1/4 of the total length, has a narrow sheath, often has 2 slender tendrils, shedding point approach the tip; leaf blades are thinly coriaceous, narrowly elliptic-lanceolate to narrowly ovate-lanceolate, 6~12 cm long or up to 15 cm long, 1~4 cm wide or up to 7 cm long, the apex is acuminate, the base is circular or obtuse, the undersurface is usually pea green (pale green).

 Umbels are solitary and grow in leaf axils, usually have more than 10 flowers; the peduncle of the male inflorescence is 2~5 mm long, usually significantly shorter than the petiole, rarely as long as the petiole, there is 1 bud between the peduncle and petiole. The receptacle of the inflorescence is swollen, somewhat rosette with many persistent bracteoles, 2~5 mm wide, flowers are greenish-white, 6-ribbed, about 3 mm in diameter; outer tepals of the male flower are nearly oblate, about 2 mm wide, pocket-shape, has a vertical groove in the center of the back surface, inner tepals are orbicular, about 1 mm wide, the margin has irregular teeth; male flowers are connivent, are nearly equal length with inner tepals, filaments are very short; the peduncle of the female inflorescence is about 1 cm long. The female flower has similar morphological characteristics as the male flower, but the inner tepals are toothless on the edges, have three staminodes.

 Berries are 6~8 mm in diameter, and turn black at maturity, with pruina. Its flowering period is from May to November, and the fruiting period is from November to April of the ensuing year.

 a colorful drawing of Smilax glabra roxb,stem and leaves,flowers and rhizomesEcological environment: The plant grows in forests, shrubs, riverbanks, or valleys, in areas at altitudes below 1,800 meters above sea level. It also grows in forest margins and open forests. It is distributed in the southern region of Gansu, the Yangtze River Basin south, Hainan, Taiwan, Yunnan, and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Smilax glabra prefers a warm and humid climate, tolerant to drought and shade. It can be cultivated in sandy loam or clay loam.

 reddish herb slices of Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome are piled together Characters of herbs: The rhizome of Smilax glabra roxb is subcylindrical, or irregularly strip-shaped, has nodular protrusions and short branches; 5~22 cm long, and 2~5 cm in diameter. The surface is yellow-brown, with sags and crests, has hard fibrous root residues at the tips of protrusions, and round bud marks at the tips of branches, sometimes the out surface has irregular cracks and residual scaly leaves. The texture of the herb is hard and difficult to break. The cross-section is off-white to pale reddish brown, mealiness (powdery), has slightly visible vascular bundle points in the middle, and visible gravel-shaped small bright spots (still existing after boiling). The texture of the herb is slightly tough, stive and dust come out when it is broken, and it is sticky when it is moistened with water. The herb has a slight smell, and it tastes mild and puckery. The herb of a better grade has a pale brown fracture surface and sufficient powder.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.antipyretic effect to fever due to all sorts of reasons; ②.increase the excretion of chloride in urine; ③.reduce the uric acid concentration in blood; ④.inhibition effect on Staphylococcus aureus, hemolytic streptococcus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus dysenteriae, and so on; ⑤.diuretic; ⑥.analgesic; ⑦.anti-tumor; ⑧.anti-gossypol toxicity effect, and so on.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear dampness, clear heat and eliminate dampness, detoxification, discharge turbid and detoxification, benefit joint. It is indicated for stranguria with a turbid discharge of dampness and heat, morbid leukorrhea, diarrhea, carbuncles, scrofula, scabies, syphilis, limb twitches and spasm of syphilis and mercury poisoning, galls and mercury poisoning, arthralgia and myalgia, beriberi, malignant boil, carbuncle swelling, sores and tinea, scrofula.

 Administration of Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae (Tǔ Fú Línɡ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae (Tǔ Fú Línɡ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:15~60 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 0.5~1 liang (about 15~30 grams),Externally:prepare to ground herb powder and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction, 10~60 grams.Externally:proper amount, prepare to ground herb powder and apply stick.

(2).Smilax lanceaefolia Roxb.var.opaca A.DC.

 growing plants of Smilax lanceaefolia Roxb.var.opaca A.DC. with green leaves Botanical description: Smilax lanceaefolia Roxb.var.opaca A.DC is also known as S.opaca (A.DC.) Norton., it is commonly known as àn Sè Bá Qiā (means dark smilax), or Bái Fú Línɡ (means white poria). A climbing shrub. Stem is smooth, without thorns. Leaves are usually coriaceous, ovate-lanceolate, 6~15 cm long, 2~6 cm wide, the apex is sharp-pointed, the base is broadly cuneate, 3~5 veins; petioles are about 1 cm long.

 Umbels are solitary and grow in leaf axil; peduncle is about 1 cm long, slightly stretching after flowering, the base has 3 oval scales; tepals are narrowly rectangular-circular, about 3 mm long; the stamen is the almost equal length as perianth. Its flowering period is in autumn. Berry is about 6~8 mm in diameter.

 The differences of this species from Smilax glabra Roxb are: the leaf blade is ovate-lanceolate, there is no white powder on the back surface, not turn caesious when it is dried, and leaf veins are raised on the upper surface. The peduncles of the male inflorescence are usually over 5 mm long, the male flower bud is cylindrical.

 growing plants of Smilax lanceaefolia Roxb.var.opaca A.DC. with pendulous small flowers and green leavesEcological environment: The plant grows in woods, bushes, or shade of hillsides and mountain slopes, in areas at altitudes of 600~2,000 meters above sea level. Distribution range: The plant is distributed to the southwest, the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River, in China. It is also distributed in Southeast Asia.



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  • 1.Introduction of Tu Fu Ling:Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome or Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae.

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