Introduction of Jue Ming Zi:Cassia Seed or Semen Cassiae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Cassia Seed, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Cassia obtusifolia L., ②.Cassia tora L., 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 Cassia Seed, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Semen Cassiae(Cassia Seed).

dried herb of Cassia Seed Pin Yin Name: Jué Mínɡ Zǐ.
 English Name: Cassia Seed.
 Latin Name: Semen Cassiae.
 Property and flavor: slightly cold, bitter, sweet, salty.

 Brief introduction: The herb Semen Cassiae is the dried ripe seed of Cassia obtusifolia L., or Cassia tora L., used (1).to clear the liver and brighten the eyes for treating acute inflammation of the eye, (2).to moisten the intestines for relieving constipation, and (3).nowadays for reducing high blood pressure and blood cholesterol. The herb is commonly known as Semen Cassiae, Cassia Seed, Jué Mínɡ Zǐ.

 Botanical source: The herb Semen Cassiae (Cassia Seed) is the dried ripe seed of Cassia obtusifolia L. or Cassia tora L., they are plants of the Senna genus, the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, legume, pea family) of the Fabales order. These two commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Cassia obtusifolia L.


 a flowering plant of Cassia obtusifolia L.,with yellow flowers Botanical description: Cassia obtusifolia L is a plant of the Fabaceae family and Senna genus, it is commonly known as Jue Ming, or Dun Ye Jue Ming (means peltate leaf Cassia), or Jia Hua Sheng (means false peanut), annual subshrub herb, the plant grows up to 0.5~2 meters high. Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound leaves; petioles are 2~3 cm long; 3 pairs of leaflets, leaf blades are obovate or obovate-oblong, 2~6 cm long, 1.5~3.5 cm wide, the apex is circular, the base is cuneate, slightly obliquely, the undersurface and margin has sparse pilose, 1 stripe-shaped gland grows between 1 pair of lowest leaflets, or there is one gland grows between the 2 pairs of lowest leaflets.

 Flowers in pairs are axillary, flowers cluster on the top end; peduncle is very short; small pedicels are about 1~2 cm long; 5 sepals, obovate; corolla is yellow, 5 flower petals, obovate, 12~15 mm long, the base has claws; 10 stamens, 7 developed stamens, 3 bigger anthers' apex narrowing to bottle-necked shape; the ovary is slender, style is curved.

 Pods (legumes) are slender, nearly four prismatic or slightly oblate rhombus, 15~20 cm long, 3~4 mm wide, and carpopodiums (fruit stalks) are 2~4 cm long. Many seeds, prismatic or slightly oblate prismatic, hazel (pale brown), glossy, there is 1 stripe linear oblique, dimpled grain. Its flowering period is from June to August, and the fruiting period is from August to October.

 Ecological environment: Cassia obtusifolia grows in the wild field on hillsides, roadsides, barren hills, open forests on slopes, or cultivated, it is distributed in most parts of China.

 Growth characteristics: Cassia obtusifolia prefers a high temperature and moist climate, and need sufficient sunlight, it grows fastest in summer high temperature and the rainy season. The suitable soil is loose fertile sandy loam, but the low-lying, shady slope is not suitable for planting. Avoid continuous cropping.

 a pile of Cassia Seed Characters of herbs: The herb is prismatic short cylindrical, one end is blunt, another end is oblique and pointed, 4~6 mm long, and 2~3 mm wide. The surface is brownish-green or dark-brown, smooth and glossy, there is a raised ridge line on the dorsal and ventral surfaces, and there is one light brown linear concave line with oblique symmetry on both sides of the ridge line. The texture of the herb is hard and not easily broken. The spermoderm (seed coat) of the cross-section is thin, the endosperm is grayish white and translucent; the embryo is yellow, and the two cotyledons overlap and bend in an S shape. The intact seeds have a slight odor, with a faint bean fishy smell when it is crushed, it tastes slightly bitter and slightly sticky. The herb of a better grade has full grains and is green brown.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.Hypotensive effect:cassia seed aqueous extract, alcohol-aqueous extract and alcohol extract have a hypotensive effect on anesthetized dogs, cats and rabbits; ②.Antibacterial effect:The alcohol extract of cassia seed has an inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus, Bacillus diphtheriae, Bacillus typhi, Bacterium paratyphosum, Escherichia coli, etc., while the water extract has no effect. The water infusing solution has a different degree of inhibitory effect on some dermatophytes in the test tube.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear the liver and brighten the eyes, alleviate water retention and relax the bowels, indicated for wind-heat red eye, glaucoma (blue blindness, optic atrophy), night blindness, hypertension (high blood pressure), hepatitis, cirrhosis ascites(ascites due to cirrhosis), habitual constipation.

 Administration of Semen Cassiae (Jué Mínɡ Zǐ): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Semen Cassiae (Jué Mínɡ Zǐ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:9~15 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian(about 4.5~9 grams), or prepare to powder.Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder,and apply stick;③.Internally:water decoction, 9~15 grams.
 Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Semen Cassiae should be used cautiously in conditions diarrhea and low blood pressure.

(2).Cassia tora L.


 flowering plants of Cassia tora L.,with yellow flowers Botanical description: Cassia tora L is a plant of the Fabaceae family and Senna genus, it is commonly known as Xiao Jue Ming, an annual subshrub herb, the plant grows up to 1~2 meters. Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound leaves; petiole has no glands, there is 1 rod-shaped gland between the two leaflets on the rhachis; 3 pairs of leaflets, membranous; petiolules are 1.5~2 mm long; stipules (peraphyllum) are linear, pubescent, caducous; leaf blades are obovate or obovate-oblong, 2~6 cm long, 1.5~2.5 cm wide, the apex is obtuse and has a small pointed end, the base is attenuated, oblique, the upper surface is sparsely pubescent, the undersurface is covered with soft fluff.

 Usually, 2 flowers grow in leaf axils; peduncles are 6~10 mm long; pedicels are 1~1.5 cm long; 5 sepals, slightly different in size, oval (egg-shaped) or ovate-oblong, membranous, the outer surface is covered with pilose, about 8 mm long; flowers are yellow, 5 petals, the lower 2 petals are slightly longer, 12~15 mm long, 5-7 mm wide; 10 stamens, 7 fertile stamens; the ovary is linear, sessile, covered with white fuzz (fine hairs), style is introflexed.

 Fruits are slender (thin and long), nearly oblate, curved calathiform (bowl-shaped), 15~24 cm long, 4~6 mm in diameter, and sparsely pubescent. Many seeds, rhombus, celadon(sage green or grayish-green), glossy. Its flowering period is from June to August, and the fruiting period is from September to October.

 Growth characteristics: Cassia tora grows in the wild field on hillsides and riversides, it is distributed in most parts of China, wild or cultivated.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is short cylindrical, 3~5 mm long, and 2~2.5 mm wide. There is a broad light yellow-brown strip on both sides of the surface ridge. The herb of a better grade has full grains and is green brown.
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Jue Ming Zi:Cassia Seed or Semen Cassiae.

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