Introduction of Rou Gui:Cassia Bark or Cortex Cinnamoni.

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:Dispelling Internal Cold Herbs.

 TCM Herbs Icon06 Introduction: Dispelling Internal Cold Herbs: also known as interior-warming herbs, an agent or substance herbs that warms the interior and expels internal cold, also known as cold-expelling herbs.

 
Cortex Cinnamoni(Cassia Bark).

Cortex Cinnamoni Pin Yin Name: Ròu Guì.
 English Name: Cassia Bark.
 Latin Name: Cortex Cinnamoni.
 Property and flavor: hot, pungent, sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Cortex Cinnamoni is the dried stem bark of Cinnamomum cassia Presl.(family Lauraceae), used (1).to warm the kidney in the treatment of impotence and chronic diarrhea with coldness of the limbs, (2).to alleviate pain by dispelling cold for epigastric and abdominal pain due to cold attack or deficiency-cold, and (3).to promote menstruation in cases of amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea. The herb is commonly known as Cortex Cinnamoni, Cassia Bark, Ròu Guì.

 Botanical source: Official herbal classics defined the herb Cortex Cinnamoni(Cassia Bark) as the dried stem bark of (1). Cinnamomum cassia Presl. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Cortex Cinnamoni(Cassia Bark) as the dried stem bark of (2). Cinnamomum cassia Presl var.macrophyllum Chu. They are plants of the Cinnamomum genus, the Lauraceae(laurel family) family, Laurales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

 Cinnamomum cassia Presl.01 (1).Cinnamomum cassia Presl.:
 Botanical description: The Cinnamomum cassia Presl is a kind of evergreen tree, 12~17 meters high. Bark colored gray-brown, fragrant, young branches slightly quadrilateral. Leaves alternate, leathery; oblong to nearly lanceolate, 8~17 cm long, 3.5~6 cm wide, apex acute, base obtuse, entire, green above, shiny, grayish-green below, pilose; Basal 3 veins, apparently elevated below, veins lateral parallel; petiole stout, length 1~2 cm. Panicle axillary or nearly terminal, 10~19 cm long, pubescent; flowers small, ca. 3 cm in diameter; pedicel ca. 5 mm; floral tube ca. 2 mm, 6 lobes, yellowish green, elliptic, ca. 3 mm, Internal and external dense pubescent; development of 9 stamens, 3 round anthers oblong, 4 rooms, valve cracking, the outer 2 filaments without glands, anthers inward, the third round of the stamens outward, the base of the filament 2 glands, the most are still a round of staminode, anther heart-shaped; pistil slightly shorter than the stamens, ovary oval, 1 room, 1 ovule, styles fine, with the ovary several equal length, stigma slightly disc-shaped. Berry oval or obovate, apex slightly truncate, dark purple, about 12~13 mm, with persistent perianth outside. Seeds long oval, purple. Its flowering period is from May to July, fruiting from October to December, or till Feb to March of the next year.

 Cinnamomum cassia Presl.02 Ecological environment: The Cinnamomum cassia Presl grows in the evergreen broad-leaved forest, but mostly for cultivation nowadays. In China, it majorly grows or cultivated in the Zhujiang river area, Taiwan, Yunnan, and other provinces of tropical and subtropical regions, and it also grows in South-East Asia, South Asia, where it grows naturally since ancient or cultivated.

 The fresh twig of the Cinnamomum cassia Presl has a herb name "Cassia Twig", or "Gui Zhi", it is the botanical source of the herb Cassia Twig. The bark of the Cinnamomum cassia Presl has a herb name "Cortex Cinnamomi", or "Cassia Bark", it is the botanical source of the herb Cinnamon Bark.

 Cinnamomum cassia Presl.03 The aromatic bark of Cinnamomum cassia Presl., a plant of the family Lauraceae. Similar to true cinnamon, cassia bark has a more pungent, less delicate flavor and is thicker than cinnamon bark. It contains from 1 to 2 percent oil of cassia, a volatile oil, the principal component of which is the cinnamic aldehyde. Cassia bark is used as a flavoring in cooking and particularly in liqueurs and chocolate. Southern Europeans prefer it to cinnamon, but, in North America, ground cinnamon is sold without distinction as to the species from which the bark is obtained.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Cinnamomum cassia prefers a warm, moist, sunny climate, better choose well-drained, fertile sandy loam, lime loam, or red sandy loam with acid reaction(pH4.5-5.5) for cultivation.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is in groove or roll shape, 30~40 cm in length, 3~10 cm in width or diameter, 0.2~0.8 cm in thickness. The outer surface is grayish brown, slightly rough, with irregular fine wrinkles and transverse protrusive lancels, and some visible grayish-white markings; The inner surface is reddish-brown, slightly flat, with fine longitudinal lines and oil marks. The quality is hard and brittle, easy to break, the section is not flat, the outer is brown and rough, the inner is red-brown and oily, there is a yellow-brown line between the two layers. It has a strong aroma and a sweet and spicy taste.

 Pharmacological actions: The decoction of the herb Cortex Cinnamoni has the function of dilating peripheral blood vessels, promoting blood circulation, resisting myocardial ischemia, inhibiting platelet aggregation, antithrombin, and protecting adrenal cortex function. The water extract and ether extract of Cortex Cinnamoni had no protective effect on gastric mucosa and anti-ulcer and could relieve the pain of gastrointestinal spasm. Cinnamon oil, cinnamaldehyde, and sodium cinnamate have sedative, analgesic, antipyretic and anticonvulsant effects. Cinnamon oil still has a strong bactericidal effect, the effect on gram positive bacteria is better than negative bacteria. Ethanol or ether extracts of Cortex Cinnamoni have inhibitory effects on a variety of pathogenic dermatophytes. Besides, this product also has the effect of lowering blood pressure and promoting bile secretion.

 Medicinal efficacy: Tonifying fire and helping yang, fire source, let the fire back to its origin, invigorate primordial Yang, warm the spleen and stomach, dissipate cold and relieve pain, activate blood circulation and free channels, removing internal cold, promoting blood circulation. It is indicated for impotence, the coldness of uterus, the decline of vital gate fire(the decline of the fire from the gate of life), cold limbs and weak pulse, yang depletion and the collapse of deficiency, cold pain in waist and knees, asthma due to kidney deficiency, dizziness of Yang deficiency, floating of deficient Yang, heat in the upper and cold in the lower, red eyes and pharyngalgia(red eyes and sore throat), cold pain in heart and abdomen, diarrhea due to abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea due to deficiency cold, cold hernia, renal mass, menischesis, abdominal mass, dysmenorrhea(menorrhagia), dorsal furuncle, deep multiple abscess, etc.

 Administration of Cortex Cinnamoni(Ròu Guì): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Cortex Cinnamoni(Ròu Guì)
TCM Books: Internally:1~4.5 grams(CP), Internally:water decoction, 0.5~1.5 qian(about 1.5~4.5 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:grinded into powder and apply stick, or infusing in wine and smear(DCTM), Internally:water decoction, 2~5 grams, better not decoct for long time, grinded into fine powder,0.5~1.5 grams each time, or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, grinded into fine powder, apply stick, infusing in wine, smear apply(CHMM).


 Cinnamomum cassia Presl var.macrophyllum Chu 01 (2).Cinnamomum cassia Presl var.macrophyllum Chu.:
 Botanical description: The Cinnamomum cassia BL.var.macrophyllum Chu.var.nov., is also known as Large Leaf Cassia, or Large Leaf Qinghua Cassia, is a species of the Lauraceae family, and a varieties of the Cinnamomum cassia Presl., a kind of evergreen trees, high 12~17 meters, the whole plant has an aroma. Bark colored gray-brown, young branches slightly quadrangular; leaves alternate, shiny, tender leaves were purple, dark green on the back of old leaves; panicle axillary or terminal, flowers small, yellow-green; berry oval, beginning Green, black purple when ripe. Its flowering period is from June to July, the fruiting period is from February to March of the next year.

 The main difference between this species from the species Cinnamomum cassia Presl is that its leaves are very large, long 25~35~48 cm and wide 8~11~13 cm; the filaments are nearly glabrous.

 Cinnamomum cassia Presl var.macrophyllum Chu 01 Biological Characteristics: This specie prefers warm climate area with an annual average temperature of 22~25 Deg C, aging trees not observed cold damage at low temperature 0~5 Deg C. Grows vigorously at the area with average annual rainfall above 1700 mm, relative humidity above 80%. The Largeleaf Cassia is a semi-yin plant, young plants prefer yin and shading, the aging plants prefer yang and sunny days. Soil requirements are deep soil, loose texture, acidic red, yellow loam, lean and thin layer, or perennial drought, poor drainage of the clay should not be planted.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in Guangxi province and other areas of tropical and subtropical regions of China, it also majorly grows in some areas of south-east Asia, where it grows naturally since ancient or cultivated.

 The fresh twig of the Cinnamomum cassia Presl var.macrophyllum Chu is also another botanical source of the herb "Cassia Twig", or "Gui Zhi". The bark of the Cinnamomum cassia Presl var.macrophyllum Chu is known as "Cortex Cinnamomi Macrophylli", or "Qinghua Rou Gui", it is also another botanical source of the herb "Cinnamon Bark".
 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Rou Gui:Cassia Bark or Cortex Cinnamoni.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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