Introduction of Hua Jiao:Prickly-ash Peel or Pericarpium Zanthoxyli.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Prickly-ash Peel, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim., ②.Zanthoxylum schinifolium Zucc., 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 Prickly-ash Peel, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Pericarpium Zanthoxyli(Prickly-ash Peel).

Prickly-ash Peel Pin Yin Name: Huā Jiāo.
 English Name: Prickly-ash Peel, Bunge Pricklyash Peel.
 Latin Name: Pericarpium Zanthoxyli.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, mild toxic.

 Brief introduction: The herb Pericarpium Zanthoxyli is the dried ripe pericarp of Zanthoxylum schinifolium Zucc., or Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim., used (1).to warm the stomach for the treatment of gastralgia and dyspepsia due to cold, (2).as an ascaricide, and (3).externally for treating eczema and pruritus. The herb is commonly known as Pericarpium Zanthoxyli, Prickly-ash Peel, Huā Jiāo.

 Botanical source: The herb Pericarpium Zanthoxyli is the dried ripe pericarp of Zanthoxylum schinifolium Zucc., or Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim., they are plants of the Zanthoxylum L. Genus, the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) of the Sapindales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim.

 Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim.:fruiting tree Botanical description: Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim is a plant of the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) and Zanthoxylum L genus, it is commonly known as Huā Jiāo, Hóng Jiāo, Dà Hóng Páo. Deciduous shrubs or small trees, grow up to 3~7 meters high. Aromatic. Stems usually have enlarged thorns on the cortex, and the branches of the same year are pubescent. Odd-pinnate compound leaves are alternate; rachides' ventral surface has narrow small leaf wings on both sides, curved up small thorns scatter on the back; petiole often has a pair of flat thorns with an extra wide base on both sides; lobules (leaflets) are sessile; 5~11 leaf blades, oval(egg-shaped) or ovate-oblong, 1.5~7 cm long, 1~3 cm wide, apex is sharp-pointed or shortly acuminate, usually emarginate, the base is wedge-tip, the margin is crenature or undulated crenature, there are large, transparent glandular dots between the serrations. The upper surface has no bristles, and the midrib on the under surface often has small thorns that rise slantingly upwards. The two sides of the bases are covered with a cluster of rusty brown pilose, chartaceous (papery).

 Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim.:ripening fruits Definite raceme is terminal, 2~6 cm long, rachides (floral axis) are densely covered with short hair, flowering branches are explanate; flower bracts are thin and small, caducous; the flower is unisexual, 4~8 tapels (perianth lobes), in 1 whorl, narrowly triangular or lanceolate, 1~2 mm long; male flowers have 4~8 stamens, usually 5~7; the female flower has 4~6 carpels, usually 3-4, has no ovary stalk, style is excurved (curved outwardly), stigma is capitate. It usually has 2-3 mature carpels, Follicles are spheric shape (globular), red or purplish, and densely covered with thick big, and protuberant glandular spots. Seeds are ovoid, about 3.5 mm in diameter, and shiny. Its flowering period is from April to June, the fruiting period is from September to October.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in sunny, warm, and fertile places, and is cultivated. The plant is distributed in central and south China, the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, southwest, and northwest areas of China, and other areas.

 Growth characteristics: The plant zanthoxylum bungeanum prefers a warm and moist climate, likes the sunlight, not tolerant to coldness, seedling branches are hurt by coldness at -18 °C (Celsius, or -0.4 degrees Fahrenheit), and adult trees will freeze to death at -25 °C (Celsius, or -13 degrees Fahrenheit). It is tolerant to drought, and shade, but not tolerant to moisture and wind. It has strong adaptability to the soil, and grows well in fields with deep soil layers, loose and fertile sandy loam or loam, but grows best in alkaline soil developed from limestone, so it is often used for afforestation on the calcareous mountain.

 Prickly-ash Peel:herb photo Characters of herbs: It consists of 1~2, occasionally 3~4 spherical mericarps (follicles). The follicles are mostly solitary, and the mericarp is 4.5~5 mm in diameter, which cracks along the ventral suture or ventral dorsal suture from the front end, often in the shape of two valves connected at the base. The mericarps have tiny rostrums (beaks) at the top and 1~2 granular undeveloped free carpels at the base, 1~2 mm in diameter. The outer surface is crimson (deep red), purplish-red, or brownish red, shriveled, and there are many punctate and raised oil spots, 0.5~1 mm in diameter. The endocarp is smooth, primrose yellow (pale yellow), thinly coriaceous, separated from the mesocarp, and curled. The stalk is about 0.8 mm in diameter, covered with sparse short hairs. The pericarp is coriaceous, slightly tough, with a special aroma, it tastes spicy hot, and lasting. The herb of better grade has large grains, is purple, and has a strong aroma.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anti-experimental gastric ulcer; ②.biaxial effect on the movement of intestinal smooth muscle; ③.prevent the thrombosis caused by electric stimulation of carotid artery in rats; ④.anti-diarrhea; ⑤.liver protection; ⑥.analgesia; ⑦.anti-inflammatory; ⑧.local anesthesia; ⑨.antibacterial; ⑩.killing scabies and mite.

 Medicinal efficacy: Warm the middle and relieve pain, warm the middle and disperse cold, eliminate dampness, relieve pain, relieve diarrhea, kill worms and stop itching, detoxify fish smell and fish poison. It is indicated for epigastric cold pain of spleen and stomach cold deficiency, cold pain of stomach and abdomen, vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain due to parasitic malnutrition, abdominal pain due to roundworm, ascaris abdominal pain, ascariasis, pinworm disease, colic pain, tooth pain, caries toothache, retention of food and prolonged elema, vomiting, cough and reversed flow of Qi, cough asthma of lung coldness, wind cold dampness numbness, dysentery, externally for treatment of eczema pruritus, pruritus vulvae, morbid leukorrhea, scabies, etc.

 Administration of Pericarpium Zanthoxyli (Huā Jiāo): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Pericarpium Zanthoxyli (Huā Jiāo)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~6 grams. Externally:proper amount,fumigation wash with water decoction; ②.Internally:water decoction, 0.5~1.5 qian (about 1.5~4.5 grams),or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick,or fumigation wash with water decoction; ③.Internally:water decoction,3~6 grams,or prepared to pill,powder.Externally:proper amount,wash with water decoction,mouth wash,prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Pericarpium Zanthoxyli should be used cautiously during pregnancy. Should not be combined with herb radix aconiti carmichaeli, Radix Saposhnikoviae, etc.

(2).Zanthoxylum schinifolium Zucc.

 Zanthoxylum schinifolium Zucc.:fruiting tree Botanical description: Zanthoxylum schinifolium Zucc is a plant of the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) and Zanthoxylum L genus, it is commonly known as Qīng Jiāo, Xiāng Huā Jiāo, Qīng Huā Jiao, etc. Shrubs, the plant grows up to 1~2 meters high. There are short thorns on stem branches, both sides of the base are flattened, and the fresh branches are dark purple red. The bark is dark gray, mostly thorny, and glabrous. Leaves have 7~19 lobules (leaflets), leaflets are chartaceous (papery), opposite, subsessile, often alternate at the base of rhachis; petiolule is 1~3 mm long, leaf is broad-ovate to lanceolate, or broadly ovate-rhombus, 5~10 mm long, 4~6 mm wide, rarely up to 70 mm long, 25 mm wide, the apex is short to acuminate, the base is rounded or broadly cuneate, symmetrical on both sides, sometimes sloping on one side, oil spots are many or inconspicuous; leaf surface is covered with fine short hairs or piliferous convex body, and they are visible under a magnifying glass, leaf margins are finely serrulate or nearly entire, the mid vein is concave below the middle part.

 Zanthoxylum schinifolium Zucc.:fruiting tree Corymbose panicles, terminal, flowers are more or less; sepals (calyx lobes) and flower petals are averaged 5, flower petals are pale yellowish-white, about 2 mm long; pistillode of the male inflorescence is very short, 2-3 lobed; female inflorescence has 3 carpels, rarely 4 or 5.

 The mericarp is brunneus (reddish-brown), when it is dried, the surface turns dark pale turquoise or brown-black, 4~5 mm in diameter, apex nearly has no awns, oil spots are small; seeds are 3~4 mm in diameter. Its flowering period is from July to September, the fruiting period is from September to December.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows at forest edges, in bushes, or beside a stone on a slope. The plant is distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the Zhujiang River area.

 Characters of herbs: There are 1-3 spherical mericarps, small follicles grow together on small stalks, and the follicles are spherical, cracking along the abdominal suture, the diameter of each mericarp is 3~4 mm, and a short rostrum (beak) tip at the top. The outer surface is prasinous (grass green), yellowish green, or brownish-green, with reticulate patterns and many concave oil spots. The endocarp is ash gray (grayish white) and smooth, and the endocarp is often separated from the exocarp at the base. The stalk is glabrous. The pericarp is thin and crisp. The remaining seeds are oval, 3~4 mm long, and 2~3 mm in diameter, with a black and shiny surface. The herb has a fragrant odor, it tastes slightly sweet and pungent.
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