Introduction of Dong Gua Pi:Chinese Wax-gourd Peel or Exocarpium Benincasae.

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:Diuretics and Hydragogues Herbs:Herbs Diuretics.

 TCM Herbs Icon09 Introduction: Herbs Diuretics: also known as damp-draining diuretic herbs,an agent or substance herbs that increases urine excretion and water discharge for treating internal retention of dampness.

Exocarpium Benincasae(Chinese Wax-gourd Peel).

Exocarpium Benincasae:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Dōnɡ Guā Pí.
 English Name: Chinese Wax-gourd Peel.
 Latin Name: Exocarpium Benincasae.
 Property and flavor: slight cold, sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Exocarpium Benincasae is the dried exocarp of Benincasa hispida(Thunb.) Cogn.(family Cucurbitaceae), used to induce diuresis for treating oliguria and edema. The herb is commonly known as Exocarpium Benincasae, Chinese Wax-gourd Peel, Dōnɡ Guā Pí.

 Botanical source: Official herbal classics and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Exocarpium Benincasae(Chinese Wax-gourd Peel) as the dried exocarp of the (1). Benincasa hispida(Thunb.) Cogn., it is a plant of the Benincasa Savi genus, the Cucurbitaceae family of the Violales order. This commonly used species is introduced as:

(1).Benincasa hispida(Thunb.)Cogn.

 Benincasa hispida Thunb Cogn.:growing plant with two gourds Botanical description: It is commonly known as Chinese Wax-gourd, Winter Gourd, or Dōnɡ Guā. Annual vine or shelf herbs; Stem covered with tawny stiff and villous, furrowed. Petiole stout, 5~20 cm long, covered with tawny stiff and villous; Leaf blade reniform nearly circular, 15~30 cm wide, 5~7 lobed or sometimes lobed, lobes broadly triangular or ovate, apex acute, margin dentate, base deeply cordate, recurved, nearly circular, deep and wide 2.5~3.5 cm, surface dark green, slightly rough, sparsely pilose, deciduous in old age, becoming nearly glabrous; Abaxially rough, grayish, coarsely hirsute, veins slightly raised on abaxially, densely hairy. Tendril 2~3 angulus, coarsely stiff and villous.

 Benincasa hispida Thunb Cogn.:growing plant with a gourd Hermaphrodite; Flowers are solitary. Male pedicels 5~15 cm long, densely tawny short setae and villous, often with a bract at base of pedicel, bracts ovate or broadly oblong, 6~10 mm long, apex acute, pubescent; Calyx tube broadly bell-shaped, 12~15 mm wide, densely setae villous, lobes lanceolate, 8~12 mm long, serrate, reflexed; Corolla yellow, radial, lobes broadly obovate, 3~6 cm long, 2.5~3.5 cm wide, both surfaces sparsely pilose, apex obtuse, 5-veined; 3 stamens, free, filaments 2-3 mm long, base dilated, hairy, anthers 5 mm long, 7~10 mm wide, anthers 3-fold, female pedicels less than 5 cm long, densely yellow-brown stiff and villous; Ovary ovate or cylindrical, densely tawny woolly stiff, 2~4 cm long; Style 2~3 mm long, 3 stigmas, 12~15 mm long, 2-lobed.

 Benincasa hispida Thunb Cogn.:growing plant with three gourds Fruit long terete or subglobose, large, hirsute and glaucous, 25~60 cm long, 10~25 cm in diameter. Seeds ovate, white or yellowish, compressed, margin, 10~11 mm long, 5~7 mm wide, 2 mm thick.

 Ecological environment: The plant mainly distributes in other tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, and is cultivated in various regions of China. It grows wildly in southern Yunnan (Xishuangbanna) of China. It is also found in eastern Australia and Madagascar.

 Chinese Wax-gourd Peel:herb photo Characters of herbs: The pericarp is irregular thin slice, usually inside roll or tube shape, size is different. Outer surface is yellow-white to greenish, smooth or powdered. The inner surface is rough and there are sinewy vascular bundles. Light and brittle, easily broken. Slight smell, mild taste. The herb in a thin slice, long strip, color gray-green, powder on the surface is better.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.In the convalescent period of non-renal edema, patients take 100 ml of Wax-gourd Peel decoction orally and drank 1000 ml of water. The urinary output is significantly increased within 2 hours after taking the decoction compared with the control group, and decreased between 2 and 4 hours compared with the control group.

 Medicinal efficacy: Inducing diuresis to alleviate edema, clear heat and alleviate water retention. It is indicated for the treatment of edema, edema and distension fullness, dysuria(difficulty in micturition), summer heat and thirst, diarrhea, loose bowels, oliguria with reddish urine, carbuncle and swelling, sores and swelling.

 Administration of Exocarpium Benincasae(Dōnɡ Guā Pí): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Exocarpium Benincasae(Dōnɡ Guā Pí)
TCM Books: Internally:9~30 grams(CP),Internally:water decoction, 0.3~1 liang(about 9~30 grams), or prepare to powder.Externally:wash with water decoction,or grinded into fine powder and apply stick(DCTM),Internally:water decoction, 15~30 grams.Externally:proper amount,wash with water decoction(CHMM).
 Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Exocarpium Benincasae should be used cautiously in conditions puffiness(deficiency edema) due to malnutrition.

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  • 1.Introduction of Dong Gua Pi:Chinese Wax-gourd Peel or Exocarpium Benincasae.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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