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

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Chinese Wax-gourd Peel, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Chinese Wax-gourd Peel, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Exocarpium Benincasae(Chinese Wax-gourd Peel).

pale green dried segments of Exocarpium Benincasae Pin Yin Name: Dōnɡ Guā Pí.
 English Name: Chinese Wax-gourd Peel.
 Latin Name: Exocarpium Benincasae.
 Property and flavor: slightly cold, sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Exocarpium Benincasae is the dried exocarp of Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn., 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: Herbal classic book 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 (cucumber, cucurbits, gourd, squash family) of the Violales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

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

 growing plants of Benincasa hispida Thunb Cogn. with two big gourds Botanical description: Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn is also known as Benincasa cerifera Savi (B. cerifera Savi)., commonly known as Chinese Wax-gourd, Winter Gourd, or Dōnɡ Guā. Annual vine or shelf herbs; Stem is covered with tawny (yellow-brown) hirsute and pilose, has ridges and grooves, about 6 cm long. Single leaves are alternate; Petiole is stout, 5~20 cm long, covered with tawny (cinnamomeous) hirsute and pilose; Leaf blade is subrounded reniform, 15~30 cm wide, 5~7 lobed or sometimes is crack, lobes are broadly ovate, the apex is sharp-pointed, the margin is serrulate, the base is deeply cordate, both surfaces are covered with coarse hairs, leaf veins are reticulated, slightly raised on the back surface of leaves, densely covered with hairs. Tendrils are axillary, dichotomous (bifurcate), or trifurcated, and are covered with thick hirsute and pilose.

 growing plant of Benincasa hispida Thunb Cogn. with a big gourd Flowers are unisexual and monoecious; Flowers are solitary and grow in the leaf axil. Pedicels (flower stalks) are covered with hirsute, the calyx is tubular, flower bracts are triangular-ovate, the margin is serrate, reflexed; Corolla is yellow, 5-parted to base, spread outward; female flowers have 3 stamens, filaments are meristic, anthers are oval (egg-shaped), anther cell flexed in S-shape; ovary of female flowers are long terete (long cylinder-shaped) or ovate-oblong, densely covered with tawny (sienna) long hirsute, style is 2~3 mm long, 3 stigmas, 12~15 mm long, 2-lobed, slightly twisted.

 plants of Benincasa hispida Thunb Cogn with three gourds grow in field with many green leaves The fruit is large, succulent, long terete (long cylinder-shaped) or subsphaeroidal (near-spherical), 25~60 cm long, 10~25 cm in diameter, the surface is hirsute, and has raceous white powder. Seeds are many, oval (egg-shaped), white or pale yellow, asquish, 10~11 mm long, 5~7 mm wide, and 2 mm thick. Its flowering period is from May to June, the fruiting period is from June to August.

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

 Growth characteristics: Benincasa hispida prefers warm climates, it is tolerant to hot, afraid of water logging, and avoids low temperatures. It is appropriate to choose fields with deep soil layers, sandy loam, or clay loam with good drainage for cultivation, should not choose low-lying land.

 dried rolling herb segments of Chinese Wax-gourd Peel Characters of herbs: The pericarp is an irregular thin slice, usually involute, cylindraceous (cylinder-shaped), or double-barrelled, with different sizes. The outer surface is yellow-white to sap green (dark green), smooth, or covered with white powder. The inner surface is rough and has tendon-like vascular bundles. The herb is light, and the texture of the herb is crisp and easily broken. The herb has a slight odor and a mild taste. The herb of a better grade has thin slices, long strips, celadon (grayish green), powdered cream, dry and clean.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.In the convalescent period of non-renal edema, patients take 100 ml of Wax-gourd Peel decoction orally and drank 1,000 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: ①.Internally:9~30 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 0.3~1 liang (about 9~30 grams), or prepare to powder. Externally:wash with water decoction,or prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction, 15~30 grams. Externally:proper amount,wash with water decoction.
 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.

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