Introduction of Lu Lu Tong:Beautiful Sweetgum Fruit or Fructus Liquidambaris.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Beautiful Sweetgum Fruit, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Liquidambar formosana Hance., 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 Beautiful Sweetgum Fruit, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Fructus Liquidambaris(Beautiful Sweetgum Fruit).

Fructus Liquidambaris:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Lù Lù Tōnɡ.
 English Name: Beautiful Sweetgum Fruit.
 Latin Name: Fructus Liquidambaris.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Liquidambaris is the dried strobile(cone) of Liquidambar formosana Hance, used (1).to induce diuresis for treating edema, (2).to dispel wind-damp in cases of arthralgia, and (3).to promote menstrual discharge in cases of amenorrhea. The herb is commonly known as Fructus Liquidambaris, Beartiful Sweetgum Fruit, Taiwan Sweetgum, Lù Lù Tōnɡ.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Fructus Liquidambaris(Beautiful Sweetgum Fruit) as the dried strobile(cone) of the species (1). Liquidambar formosana Hance. It is a plant of the Liquidambar L. genus, the Hamamelidaceae family(family Hamanelidaceae) of the Rosales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Liquidambar formosana Hance.

 Liquidambar formosana Hance.:fruiting tree Botanical description: It is commonly known as Liquidambar formosana, or Fēng Xiāng Shù. Deciduous trees, the tree grows up to 30 m, DBH is up to 1 meter, bark is grayish-brown, squared-off; Small branches are gray, pilose, slightly lenticellate; Bud is ovoid, about 1 cm long, slightly hairy, scaly bracts are coated with resin, brown-black after drying, shiny. Leaves are thinly leathery, broadly ovate, palmately 3-lobed, central lobes are longer, apex is caudate acuminate; Lobes spreading on both sides; Base cordate; Green above, dry gray-green, not shiny; Pubescent below, or becoming bald and hairy only in vein axils; 3~5 palmate veins, prominent on upper and lower surfaces, web veins are visible; Margin is serrate, tooth tip has glandular process; Petiole is 11 cm long, often pubescent; Stipules are linear, free, or slightly connate with petiole, 1~1.4 cm long, reddish-brown, hairy, caducous.

 Liquidambar formosana Hance.:leaves Male short spikes are often arranged in racemes, most stamens, filaments unequal length, anthers are slightly shorter than filaments. Female head with 24~43 flowers, peduncle is 3~6 cm long, occasionally lenticellate, glandular; 4~7 calyx teeth, needle-shaped, 4~8 mm long, ovary lower half is concealed in rachis capitulate, upper half is dissociated, pilose, style is 6~10 mm long, apex is often curly.

 Fruiting capitate is globose, woody, 3~4 cm in diameter; Capsularfruit lower half is concealed in inflorescence axis, with persistent style and needle-like calyx teeth. Seeds are numerous, brown, polygonal or narrow winged.

 Liquidambar formosana Hance.:fruiting tree Ecological environment: The plant grows in mountain evergreen broad-leaved forest. The plant is distributed in Qinling mountains and the provinces south of the Huai River, starting from middle reaches of the Yellow River in the north, reaching Taiwan in the east, southwest, and Guangdong in the south. It is also found in Laos.

 Growth characteristics: The plant liquidambar formosana grows in moist places with fertile soil.

 Liquidambar formosana Hance.:tree in autumn Characters of herbs: The herb is a polythalamic fruit (collective fruit), which is made up of many small capsularfruit. The infructescence is spherical with a diameter of 2~3 cm. The surface is grayish-brown or chocolate-brown, with many spikes of persistent calyx teeth and beak-shaped style, 0.5~1 mm long, often broken or bent, and most honeycomb holes are found after removal. There is a cylindrical stalk at the base, 3~4.5 cm long, often broken or only with stalk marks. The top of the capsularfruit is cracked to form a hollow shape. It can be seen that there are many seeds. The immature ones are small, polygonal, about 1 mm in diameter, yellow-brown to chocolate-brown, and the fully developed ones are few, flat oblong-shape, winged and brown. The herb is light, the texture of the herb is hard and not easy to break. The herb has a slight fragrance, it tastes mild. The herb of better grade is big, yellow, no mud, and sessile.

 Beautiful Sweetgum Fruit:herb photo Pharmacological actions: ①.effect on the liver: significant anti-hepatocytotoxic activity, liver protectant; ②.anti-inflammatory effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispel wind activating collaterals, dispel wind and removing the obstruction in collaterals, dispel wind and eliminate dampness, alleviate water retention and eliminate dampness, alleviate water retention and restoring menstrual flow, soothing liver and activating collaterals. It is indicated for joint arthralgia, limb arthralgia, rheumatism arthralgia, numbness and muscular constricture, hand and foot muscular constricture, epigastric ache and pain, edema, distension and fullness, amenorrhea (menischesis), lack of lactation, stomachache, carbuncle-abscess, anal fistula, scabies, eczema, etc.

 Administration of Fructus Liquidambaris (Lù Lù Tōnɡ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Liquidambaris (Lù Lù Tōnɡ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:5~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1~2 qian (about 3~6 grams), or charred the herb with its property retained, prepare to finely ground herb powder.Externally:charred the herb with its property retained, prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick, or burn with smoke and smell it; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~10 grams,or charred the herb with its property retained, prepare to finely ground herb powder and take.Externally:proper amount,prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick, or burn with smoke and smell it.
 Precautions and Adverse Reactions:should avoid using the herb Fructus Liquidambaris during pregnancy.

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