Introduction of Qu Mai:Liliac Pink Herb or Herba Dianthi.

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.

 
Herba Dianthi(Liliac Pink Herb).

Herba Dianthi:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Qú Mài.
 English Name: Liliac Pink Herb.
 Latin Name: Herba Dianthi.
 Property and flavor: cold, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Herba Dianthi is the dried aerial part of Dianthus superbus L. or Dianthus chinensis L.(family Caryophyllaceae), used to (1).promote diuresis and eliminate damp-heat for the treatment of heat stranguria and blood stranguria, and (2).as an emmenagogue for amenorrhea. The herb is commonly known as Herba Dianthi, Liliac Pink Herb, Qú Mài.

 Botanical source: Official herbal classics and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Herba Dianthi(Liliac Pink Herb) as the dried aerial part of the species (1). Dianthus superbus L., or (2). Dianthus chinensis L. They are plants of the Dianthus L genus, the Caryophyllaceae family of the Centrospermae order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

(1).Dianthus superbus L.


 Dianthus superbus L.:drawing of plant flower and root Botanical description: It is commonly known as Qú Mài. Perennial herbs, 50~60 cm tall, sometimes higher. Stems fascicular, erect, green, glabrous, upper branched. Leaf-blade linear-lanceolate, 5~10 cm long, 3~5 mm wide, apex acute, midvein prominent, base united into the sheath, green, sometimes pink green. Leaves opposite, much shriveled, flat blade strip to strip lanceolate. Stem cylindrical, upper branched, 30~60 cm long, surface pale green or yellowish-green, glabrous, articulate, slightly enlarged, section hollow.

 Dianthus superbus L.:flowering plants Branches with flowers and fruits, calyx tubular, 2.7~3.7 cm long; 4~6 bracts, broadly ovate, ca. 1/4 of calyx tube long; Petals brownish-purple or brownish-yellow, curly, apex deeply divided into filaments. Capsule cylindric, as long as persistent calyx. Flowers 1 or 2 branched, sometimes subapical axillary; Bracts 2~3 pairs, obovate, 6~10 mm long, ca. 1/4 of calyx, 4~5 mm wide, apex long; Calyx cylindrical, 2.5~3 cm long, 3~6 mm in diameter, often purple halo, calyx teeth lanceolate, 4~5 mm long; Petals 4~5 cm long, claws 1.5~3 cm long, enveloped in calyx tube, petals broadly obovate, margin tasseled to middle or above middle, usually reddish or purplish, thin white, throat with filamentous scales; Stamens and style slightly exserted.

 Capsule cylindrical, equal or slightly longer than persistent calyx, apically 4-lobed; Seeds oblate ovoid, ca. 2 mm long, black, lustrous. Its flowering period is from June to September, fruiting from August to October.

 Dianthus superbus L.:flower and leaves Ecological environment: The plant grows on hillsides, meadows, roadsides, or under woods, grasslands. The plant grows in areas with altitude 400~3,700 meters above sea level, on hills and mountains, thin forest, forest edge, meadow, gully streamside. It distributes in most areas of China from north to south. It also distributes in Northern Europe, Central Europe, Siberia, Kazakhstan, north Asia, and northeast Asia.

 Growth characteristics: The plant dianthus superbus is resistant to cold, prefers to moisture, avoid drought. The best soil for cultivation is sandy loam or clay loam.

 Liliac Pink Herb:herb photo Characters of herbs: Stem cylindrical, 30-60 cm long, nodes swollen; Surface pale green or yellowish-green, slightly shiny, glabrous. Leaves wrinkled, opposite, yellow-green, oblanceolate, 2~7 cm long, 1~4 mm wide, flattened. Leaf apex slightly reflexed, base short sheath-like clasping the stem. Flowers brown-purple or brown-yellow, 3~4 cm long, solitary or several clusters; Calyx persistent, calyx tube 2.5~3.5 cm, about 3/4 of full flower; Subcalyx bracteoles, ca. 1/4 as long as calyx tube, apex acute or acuminate, exterior with regular longitudinal lines; The apex of the petals are deeply divided and fringed. The stem is hard and brittle, broken face hollow. No smell, sweet taste. The herb color is green, flower bud not flowered is better.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.diuretic effect, can increase the excretion of sodium chloride in urine; ②.excites the smooth muscle of the intestine and uterus; ③.suppresses the heart; ④.lowers blood pressure; ⑤.kills schistosomiasis; ⑥.inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Bacillus typhi, Shigella flexneri, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

 Medicinal efficacy: Prompt diuresis and treating stranguria, clear heat and alleviate water retention, clear dampness heat, promoting blood circulation and increasing menstruation. It is indicated for gonorrhea, pyretic stranguria(heat stranguria), bloody stranguria(stranguria complicated by hematuria), urolithic stranguria, urinary stoppage, dripping discharge and pain, edema, amenorrhea(menischesis), carbuncle, red eyes and nebula, red eyes and swelling pain, carbuncle swelling sore poison, acute eczema poison(spreading eczema), eczema and pruritus.

 Administration of Herba Dianthi(Qú Mài): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Herba Dianthi(Qú Mài)
TCM Books: Internally:9~15 grams(CP),Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian(about 4.5~9 grams), or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:grinded into fine powder and apply stick(DCTM),Internally:water decoction,3~10 grams,or prepared to pill, powder.Externally:proper amount,wash with water decoction,or grinded into fine powder and sprinkle(CHMM).
 Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Herba Dianthi should be used cautiously during pregnancy, or should forbidden using during pregnancy. Should not combine the Herba Dianthi with Ootheca Mantidis.

(2).Dianthus chinensis L.


 Dianthus chinensis L.:flowering plants Botanical description: It is commonly known as Shí Zhú(literally it means a bamboo shrub grows between stones). Perennial herbs, 30~50 cm tall, glabrous, pink green. Stem arising from root and neck, sparsely tufted, erect, upper branched. Leaf-blade linear-lanceolate, 3~5 cm long, 2~4 mm wide, apex acuminate, base slightly narrow, entire or finely toothed, midrib more prominent.

 Dianthus chinensis L.:flowering plants Inflorescences of single branchlets or multiflorous cymes; Pedicels 1-3 cm long; 4 bracts, ovate, apex long acuminate, longer than 1/2 of calyx, margin membranous, ciliate; Calyx cylindrical, 15~25 mm long, 4~5 mm in diameter, longitudinally striated, calyx teeth lanceolate, ca. 5 mm long, straight, apex acute, ciliate; Petals 15~18 mm long, obovate-triangular, 13~15 mm long, purplish red, pink, scarlet or white; Apical margin irregular tooth crack, throat spotted, sparse beard; Stamens exposed outside larynx, anthers blue; Ovary oblong, style linear. Capsule cylindrical, enveloped in persistent calyx, apically 4-lobed; Seeds black, oblate. Its flowering period is from May to June, fruiting from July to September.

 Dianthus chinensis L.:flowering plants Ecological environment: The plant is resistant to cold, drought, and extreme heat. In summer, it grows poorly or withers. Prefer a sunny, dry, ventilated, and cool humid climate. Requirements fertile, loose, good drainage and containing limestone loam or sandy loam, avoid waterlogging, good fertilizer. It grows on grasslands and hillsides, in the grass on the hillside below 1,000 meters above sea level. It was native to the north of China, now growing from the north to the south. It is also cultivated in gardens. The plant also grows in the Siberia area.

 Characters of herbs: Stem erect, rounded, branched, 30~50 cm long; Whole leaf stripe lanceolate, 2~9 cm long, 2~7 mm wide; Calyx tube 1~2 cm long, about 1/2 of full flower; Several bracteoles below calyx, about 1/2 as long as calyx tube, apex caudate acuminate, imbricate; Petals sometimes wrinkled, purple-brown or yellow-brown, apex lobed serrated. The stem is hard and brittle, broken face hollow. Weak smell, slightly sweet taste. The herb color is green, flowers have not opened is better.
 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Qu Mai:Liliac Pink Herb or Herba Dianthi.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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