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

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Liliac Pink Herb, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Dianthus superbus L., ②.Dianthus chinensis L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of two plant species, the features of the herb Liliac Pink Herb, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Herba Dianthi(Liliac Pink Herb).

dried herb segments and pieces of Herba Dianthi 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., 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: Herbal classic book 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 (carnation, pink family) of the Centrospermae order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Dianthus superbus L.

 a colorful drawing of Dianthus superbus L.,pink flowers,green stems and leaves,and root Botanical description: Dianthus superbus L is commonly known as Qú Mài. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 50~60 cm tall, sometimes higher and up to 1 meter. Stems are fascicular, upright, green, and glabrous, the upper part is dichotomal(dichotomously branched), and nodes are conspicuous. Leaves are opposite, the leaf blade is linear or linear-lanceolate, 1.5~9 cm long, 1~4 mm wide, the apex is acuminate, the base is short sheathed and amplexicaular (amplexicaul), entire, and both surfaces are glabrous.

 flowering plants of Dianthus superbus L with pink flowers grow aside rock in a field Flowers are hermaphroditic; flowers are solitary or several flowers cluster to sparse bifurcated panicles; pedicels (flower stalks) are up to 4 cm long; 4~6 bracteoles, arrange into 2~3 whorls; the calyx is terete (cylindraceous), lavender blush (pale violet-red), up to 4 cm long, the apex is 5-lobed, lobes are lanceolate, the edge is membraneous, has fuzz; 5 flower petals, faint red (rosiness), white or pale violet-red, the apex is deeply parted into thin linear, base has long claws; 10 stamens; the ovary is superior, 1 loculus, 2 styles, thin and long.

 Capsularfruit is long circular, nearly equal length as persistent calyx or slightly longer, apically 4-lobed; Seeds are oblate ovoid, about 2 mm long, black, and lustrous. Its flowering period is from August to September, the fruiting period is from September to November.

 flowering plant of Dianthus superbus L with a pink flower and green leaves Ecological environment: The plant grows on hillsides or mountain slopes, meadows, roadsides, or under woods, grasslands, or gully streamside. The plant grows in areas at altitudes of 400~3,700 meters above sea level. It is distributed in most areas of China from north to south. It is also distributed in Northern Europe, Central Europe, Siberia, Kazakhstan, north Asia, and northeast Asia.

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

 dried herb segments and pieces of Liliac Pink Herb Characters of herbs: The stem is cylindrical, with branches at the upper part, 30~60 cm long, nodes are enlarged; The surface is pea green (pale green) or yellowish-green, slightly glossy, smooth, and glabrous, with obvious knots, slightly enlarged, and the fracture surface is hollow. The leaves are mostly wrinkled, opposite, yellowish-green, and the flattened leaf blades are long-strip lanceolate, 2~7 cm long, and 1~4 mm wide; The tip of the leaf is slightly reflexed, and the base is short-sheathed and amplexicaular (amplexicaul). The flowers are brownish-purple or brownish-yellow, 3~4 cm long, solitary or several flowers grow in a cluster; has persistent calyx, the calyx tube is 2.5~3.5 cm long, about 3/4 length of the whole flower; There are bracteoles under the calyx, about 1/4 length of the calyx tube, the apex is sharp-pointed or acuminate, and there is regular longitudinal striation on the outer surface; The petals are brownish-purple or brownish-yellow, curled, and the apex of the petals is deeply parted and fimbriate. The texture of the stem is hard and crisp, the fracture surface is hollow. The capsularfruit is long cylindrical, as long as a persistent calyx. Seeds are small, many. The herb has no odor, and tastes sweet and mild. The herb of a better grade is viridescent (turquoise), and the flowers are not blooming.

 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: ①.Internally:9~15 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian (about 4.5~9 grams), or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~10 grams,or prepared to pill, powder.Externally:proper amount,wash with water decoction,or prepare to finely ground herb powder and sprinkle.
 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.

 flowering plants of Dianthus chinensis L with three pink reddish flowers grow in field with many green leaves Botanical description: Dianthus chinensis L is commonly known as Shí Zhú (means a bamboo shrub that grows between stones). A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 30~50 cm tall, the whole plant is glabrous, pink green. Stem grows from stem neck, sparsely tufted, upright, upper part is branched. The leaf blade is linear-lanceolate, 3~5 cm long, 2~4 mm wide, the apex is acuminate, the base is slightly narrow, entire or serrulate, midrib (medial vein) is conspicuous.

 plants of Dianthus chinensis L with many pink and white flowers grow in a field in sunny day Flowers are solitary and grow on the tip of the branch, or several flowers cluster to cyme; Pedicels (flower stalks) are 1-3 cm long; 4 flower bracts, oval (egg-shaped), the apex is long and acuminate, up to over 1/2 length of calyx, the margin is membranous, ciliate; Calyx is cylindrical, 15~25 mm long, 4~5 mm in diameter, longitudinally striated, calyx teeth are lanceolate, ca. 5 mm long, straight, apex is pointed, has marginal seta; Petals are 16~18 mm long, petals are obovate-triangular, 13~15 mm long, purplish red, pink, bright red or white; apical margin has irregular teeth parted, the throat has markings, sparse beard hairs; Stamens stretch beyond flower throat, anthers are blue; Ovary is oblong, style is linear.

 Capsularfruit is terete (cylindraceous), wrapped in a persistent calyx, the apex is 4-lobed; Seeds are black, oblate. Its flowering period is from May to June, the fruiting period is from July to September.

 flowering plants of Dianthus chinensis L with many pink flowers grow in a cluster Ecological environment: The plant grows on grasslands, meadows on hillsides and mountain slopes, and in areas at altitudes 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.

 Growth characteristics: The plant is resistant to cold, drought, and extreme heat. The plant prefers a sunny, dry, ventilated, and cool humid climate. In summer, it grows poorly or withers. It is appropriate to choose fertile, loose, limestone loam or sandy loam with good drainage for cultivation, avoiding waterlogging.

 Characters of herbs: The stem is upright, round, and branched, 30~50 cm long; The whole intact leaves are bar-shaped lanceolate, 2~9 cm long, and 2~7 mm wide; the calyx tube is 1~2 cm long, about 1/2 length of the flower; there are several bracteoles under the calyx, which length is about 1/2 of the calyx tube, and the apex is caudate and acuminate, and imbricate. Sometimes shriveled petals are visible, brownish-purple or brownish-yellow, and the apex is lobed and serrate. The texture of the stem is hard and crisp, the fracture surface is hollow. The herb has a weak odor, it tastes slightly sweet. The herb of a better grade is viridescent (turquoise), and the flowers are not blooming.



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

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