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).

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: 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 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: The stem is cylindrical, with branches at the upper part, 30~60 cm long, nodes are swollen; The surface is light-green or yellowish-green, slightly shiny, smooth, and hairless, with obvious knots, slightly enlarged, and the fracture surface is hollow. The leaves are mostly wrinkled, opposite, yellow-green, and the flattened leaves are long lanceolate, 2~7 cm long, and 1~4 mm wide. The tip of the leaf is slightly retrorse, and the base is short sheathing. The flowers are brownish-purple or brownish-yellow, 3~4 cm long, solitary or several in clusters; With persistent calyx, the calyx tube is 2.5~3.5 cm long, about 3/4 length of the total flower; There are bracteoles under the calyx, about 1/4 of the length of the calyx tube, the apex is acute or tapered, and there are regular longitudinal stripes on the outer surface; The petals are brownish-purple or brownish-yellow, curled, and the apex of the petals is fringed. The texture of the stem is hard and brittle, the fracture surface is hollow. The capsule fruit is long cylindrical, as long as a persistent calyx. Seeds are small, numerous. The herb has no odor, tastes sweet and mild.The herb of better grade is green, and 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.


 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: The stem is erect, round, and branched, with a length of 30~50 cm; The whole leaves are lanceolate, 2~9 cm long and 2~7 mm wide; the calyx tube is 1~2 cm long, and the bract is about 1/2 of the calyx tube. There are several bracteoles under the calyx, which length is about 1/2 of the calyx tube, and the apex is caudate and tapered, and arranged in a tile-like manner. Sometimes shriveled petals can be seen, brownish-purple or brownish-yellow, and the apex is lobed and serrated. The texture of the stem is hard and brittle, the fracture surface is hollow. The herb has a weak odor, it tastes slightly sweet.The herb of better grade is green, and flowers are not blooming.
 
Diuretics and Hydragogues Herbs:Herbs Diuretics.

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

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