Introduction of Che Qian Cao:Plantain Herb or Herba Plantaginis.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Plantain Herb, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its herbal classic book defined botanical source two plant species, ①.Plantago asiatica L., ②.Plantago depressa Willd., and one other usable plant species, ③.Plantago major L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of the third plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of the third plant species, the features of the herb Plantain Herb, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Herba Plantaginis(Plantain Herb).

pale green dried herb segments of Herba Plantaginis with spikes Pin Yin Name: Chē Qián Cǎo.
 English Name: Plantain Herb.
 Latin Name: Herba Plantaginis.
 Property and flavor: cold, sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Herba Plantaginis is the dried entire plant of Plantago asiatica L. or Plantago depressa Willd., used (1).to induce diuresis in cases of edema, oliguria and stranguria, and (2).to clear heat and counteract toxins in cases of sores, carbuncles, dysentery, and acute pulmonary and urinary infections. The herb is commonly known as Herba Plantaginis, Plantain Herb, Chē Qián Cǎo.

 Botanical source: Official herbal classics defined the herb Herba Plantaginis (Plantain Herb) as the dried entire plant of the species (1). Plantago asiatica L., or (2). Plantago depressa Willd.,other famous herbal classics defined the herb Herba Plantaginis (Plantain Herb) as the dried entire plant of the species (1). Plantago asiatica L., or (2). Plantago depressa Willd., or (3). Plantago major L. They are plants of the Plantago genus, the Plantaginaceae family (plantain, ribwort family), the Lamiales order. The species (3) is introduced:

(3).Plantago major L.

 plants of Plantago major L with flower spikes grow in field Botanical description: Plantago major L is commonly known as Dà Chē Qián. A biennial or perennial herb. Many fibrous roots. The rhizome is short and stout. Basal leaves are rosette-stape, procumbent, spread obliquely or upright; Leaf blade is herbaceous, thin chartaceous (papery) or chartaceous, broadly ovate to broadly elliptic, 3~18~30 cm long, 2~11~21 cm wide, the apex is blunt pointed or sharp-pointed, the margin is undulate, sparsely irregular teeth or subentire, both surfaces are sparsely pubescent or glabrate, a few are densely pubescent, 3~5~7 leaf veins; Petioles are 1~3~10~26 cm long, the base is sheathed (sheath-shaped), often piliferous.

 Inflorescence is 1 to several; peduncles are upright or arched, 2~5~18 cm long, have vertical stripes, pubescent or pilose; spikes are thin terete (thin cylindrical), 1~3~20 cm, the base is often discontinuous; Bracts are broadly ovate-triangular, 1.2~2 mm long, width is equal to or slightly over length, glabrous or apex is sparsely pubescent, keel pelals are wide and thick. Flowers are sessile; Calyx is 1.5~2.5 mm long, front end of sepals is rounded, glabrous, or sparsely covered with short marginal seta, margin is membranous, keel pelals not extend to the tip end, frontal pair of sepals (calyx lobes) are elliptic to broadly elliptic, posterior pair of bracts are broadly elliptic to orbicular. The corolla is white and glabrous, the corolla tube is equal to or slightly longer than sepals, and lobes are lanceolate to narrowly ovate, 1~1.5 mm long, reflexed after flowering. Stamens inserted near the base on the inner surface of the corolla tube, conspicuously exserted with style, anthers are elliptic, 1~1.2 mm long, usually mauve (lilac) at first, rarely white, turns hazel (pale brown) when it is dried. Ovules are 12 to over 40.

 Capsularfruit is subglobular (near-spherical), ovoid or broadly ellipsoidal, 2-3 mm long, circumscissile in the middle part or slightly lower part. Seeds are 8~34, oval (egg-shaped), elliptic or rhomboid, 0.8~1.2 mm long, angular, ventral surface is raised or nearly flat, tawny (yellow-brown); Cotyledons arrange dorsoventrally. Its flowering period is from June to August, the fruiting period is from July to September.

 flowering plants of Plantago major L with spikes grow in field The different morphological characters of Plantago major from Plantago asiatica are: leaf blades are oval (egg-shaped) or broad-ovate, 6~10 cm long, 3~6 cm wide, the apex is blunt, the base is round or broadly cuneate; the base of the petiole is often enlarged or sheathed (sheath-shaped). Spikes are 3~10 cm long, and flowers arrange densely. 7~15 seeds, black.

 many flowering plants of Plantago major L. with green spikes grow in field Ecological environment: The plant grows in grassland, meadows, river beach, ditch sides, marshland, hillsides or mountain slopes, roadsides, field edges, or wasteland, in areas at altitudes of 5~2,800 meters above sea level. The plant is distributed in the temperate zone and cold temperate zone of the Asia-Europe continent, naturalization around the world. The herb is distributed in the northwest, north, and southwest areas, the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Hainan, and Taiwan of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Plantago major prefers a wet warm humid climate, and cold resistance, it can grow on mountains, hills, and flat dam. The soil requirement is not strict, it can be planted in a general field, field edge corner, or around the house, but fertile, moist clip sand soil is better.

 pale green dried herb segments of Plantain Herb with roots and spikes are piled together in a white plate Characters of herbs: The herb prepared from Plantago asiatica has tufted fibrous roots. Leaves grow dense from the base, and has long petiole; leaf blades are wrinkled, after flattening leaf blades are oval (egg-shaped) or broad-ovate, 4~12 cm long, 2~5 cm wide, apex is blunt or mucronate (mucronated), base is broadly cuneate, margin is subentire, undulated or has sparse crenate, has 7 conspicuous basal veins, the surface is celadon (sage green) or dirty green. Several spikes, and flowers arrange sparsely on scapes, 5~15 cm long. Capsularfruit is elliptic and circumscissile, and the calyx is persistent. The herb has a slight fragrance and a slight bitter taste. The herb of a better grade has intact or complete leaf blades, and sage green (grayish green).

 The herb prepared from Plantago major has a short and succulent rhizome, with fibrous roots. The leaf blade is oval (egg-shaped) or broadly ovate, 6~10 cm long, 3~6 cm wide, the apex is obtuse, the base is rounded or broadly cuneate, and 5~7 basal veins. The spikes are densely arranged. The other features are the same as the Plantago asiatica.

 The herb prepared from Plantago depressa Willd has a conical taproot, straight and long. The leaf blade is oblong oval or elliptic-lanceolate, 5~10 cm long, 1~3 cm wide, the margin is serrulate or irregularly serrate, the base is narrow, and 5~7 basal veins. The spikes have dense flowers on the tip, and sparse on the lower part. The other features are the same as the Plantago major.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.effect on urinary system; ②.antitussive, antiasthmatic and expectorant effects.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat and diuretic, reduce phlegm, cool blood, and detoxify. It is indicated for edema and oliguria, dysuria (difficulty in micturition), pyretic stranguria (heat stranguria), stranguria with turbid discharge, morbid leukorrhea, cystic retention of heat (heat accumulation of bladder), summer dampness and diarrhea, phlegm heat with cough, hematemesis (spitting blood) and epistaxis (bleeding from five aperture or subcutaneous tissue), hematuria (urinating blood), liver heat and red eyes, sore throat, carbuncle swelling sore poison.

 Administration of Herba Plantaginis (Chē Qián Cǎo): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Herba Plantaginis (Chē Qián Cǎo)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:9~30 grams,fresh herb 30~60 grams, take decoction, or extract juice and take. Externally: fresh herb proper amount,mashed and apply at affected area; ②.Internally: water decoction, 15~30 grams, fresh herb 30~60 grams, or extract juice and take. Externally: proper amount,wash with water decoction, mashed and apply stick, or extract juice and smear.
 Precautions and Adverse Reactions: should forbidden using the herba plantaginis in conditions spermatorrhea and instability of essence and Qi.




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