Introduction of Da Fu Pi:Areca Peel or Pericarpium Arecae.
✵The article gives records of the herb Areca Peel, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Areca catechu L., 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 Areca Peel, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
Pericarpium Arecae(Areca Peel).
Pin Yin Name: Dà Fù Pí.
English Name: Areca Peel.
Latin Name: Pericarpium Arecae.
Property and flavor: slightly warm, pungent.
Brief introduction: The herb Pericarpium Arecae is the dried pericarp of Areca catechu L., used to induce diuresis and remove stagnant Qi for relieving abdominal distension and edema. The herb is commonly known as Pericarpium Arecae, Areca Peel, Dà Fù Pí.
Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Pericarpium Arecae (Areca Peel) as the dried pericarp of the species (1).Areca catechu L. It is a plant of the Areca genus, the Arecaceae family (Arecaceae Bercht. & J. Presl family) of the Principes order. This commonly used species is introduced as:
(1).Areca catechu L.
Botanical description: Areca catechu L is commonly known as Bīng Láng. A tree, the tree grows up to 10~18 cm high. Unbranched, the stem is upright, and arborescent, with distinct annular leaf markings. Pinnately compound leaves, leaves clustered at the tip of the stem, 1.3~2 meters long, smooth, rachides are prismatic; lobules (leaflets) are lanceolate-linear or linear, 30~70 cm long, 2.5~6 cm wide, the base is narrow, apical lobules close up, has irregular clefts.
Inflorescences insert on the base of the lowest layer leaves, have spathe-like large flower bracts, long obovate, up to 40 cm long, smooth, inflorescences are multiramose, flowers are unisexual and homophytic, male flowers are small, many, sessile, appressed on the upper part of the branch, usually solitary, rarely in pair, 3 sepals (calyx lobes), thick and small, 2 flower petals, ovate-oblong, 5~6 mm long, 6 stamens, filaments are short and small, 3 staminodes, filiform (threadlike); female flowers are larger and fewer, sessile, insert on the rachis (floral axis) or base of branch, 3 sepals (calyx lobes), oblong-ovate, 12~15 mm long.
Nut fruit is ovoid or oblong, 5~6 cm long, and the calyx and flower petals are persistent, and turn red when it is mature. It flowers twice annually, the flowering period is from March to August, and flowers in winter not fruiting; the fruiting period is from December to June of the next year.
Ecological environment: The plant was native to Malaysia, mainly is distributed in Southeast Asia, tropical Asia, and parts of Europe, in the Pacific region it is mainly distributed in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Vanuatu, and Micronesia, scattered in the Skin's island, in the Mariana Islands and the Marshall Islands, Hawaii islands betel nut only used as an ornamental planting. It is cultivated in the Zhujiang River area, Hainan, Taiwan, and other areas of China.
The tree is scattered in the bottom of the low valley, ridge foot, slope, and plain stream side of tropical rainforest and secondary forest, but also grows in a piece of rich humus gully, ridge, thin forest, and slightly acidic to neutral sandy loam desert mountain wilderness.
Growth characteristics: The tree Areca catechu prefers high temperature and moist climates, abundant rainfall humid climate environment, fertility endurance, not tolerant to coldness, defoliation occurs when temperatures lower to 16 °C (Celsius, or 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit), frost damage happens when temperatures decrease to 5 °C (Celsius, or 41 degrees Fahrenheit), its most suitable temperature for growing is 25~28 °C (Celsius, or 77~82.4 degrees Fahrenheit), area with yearly precipitation (annual rainfall) 1500~2200 mm is suitable for its growth. In the seedling stage, 50~60% shade is appropriate, adult trees need full exposure to sunlight. It is appropriate to choose fields with deep soil layers, and sandy loam rich in organic materials for cultivation. It is mainly distributed in areas between north and south latitude 28°. Likewise, it can grow well in areas at altitudes of 0~1,000 meters and an annual rainfall of 1,700~2,000 mm.
Characters of herbs: The dried pericarp is usually divided into two lengthwise sections. Herbs that have not been loosened are oval (egg-shaped) or elliptic similar to a gourd, 5~7 cm long, about 3 cm wide, about 1 cm or 0.2~0.5 cm thick. The exocarp is sallow (grayish yellow), dark brown to nearly black, and has brown spots and irregular longitudinal fissures, the endocarp is concave and cordate, brown, and its surface is smooth and hard shell-like; the mesocarp is fibrous. The whole herb which has been blown to a loosened state by the hammer is loose and unconsolidated, fibers are pale yellow palm fibre-like. The herb is light, the texture of the herb is pliable and tough, easily lacerated longitudinally, and mesocarp fibers are visible after tearing. The herb has a mild odor, it tastes slightly puckery. The herb of better grade is yellow and white, soft and flexible, with no impurities.
Areca hair: slightly oval or scoop-shaped. The exocarp has mostly fallen off or remained. The mesocarp is brown piliferous, yellowish-white or light brown, loose, and soft. The endocarp is hard-shelled, yellow-brown, or brown, the inner surface is smooth, and sometimes longitudinally cracked. The herb has a slight odor, it tastes mild.
Pharmacological actions: ①.effect on intestinal smooth muscle.
Medicinal efficacy: Descending Qi, inducing diuresis to alleviate edema. It is indicated for retention of damp leading to blockage of QI, abdominal fullness and distention stuffy, difficulty in defecation, edema and tumescence, beriberi and dropsy, edema, beriberi, dysuria(difficulty in urination).
Administration of Pericarpium Arecae (Dà Fù Pí):
Administration Guide of Pericarpium Arecae (Dà Fù Pí)
①.Internally: 4.5~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction,1~2 qian (about 3~6 grams), or prepare to pill.Externally:wash with water decoction,or prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction, 5~10 grams, or prepared to pill, powder.Externally:proper amount,wash with water decoction,or prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick.
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1.Introduction of Da Fu Pi:Areca Peel or Pericarpium Arecae.