Introduction of Da Fu Pi:Areca Peel or Pericarpium Arecae.

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.

Pericarpium Arecae(Areca Peel).

Pericarpium Arecae Pin Yin Name: Dà Fù Pí.
 English Name: Areca Peel.
 Latin Name: Pericarpium Arecae.
 Property and flavor: light warm, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Pericarpium Arecae is the dried pericarp of Areca catechu L.(family Palmae), 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: Official herbal classics and other famous herbal classics 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 of the Principes order. This commonly used species is introduced as:

 Areca catechu L. (1).Areca catechu L.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Bīng Láng. Stem erect, arborescent, above 10 meters high, up to 30 meters high, with distinct annular leaf markings. Leaves clustered at apex of the stem, 1.3~2 meters long, pinnacles numerous, glabrous on both sides, narrowly lanceolate, 30~60 cm long, 2.5~4 cm wide, upper pinnacles united, apex with irregular cleft teeth.

 Monoecious, inflorescence much-branched, inflorescence axis stout compressed, branches sinuous, 25~30 cm long, upper slender, bearing 1 row or 2 rows of male flowers, female flowers solitary at base of branch; Male flowers small, sessile, usually solitary, rarely paired, sepals ovate, less than 1 mm long, petals oblong, 4~6 mm long, 6 stamens, filaments short, 3 deformable pistils, linear; Female flowers larger, sepals ovate, petals nearly rounded, 1.2~1.5 cm long, 6 staminodes, connate; Ovary oblong.

 Areca catechu L. Fruit oblong or ovoid, 3~5 cm long, orange-yellow, pericarp thick, fibrous. Seeds ovate, base truncated, endosperm chewy, embryo basal. Flower period: March-April.

 Ecological environment: The plant was native to Malaysia, mainly distributes in Southeast Asia, tropical Asia, and parts of Europe, in the Pacific region it mainly distributes 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.

 Areca catechu L. Growth habit: Areca is a warm, moist and hot type of positive plants, prefers high temperature, abundant rainfall humid climate environment. The tree is scattered in the bottom of the low valley, ridge foot, slope and plain stream side tropical rainforest secondary forest, but also grow in a piece of rich humus gully, ridge, thin forest and slightly acidic to neutral sandy loam desert mountain wilderness.

 It is mainly distributed in area between north and south latitude 28°. The optimum temperature is 10~36 °C, the minimum temperature is not lower than 10 °C, and the maximum temperature is not over than 40 °C. It can grow well in areas with an altitude of 0~1,000 meters and an annual rainfall of 1,700~2,000 mm.

 Growth characteristics: The tree Areca catechu prefers to grow in high-temperature areas, with thick and moist sandy loam or clay loam.

 Areca catechu L. Characters of herbs: Dried peel, usually two-sided. The unloosened one is oval gourd-shaped, 5~7 cm long, about 3 cm wide and about 1 cm thick. Pericarp grayish-brown, with brown spots and longitudinal cracks. Already beat loose, outer pericarp falls off, the pericarp is the fiber of yellow-white to grayish-yellow, fiber lengthwise arranges, the outer layer is loosened into a wisp, inner layer fiber is thicker, show brownish hair shape. The inner wall is concave, brown or dark brown, and the surface is smooth and crusty. The body is easy, flexible and easy to be torn lengthwise. No smell, light taste. The herb which is yellow and white color, flexible, no impurities is better.

 Pharmacological actions: Effect on intestinal smooth muscle: the decoction of the herb Pericarpium Arecae can increase the intestinal tension and reduce the contraction of the rabbit intestinal canal in vitro, and its effect can be antagonized by atropine.

 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): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Pericarpium Arecae(Dà Fù Pí)
TCM Books: Internally:4.5~9 grams(CP),Internally:water decoction,1~2 qian(about 3~6 grams), or prepare to pill.Externally:wash with water decoction,or grinded into fine powder and apply stick(DCTM),Internally:water decoction,5~10 grams,or prepared to pill, powder.Externally:proper amount,wash with water decoction,or grinded into fine powder and apply stick(CHMM).

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  • 1.Introduction of Da Fu Pi:Areca Peel or Pericarpium Arecae.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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