Introduction of Wu Jia Pi:Slenderstyle Acanthopanax Bark or Cortex Acanthopanacis.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Slenderstyle Acanthopanax Bark, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Acanthopanax gracilistylus W.W. Smith., 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 Slenderstyle Acanthopanax Bark, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Cortex Acanthopanacis(Slenderstyle Acanthopanax Bark).

Cortex Acanthopanacis Pin Yin Name: Wǔ Jiā Pí.
 English Name: Slenderstyle Acanthopanax Bark.
 Latin Name: Cortex Acanthopanacis.
 Property and flavor: slightly sweet, warm, pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Cortex Acanthopanacis is the dried root-bark of Acanthopanax gracilistylus W.W. Smith, used to dispel wind-damp, strengthen the tendons and bones, and induce diuresis in the treatment of rheumatic conditions, and edema. The herb is commonly known as Cortex Acanthopanacis, Slenderstyle Acanthopanax Bark, Wǔ Jiā Pí.

 Botanical source: The herb Cortex Acanthopanacis(Slenderstyle Acanthopanax Bark) is the dried root-bark of Acanthopanax gracilistylus W.W. Smith, it is a plant of the Eleutherococcus genus, the Araliaceae family (ginseng, ivy family) of the Apiales(Umbelliflorae) order.

(1).Acanthopanax gracilistylus W.W. Smith.

 Acanthopanax gracilistylus W.W. Smith.:growing tree Botanical description: The Acanthopanax gracilistylus W.W. Smith., is a plant of the Araliaceae family (ginseng, ivy family) and Eleutherococcus genus, it is commonly known as "Acanthopanax gracilistylus", or "Slender Acanthopanax", or "Xi Zhu Wu Jia", the herb is commonly named "Slenderstyle Acanthopanax Root-bark", deciduous shrubs, the plant grows up to 2~3 meters tall; branches are gray-brown, weak and pendulous, sprawling, glabrous, often sparsely retrorsely flattened at nodes. Leaves are palmately compound, alternate on long shoots, clustered on short shoots; petiole is 3~8 cm long, often with narrow spines; 5 leaflets, dilute to 3 or 4, centrally largest, obovate to oblanceolate, length 3~8 cm, width 1~3.5 cm, tip apex or shortly acuminate, base is cuneate, glabrous on both surfaces, or sparsely bristles along vein, pale brown tufts between veins below, margin serrulate.

 Umbrella inflorescence is axillary or solitary at short axillary apices, ca. 2 cm in diameter; peduncle length is 1~2 cm; pedicel is 6~10 mm long; calyx 5 dentate; flowers are yellowish green, 5 petals, oblong-ovate, apex pointed, open; 5 stamens, filaments are slender; ovary is 2-celled, 2 styles, separated or basally connate, stigma rounded.

 Acanthopanax gracilistylus W.W. Smith.:growing tree Drupe is berry-like, oblate spheroid, 5~6 mm in diameter, black at maturity, persistent style reflexes. 2 seeds, small, light brown. Its flowering period is from April to July, fruiting from July to October.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows on hillsides or in jungles. The plant is mainly distributed in the Yellow River, the Yangtze River area, and the Zhujiang River area of China.

 Growth characteristics: The Acanthopanax gracilistylus prefers a mild and humid climate, shade, cold resistance. It is advisable to choose the alluvial soil or sandy loam with deep and fertile soil layer, good drainage, and slightly acidic soil on the slopes, hills, sprinkling edge, with damp and sun. Not suitable for planting in gravel, clay, or sandy soil.

 Slenderstyle Acanthopanax Bark:herb photo Characters of herbs: The root barks are in the shape of irregular rolls, and some are in the shape of blocks and pieces, with a length of 4~15 cm, a diameter of 0.5~1.5 cm and a thickness of 1~4 mm. The outer surface is grayish brown or taupe, with irregular cracks, slightly twisted longitudinal wrinkles and horizontal lenticels-like spots, the inner surface is light yellow or grayish yellow with fine longitudinal lines. The herb is light, the texture of the herb is brittle, easy to break, the fracture surface is irregular, grayish white or grayish yellow. The herb has a slight fragrant odor, it tastes slightly spicy and bitter. The herb of better grade has thick cortex or bark, fragrant odor and the fracture surface is grayish white.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anti-arthritis and analgesic effect, enhance the body's resistance to disease; ②.protective effect on radiation damage; ③.anti-diuretic effect; ④.anti-hypnotic effect; ⑤.regulates blood pressure; ⑥.lowers blood sugar, reduces vascular permeability; ⑦.excites rabbit small intestine and uterus; ⑧.kill filarial larvae.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispel wind and dampness, invigorate the liver and kidney, strengthen muscles and bones, activate blood vessels. It is indicated for rheumatism arthralgia, weakness and flaccidity of muscles and bones, pain in waist and knee, infantile retardation of walking, physical weakness and thin, weakness and asthenia, edema, beriberi, bone fracture, traumatic injury of fall, wet and itching of the genital region, etc.

 Administration of Cortex Acanthopanacis (Wǔ Jiā Pí): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Cortex Acanthopanacis (Wǔ Jiā Pí)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:4.5~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian (about 4.5~9 grams),infusing in wine or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:mashed and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction,6~9 grams,fresh herb double dosage, infusing in wine or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:proper amount,fumigation wash with water decoction,or prepare to ground herb powder and apply stick.

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