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: 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. Shrub, sometimes creeping, the plant grows up to 2~3 meters tall; branches are taupe brown, inermous, or have single flat spines on the petiole base. Palmately compound leaves, alternate on long branches, tufty on short shoots; petiole is 3~8 cm long, often has thin spines; 5 lobules (leaflets), rarely 3 or 4, the lobule in the center is largest, obovate to oblanceolate, 3~8 cm long, 1~3.5 cm wide, apex is pointed or shortly acuminate, the base is cuneate, both surfaces are glabrous, or bristles grow sparsely along veins, pale brown tufts grow in axillaries on the under surface, margin is serrulate.

 The umbel is axillary or solitary on the tip of the short branch, about 2 cm in diameter; the peduncle is 1~2 cm long; the pedicel is 6~10 mm long; the calyx is 5-dentate lobed; the flowers are yellowish green, 5 flower petals, oblong-ovate, the apex is pointed, reflexed in flowering phase; 5 stamens, filaments are thin and long; the ovary is 2-loculed, 2 styles, separated or connate at base, stigma is sphaerocepharous.

 Acanthopanax gracilistylus W.W. Smith.:growing tree Drupe fruit is berrylike, oblate, 5~6 mm in diameter, turns black when it is mature, persistent styles are retroflexed. 2 seeds, fine and tiny, hazel (pale brown). Its flowering period is from April to July, the fruiting period is from July to October.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in bushes, forest edges, on hillsides or mountain slopes, roadsides, and villages. The plant is mainly distributed in the Yellow River area, the Yangtze River area, and the Zhujiang River area of China.

 Growth characteristics: The Acanthopanax gracilistylus prefers a mild and humid climate, it is tolerant to shade and coldness. It is advisable to choose alluvial soil or sandy loam with deep soil layers, fertile and good drainage, and slightly acidic soil, in humid and sunny fields on the hillsides or mountain slopes, hills, or riverside. Should not choose gravel, clay, or sandy soil for planting.

 Slenderstyle Acanthopanax Bark:herb photo Characters of herbs: The root barks are in the shape of an irregular single roll or double roll shape, and some are in the shape of lumps and pieces, 4~15 cm long, 0.5~1.5 cm in diameter, and 1~4 mm thick. The out surface is taupe brown or taupe (dust color) and has irregular cracks, or slightly twisted longitudinal wrinkles and elongated lenticels, the inner surface is light yellow or sallow (grayish yellow), with fine longitudinal striation. The herb is light, the texture of the herb is crisp, and the fracture surface is orderless, ash gray (grayish white) or sallow (grayish yellow). The herb has a slight fragrant odor, it tastes slightly spicy and bitter. The herb of better grade has a thick cortex or bark, a fragrant odor, and the fracture surface is ash gray (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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