Introduction of Xiang Jia Pi:Chinese Silkvine Bark or Cortex Periplocae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Chinese Silkvine Bark, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Periploca sepium Bge., 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 Chinese Silkvine Bark, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Cortex Periplocae(Chinese Silkvine Bark).

Cortex Periplocae Pin Yin Name: Xiānɡ Jiā Pí.
 English Name: Chinese Silkvine Bark,Chinese Silkvine Root-bark.
 Latin Name: Cortex Periplocae.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, bitter, toxic.

 Brief introduction: The herb Cortex Periplocae is the dried root-bark of Periploca sepium Bge., used to dispel wind-damp in cases of rheumatic arthritis, and induce diuresis for edema. The herb is commonly known as Cortex Periplocae, Chinese Silkvine Bark, Xiānɡ Jiā Pí.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Cortex Periplocae(Chinese Silkvine Bark) as the dried root-bark of (1). Periploca sepium Bge. It is a plant of the Periploca genus, the Asclepiadaceae family (Asclepiadoideae, milkweed subfamily), Contortae order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Periploca sepium Bge.

 Periploca sepium Bge.:branches and leaves Botanical description: It is commonly known as Gāng liǔ. Deciduous shrubs, the plant grows up to 1.5 meters long. Taproots are terete, rind is grayish brown, endothelium is pale yellow. With milk, glabrous except for flowers; Stem bark is grayish brown; Branchlets are usually opposite, pinstriped, lenticellate. Leaves are ovate-oblong, 5~9 cm long, 1.5~2.5 cm wide, apex is acuminate, base is cuneate, dark green, undersuface is pale green; Midrib is flat on the leaf surface, slightly convex on back, lateral veins are fine, flat on both sides, 20~25 lines on each side; Petiole is ca. 3 mm.

 Periploca sepium Bge.:drawing of tree and herb Cymes are axillary, with several flowers; Peduncle and pedicels are effeminate; Calyx lobes are ovoid, 3 mm long, 2 mm wide, apex is obtuse, inner surface base of calyx with 10 small glands; Corolla is purplish red, radial, open 1.5 cm in diameter, corolla tube is short, ca. 3 mm, lobes are oblong-lanceolate, 8 mm long, 4 mm wide, middle is thickened fusiform, reflexed, inside surface is villous, outside is glabrous; Corona is annular, 10-lobed, 5-lobed filiform pubescent, apex is recurved; Stamens are inserted on inner surface of corona and united with it, anthers adhering to each other and enclosing stigma, abaxially villous; Carpels are free, glabrous, ovules multiple per carpel, stigma discoid convex; The pollen container is spatulate, tetrahedral pollen is hidden in the pollen carrier, and the sticky disc sticks to the stigma.

 Periploca sepium Bge.:flowering tree with fruits 2 Follicles, terete, 7~12 cm long, ca. 5 mm in diameter, glabrous, with longitudinal streaks; Seeds are oblong, ca. 7 mm long, ca. 1 mm wide, dark brown, apex with white silk seed hairs; The seed coat is 3 cm long. Its flowering period is from May to June, fruiting from July to September.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows on arid slopes, gullies, fixed sandy land, thickets, rivers, riverside sandy land, valley terraces, river flats, wasteland, loess hills, forest margins, forests, roadside, plains, hilly forest margins, sandy land, valleys, slopes, field edges, fixed or semi-fixed dunes. Distribution: the plant is distributed in the north, northwest, southwest, the lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, China. It also is distributed in the ussuri, far east.

 Periploca sepium Bge.:growing trees Growth characteristics: The Periploca sepium is not strict in climate choice, should be planted on the hillside or the river facing the sun. Deep, fertile, well-drained yellow soil with sand is better.

 Chinese Silkvine Root-bark:herb photo Characters of herbs: The root is in the shape of a roll or a groove, and a few are irregular patches, with a length of 3~12 cm, a diameter of 0.7~2 cm, and a thickness of 2~5 mm. The outer surface is gray-brown to yellowish-brown, coarse and rough, with transverse lenticels, and the cork bark often falls in the form of scales, exposing the gray-white part; The inner surface is light yellow to grayish-yellow, slightly smooth, with fine longitudinal lines. The herb is light, the texture of the herb is crisp or brittle, easily broken, the fracture is yellow and white, irregular. The herb has a special aroma and bitter taste. The herb which has thick strips, thick bark, simple rolls, strong aroma, and bitter taste is better.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.cardiotonic effect, ②.central excitatory effect, ③.other effects: increase pulmonary circulation under certain conditions, cardiotonic and diuretic effect is proved, bark has an insecticidal effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispel wind and dampness, strengthen muscles and bones, alleviate water retention and reduce swelling, cardiotonic. It is indicated for the treatment of wind-cold-dampness arthralgia, rheumatism and numbness pain, waist and knee pain, palpitations and shortness of breath, lower extremity swelling, edema, dysuria (difficulty in micturition), heart failure, etc.

 Administration of Cortex Periplocae (Xiānɡ Jiā Pí): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Cortex Periplocae (Xiānɡ Jiā Pí)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~6 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian (about 4.5~9 grams),infusing in wine or prepare to pill,powder; ③.Internally:water decoction, 4.5~9 grams,or infusing in wine,or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:proper amount,wash with water decoction.
 Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Cortex Periplocae should not be taken overdose.

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