Introduction of Lao Guan Cao:Wilford Ganesbill Herb or Herba Erodii seu Geranii.

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:Dispelling Wind-Damp Herbs.

 TCM Herbs Icon06 Introduction: Dispelling Wind-Damp Herbs: an agent or substance herbs that dispels wind and damp, mainly for relieving rheumatism and related conditions.

Herba Erodii seu Geranii(Heron's Bill or Wilford Ganesbill Herb).

Wilford Ganesbill Herb Pin Yin Name: Lǎo Guàn Cǎo.
 English Name: Heron's Bill or Wilford Ganesbill Herb,Common Heron.
 Latin Name: Herba Erodii seu Geranii.
 Property and flavor: neutral, slight pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Herba Erodii seu Geranii is the dried aerial part of Erodium stephanianum Willd., or Geranium wilfordii Maxim.(family Geraniaceae), used to dispel wind-damp, unblock collateral meridians and arrest dysenteric diarrhea in cases of rheumatalgia with muscular contracture, and also for treating enteritis and dysentery. The herb is commonly known as Herba Erodii seu Geranii, Heron's Bill or Wilford Ganesbill Herb, Lǎo Guàn Cǎo.

 Botanical source: Official herbal classics defined the herb Herba Erodii seu Geranii(Heron's Bill or Wilford Ganesbill Herb) as the dried aerial part of (1).Erodium stephanianum Willd., (2).Geranium Wilfordii Maxim., (3).Geranium carolinianum L. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Herba Erodii seu Geranii(Heron's Bill or Wilford Ganesbill Herb) as the dried aerial part of (1).Erodium stephanianum Willd., (2).Geranium Wilfordii Maxim., (3).Geranium sibiricum L., (4).Geranium nepalense Sweet., (5).Geranium dahuricum DC. They are plants of the Erodium LHerit. Genus, Geraniaceae family, Geraniales order. These 5 commonly used species are introduced as:

 Erodium stephanianum Willd. (1).Erodium stephanianum Willd.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Máng Niú Er Miáo. Herbs perennial, usually 15~50 cm tall, roots taproot, stout, less branched. Stems numerous, supine or trailing, knotted, pilose. Leaves opposite; Stipules triangular-lanceolate, detached, sparsely pilose, margin ciliate; Basal leaves and lower leaves of stem long stipitate, stipitate 1.5~2 times as long as leaf blade, villous spreading and inverted pubescent; Leaf blade contour ovate or triangular-ovate, base cordate, 5~10 cm long, 3~5 cm wide, bicylinate deeply lobed, lobules ovate-striate, entire or sparsely dentate, surface sparsely hairy, abaxially sparsely pilose, densely hairy along veins. Inflorescences axillary, significantly longer than leaves, pedicels spreading villous and inverted pubescent, 2~5 flowered per pedicel; Bracts narrowly lanceolate, detached; Pedicels similar to general pedicels, equal to or slightly longer than flowers, flowering erect, fruiting spreading, upper part curved upward; Sepals rectangular, ovate, 6~8 mm long, 2~3 mm wide, apex long awn, long hispid, petals purplish red, obovate, equal to or slightly longer than sepals, apex rounded or slightly concave; Stamens slightly longer than sepals, filaments purplish, spreading below middle, pilose; Pistil hispid, style purplish red. Capsule ca. 4 cm long, densely hispid. Seeds brown spotted. Its flowering period is from June to August, fruiting from August to September.

 Erodium stephanianum Willd. Ecological environment: The plant grows on a hillside or in a field. The plant distributes in the north of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, north, northwest, west area of China. The plant grows on the dry hillside, farmland edge, sandy beach, and concave grassland. It also widely distributes to Siberia and the far east of Kazakhstan, Central Asian countries, Afghanistan, and Kashmir region, Nepal.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Erodium stephanianum prefers a warm and humid climate, cold, moisture resistance, it prefers full sunshine. Loose and fertile, moist loam is suitable for planting.

 Erodium stephanianum Willd. Characters of herbs: The whole plant is covered with white pilose. Stems rounded, 30~50 cm long or longer, 1~7 mm in diameter, glaucous with purple on the surface, branched, nodes conspicuous and slightly swollen, longitudinally furred and sparsely hairy, fibrous after a crisp fracture. Leaf-blade curly and wrinkled, crisp and brittle, 2-fold deeply lobed, lobes narrowly linear, entire or with 1-3 coarse teeth. Capsule oblong, about 4 cm long, persistent style 2.5~3 cm long, stork beak, 5-lobed when mature, spirally curled upward. Slight smell, mild taste.

 Pharmacological actions: The decoction of Erodium stephanianum Willd has a strong inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus, beta streptococcus, Pneumococcus, Mlicrococcus catarrhalis, Shigella flexneri, and influenza virus. Herba Erodii can inhibit intestinal peristalsis and have an antidiarrhoea effect in a certain dose. But large doses can promote intestinal peristalsis, can cause diarrhea. Water decoction alcohol sedimentation has an obvious antitussive effect. Tannins of Herba Erodii also have antioxidant properties.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispel wind and dampness, free meridians and collaterals, relieve diarrhea, promote blood circulation, clear heat and remove dampness through diuresis, clear heat, and detoxify. It is indicated for rheumatism pain, numbness and constriction, skin numbness, aching muscles and bones, diarrhea and dysentery, carbuncle-abscess, ulcer, injury of fall, enteritis, etc.

 Administration of Herba Erodii seu Geranii(Lǎo Guàn Cǎo): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Herba Erodii seu Geranii(Lǎo Guàn Cǎo)
TCM Books: Internally:9~15 grams(CP),Internally:water decoction, 2~5 qian(about 6~15 grams),infusing in wine or prepare paste(DCTM),Internally:water decoction, 9~15 grams,or infusing in wine or prepare paste.Externally:proper amount,mashed and fried hot with wine added,apply stick or prepare to ointment and smear(CHMM).

 Geranium Wilfordii Maxim. (2).Geranium Wilfordii Maxim.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Lǎo Guàn Cǎo. Herbs perennial, 35~80 cm tall. Stems prostrate or slightly sloping, much-branched. Leaves opposite, petiole 1.5~4 cm long, pilose, leaf blade 3-5 deeply lobed, subpentagonal, base slightly cordate, lobes subrhomboid, apex obtuse or acute, margin neatly serrate, green above, pilose below, pale green along veins. Flowers small, ca. 1 cm in diameter, 2 per pedicel, axillary, pedicels slender; 5 calyxes, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, sparsely puberulent, apex awned; 5 petals, obovate, white or reddish, with deep red longitudinal veins; 10 stamens, fully anthers: style 5-lobed, elongated and joined to fruit stalk with synthetic beak. Capsule apex long-beaked, dehiscent at maturity, beak curled from bottom to top. Seeds oblong, dark brown. Its flowering period is from May to June, fruiting period is from June to July.

 Geranium Wilfordii Maxim. Ecological environment: The plant grows on hillsides, meadows, and roadsides. It distributes in the north area, the lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, southwest area, and other areas of China.

 Geranium Wilfordii Maxim. Characters of herbs: Stem slender, 1~3 mm in diameter, longitudinally furrowed, purplish or grayish-brown in the surface, with prostrate hairs. Leaves nephriform triangular, 3~5 deeply lobed, lobes subrhomboid, margin serrate, two masks fuzzles. Gourd about 2 cm long, style 1~2 cm long, 5 RIPS when mature, curled up in an umbrella shape.

 Geranium carolinianum L. (3).Geranium carolinianum L.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Yě Lǎo Guàn Cǎo. Herbs annual, 20~60 cm tall, roots slender, simple or branched, stems erect or supine, simple or many, angular, densely inverted pubescent. Basal leaves early dry, stem leaves alternate or uppermost opposite; Stipules lanceolate or triangular-lanceolate, 5~7 mm long, 1.5~2.5 mm wide, outer pubescent; Stem lower leaves with long stalk, stalk 2~3 times as long as leaf blade, inverted toward pubescent, upper petiole gradually shorter; Leaf blade circular reniform, 2~3 cm long, 4~6 cm wide, base cordate, palmately 5-7 lobed near base, lobes obovate or rhomboid, lower cuneate, entire, upper pinnate deeply lobed, lobules striate rectangular, apex acute, surface covered with pubescent hairs, abaxially mainly along veins with pubescent hairs.

 Geranium carolinianum L. Inflorescences axillary and terminal, longer than leaves, inverted pubescent and spreading long glandular hairs, 2 flowers per total peduncle, terminal total peduncle constant aggregates, inflorescence umbrella-shaped; Pedicels similar to general pedicels, equal to or slightly shorter than flowers; Bracts subulate, 3~4 mm long, pubescent; Sepals oblong-ovate or subelliptic, 5~7 mm long, 3~4 mm wide, apex acute, with a tip ca. 1 mm long, exterior pubescent or strigose and glandular hairs spreading along veins; Petals lavender-red, obovate, slightly longer than calyx, apex rounded, base broadly cuneate, stamens slightly shorter than sepals, middle below long hispid; Pistil slightly longer than stamens, densely hispid. Capsule ca. 2 cm long, shortly hispid, petals first lobed downward from the upper beak. Its flowering period is from April to July, fruiting from May to September.

 Geranium carolinianum L. Ecological environment: The plant is native to America, and grows in the wild field in China, distributes in the lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, southwest area of China. Wild geranium is common in wasteland, fields, roadside, and ditch edge. It prefers warm and humid climate, cold and wet resistance. It prefers lots of sunshine, loose, fertile, moist loam planting is appropriate.

 Geranium sibiricum L. (4).Geranium sibiricum L.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Xī Bó Lì Yà Lǎo Guàn Cǎo, or Siberian Geranium. Perennial herb, 20~100 cm tall. Roots erect, branched or unbranched, usually simple, 2~3 sparses. Stem slender, prostrate or upper oblique upward, much-branched, slightly glabrous. Leaves opposite; Basal leaves and lower cauline leaves have a long stalk, apical stalk short, stalk with inverted pilose or pubescent; Stipules lanceolate, long acuminate; Basal leaves wither early, isomorphic to cauline leaves, reniform pentagonal, base broadly cordate, 3~6 cm long, 4~8 cm wide, palmately 5-lobed, lobes obovate or narrowly obovate, base cuneate, upper pinnately divided or dentate deeply truncated; Upper leaf 3-lobed, sparsely hairy on upper and lower surfaces, densely hairy along veins below. Flowers usually solitary axillary; Petiole 4~5 cm long, filamentous, with appressed pilose or pubescent, bracts sub middle 2-lanceolate, appressed puberulent, laterally curving in fruit; Sepals oblong-lanceolate, ca. 4 mm long, margin membranous; Petals reddish or white with purple veins, nearly as long as sepals. Capsule 1.5~2 cm long, puberulent. Its flowering period is from June to July, fruiting from July to September.

 Geranium sibiricum L. Ecological environment: The plant grows in riverbank, wetland, forest, roadside, and mountain. It distributes in the north, northwest, middle reaches of the Yangtze River, southwest area of China.

 Characters of herbs: Stem much-branched, slightly glabrous. Leaves reniform pentagonal, palmately 5-lobed, lobes ovate-lanceolate, pinnate deeply lobed or dentate deeply incised, hairy. Capsule 1.5~2 cm long, persistent style 5-lobed at maturity, umbellate in upward curl.

 Geranium nepalense Sweet. (5).Geranium nepalense Sweet.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Ní Bó ěr Lǎo Guàn Cǎo, or Nepal Geranium. Perennial herb, 30~50 cm tall or higher, sometimes very short. The roots are slender and oblique. Stems slender, spreading to the ground, obliquely ascending, nearly square, often inverted sparsely pilose. Leaves opposite; Stalk of lower cauline leaves longer than leaf blade; Stipules narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate, 0.4~1 cm long, apex acuminate; Leaf blade reniform pentagonal, 2~5 cm long, 3-5 cm wide; 3-5 deeply lobed not to base, lobes broadly ovate, margin dentate truncated or lobed, appressed above, appressed below. Cymbidium several, axillary, 2 flowers each, sometimes 1 flower; Peduncle 2~8 cm long. Bracteoles, apically pilose, laterally curving in fruit; Sepals lanceolate, ca. 0.6 cm long, apex apical, margin membranous, abaxially 3-veined, long white hairs along veins; Petals small, purplish red, slightly longer than sepals; Filaments lower ovate, anthers nearly round, purplish-red; Ovary green, stigma purplish red, all covered with white hair. Capsule ca. 1.7 cm long, pilose. Its flowering period is from June to July, fruiting from July to August.

 Geranium nepalense Sweet. Ecological environment: The plant grows on damp hillsides, roadsides, fields, weeds. The plant distributes in the north, northwest, central, and southwest China.

 Characters of herbs: Stem 1-3 mm in diameter, grayish-green or purplish red, longitudinally furrowed and sparsely hairy. Leaves reniform pentagonal, palmately 3-5 lobed, margin lacerated, hairy. Capsule ca. 1.7 cm long, persistent style 5-lobed when ripe, upturned.

 Geranium dahuricum DC. (6).Geranium dahuricum DC.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Kuài Gēn Lǎo Guàn Cǎo, Cū Gēn Lǎo Guàn Cǎo, or Crude Tuber Geranium. Herbs perennial, 20~60 cm tall. Rhizome short, erect, with a tuft of long fusiform succulent tuberous root below. Stem erect, subglabrous, often bifid. Leaves opposite; Lower cauline leaves long-sessile, up to 10~15 cm, gradually shorter upward, apical leaves sessile; Stipules lanceolate or ovate, apex acuminate, 5~10 mm long; Leaf blade nephriform circular, 3~4 cm long, 5~7 cm wide, palmately 7 deeply lobed to base, lobes rhomboid ovate or lanceolate, irregularly pinnately lobed. Lobules lanceolate or linear-elliptic, 2~3 mm wide, acute, upper and margin densely with slightly appressed white hairs, underside sparsely hirsute. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, stalks 3-6 cm long, slender, usually 2-flowered; Petiole filamentous, 2~3 cm long, inverted sparsely puberulent, apex curved upward in fruit; Bracts lanceolate, long acuminate; Sepals ovate, subglabrous; Petals mauve, ca. 7~12 mm long; Filaments basally enlarged part ciliate. Capsule hairy, 1.2~2 cm long. Its flowering period is from June to July, fruiting from August to September.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in meadow, forest edge, thicket. The plant distributes in the north, northwest, southwest area, and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: Rhizome short, subfusiform thick root clustered lower. Stem often bifid branched, subglabrous. Leaves renal rounded, palmately 7 deeply lobed to base, lobes irregularly pinnately divided. Capsule 1.2~2 cm long, others as above. All with color dark green, flower and fruit many is better.
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  • 1.Introduction of Lao Guan Cao:Wilford Ganesbill Herb or Herba Erodii seu Geranii.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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