Introduction of Qiang Huo:Notopterygium Rhizome or Root or Rhizoma seu Radix Notopterygii.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Notopterygium Rhizome or Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Notopterygium incisum Ting ex H.T.Chang., ②.Notopterygium forbesii de Boiss., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Notopterygium Rhizome or Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Rhizoma seu Radix Notopterygii(Notopterygium Rhizome or Root).

Notopterygium Rhizome Pin Yin Name: Qiānɡ Huó.
 English Name: Notopterygium Rhizome or Root.
 Latin Name: Rhizoma seu Radix Notopterygii.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Rhizoma seu Radix Notopterygii is the dried rhizome or root of Notopterygium incisum Ting ex H.T.Chang or Notopterygium forbesii de Boiss., used to dispel wind, cold and damp for the treatment of wind-cold affliction, and wind-cold-damp (rheumatic or rheumatoid) arthralgia, especially that of the upper part of the body. The herb is commonly known as Rhizoma seu Radix Notopterygii, Notopterygium Rhizome or Root, Qiānɡ Huó.

 Botanical source: The herb Rhizoma seu Radix Notopterygii (Notopterygium Rhizome or Root) is the dried rhizome or root of Notopterygium incisum Ting ex H.T.Chang or Notopterygium forbesii de Boiss., they are plants of the Notopterygium Genus, the Apiaceae family (Umbelliferae, parsley family) of the Apiales order. These two commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Notopterygium incisum Ting ex H.T.Chang.


 Notopterygium incisum Ting ex H.T.Chang.:drawing of plant and herb Botanical description: Notopterygium incisum Ting ex H.T.Chang is a plant of the Apiaceae family (Umbelliferae, parsley family) and Notopterygium genus, it is commonly known as Notopterygium incisum Ting ex H.T.Chang, Notopterygium incisum, or Qiang Huo, Can Qiang, Lie Ye Qiang Huo (Cleft leaf Notopterygium), Zhu Jie Qiang Huo (Bamboo Nodes Notopterygium). A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 60~150 cm high. The rhizome is stout, terete (cylindrical) or in irregular lumps, dark brown or red brown, withered leaf sheath remain on the tip and has a special fragrance. The stem is upright, cylindrical, and hollow, the surface is mauve (lilac), with a longitudinal straight striola. Basal leaves and lower cauline leaves has long petioles, petiole extends from the base to both sides into a membraneous leaf sheath, amplexicaular (stem-clasping); leaf blades are triternate pinnately compound leaves, lobules (foliole) are in 3~4 pairs, terminal lobules are ovate-lanceolate to oblong-ovate, 2~5 cm long, 0.5~2 cm wide, edge is incised lobed to pinnately parted; cauline leaves on the upper part are simplified to sheathed-shape, subsessile, apex has pinnate lobules.

 Notopterygium incisum Ting ex H. T. Chang.:flowering plant Compound umbel is apical or axillary, 3~13 cm in diameter, lateral umbels are usually sterile, 3~6 involucre bracts, linear, caducous; spokes are 7~19 or up to 39, 2~10 cm long; umbellule (umbellet) is 1~2 cm in diameter, involucel bracts (involucellum) are 6~10, linear, 3~5 mm long; many flowers, calyx teeth are ovate-triangular; 5 flower petals, white, obovate, apex is blunt and concave; filaments of stamens are recurved, yellow; 2 styles, very short, stylopodium is flat, slightly protuberant.

 Schizocarps are oblong, 4~6 mm long, and about 3 mm wide, main edges all extend to wings of about 1 mm width, vittae (oil ducts) are conspicuous, 3~4 in each groove, 5~6 commissures, ventral surface of endosperm concave and grooved. Its flowering period is from July to September, and the fruiting period is from August to October.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in areas at altitudes of 2,000~4,200 meters above sea level, on forest edges, bushes and gully grass. The plant is distributed in the northwest, southwest, and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Notopterygium incisum prefers a cool and humid climate, it is tolerant to cold and slightly tolerant to shade. It is better to choose a field with deep soil layers, loose soil, humus-rich sandy loam with good drainage for cultivation, and an area with low temperatures is not suitable for its cultivation.

 Notopterygium Rhizome:herb photo Characters of herbs: The rhizome is slightly curved cylindrical, 4~13 cm long, and 0.6~2.5 cm in diameter. The tip has stem marks. The surface is tan (chocolate brown) to dark brown, and the part where the cortex falls off is yellow. The internodes are shortened, in a tightly raised ring-shape, is similar in shape to a silkworm (it is commonly known as Can Qiang, or Silkworm Notopterygium); or the internode is extended, is similar in shape to a bamboo joint (it is commonly known as Zhu Jie Qiang or the bamboo-joint Notopterygium). There are many punctate or nodular protuberant root marks and brown broken scales on the nodes. The herb is light, and the texture of the herb is brittle and easily broken. The fracture surface is uneven, has many cracks. The cortex is yellowish-brown to dark brown, oily, with brown oil spots, the xylem (wood part) is yellowish white, the rays are conspicuous, and the pith is yellow to yellowish brown. The herb has an aromatic odor, and it tastes slightly bitter and pungent. The herb of a better grade has a thick rhizome, with cross nodes and is similar in shape to a silkworm, and the surface is brown, the texture of the fracture surface is close and dense, many cinnabar spots and has a strong fragrance.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.antipyretic effect; ②.analgesic effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispel cold, dispel the wind, eliminate dampness, free joints, and relieve pain. It is indicated for wind-cold induced cold with headache, exogenous wind-cold affection, headache without sweat, rheumatism pain, shoulder and back pain, arthritis with fixed pain caused by dampness, edema, sore and ulcer, pyogenic infections, etc.

 Administration of Rhizoma seu Radix Notopterygii (Qiānɡ Huó): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhizoma seu Radix Notopterygii (Qiānɡ Huó)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 2~5 qian (about 6~15 grams), or prepare to pill,powder; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~10 grams, prepared to pill, powder.

(2).Notopterygium forbesii de Boiss.


 Notopterygium forbesii de Boiss.:drawing of plant and herb Botanical description: Notopterygium forbesii de Boiss is also known as Notopterygium franchetii de Boiss.(N. franchetii de Boiss), is a plant of the Apiaceae family (Umbelliferae, parsley family) and Notopterygium genus, it is commonly known as Notopterygium forbesii Boiss., Notopterygium forbesii, or Da Tou Qiang Huo, Fu Shi Qiang Huo, E Qiang Huo, Kuan Ye Qiang Huo (Wide leaf Notopterygium). A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 80~180 cm high. Rhizome is developed, base mostly has a residual leaf sheath. The stem is upright, few branched, cylindrical, hollow, with longitudinal straight striola, purplish. Basal leaves and lower cauline leaves have petioles, and petioles are 1~22 cm long, the lower part has amplexicaular (stem-clasping) leaf sheath; leaves are big, trifoliolate bipinnately or tripinnately compound leaves, the primary leaflets are in 2~3 pairs, has short petiole or subsessile, final leaflets are sessile or has short petiole, oblong-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 3~8 cm long, 1~3 cm wide, the apex is blunt or acuminate, the base is slightly cuneate, the edge is coarsely serrate, leaf veins and edges are puberulent; cauline leaves on the upper part of the stem are few, and leaf blades are simplified, only has three lobules, leaf sheath is developed, membraneous.

 Notopterygium forbesii de Boiss.:growing leaves Compound umbel is apical or axillary, 5~14 cm in diameter, peduncle is 5~25 cm long; 1~3 involucre bracts, linear-lanceolate, about 5 mm long, caducous; 10~17 spokes or up to 23, 3~12 cm long; umbellule (umbellet) is 1~3 cm in diameter, has many flowers; involucel bracts (involucellum) are 4~5, linear, 3~4 mm long; pedicels are 0.5~1 cm long; calyx teeth are ovate-triangular; flower petals are primrose yellow (pale yellow), obovate, 1~1.5 mm long, the apex is acuminate or blunt, introflexed; filaments of stamens are recurved, anther is elliptic, yellow, about 1 mm long; 2 styles, short, stylopodium is protuberant, slightly flat.

 Schizocarp is orbicular, 5 mm long, and 4 mm wide, ventral surface is slightly asquish, back edge, middle edge and side edge all extend to wings, but development is asymmetrical, wings are about 1 mm wide; vittae (oil duct) is conspicuous, 3~4 in each groove, 4 commissures; endosperm is concave. Its flowering period is in July, and the fruiting period is from August to September.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in forest edges and bushes, in areas at altitudes between 1,700 and 4,500 meters above sea level. It is mainly distributed in the northwest, the upper and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The rhizome is subcylindrical, with stem and leaf sheath residues on the top, and the root is cone-like (conical-like), with longitudinal wrinkles and lenticels; the surface is tan (chocolate brown), with dense ring lines near the rhizome part, 8~15 cm long, and 1~3 cm in diameter (commonly known as Tiao Qiang or Stripe Notopterygium). Some rhizomes are thick and big, irregularly nodular (tuberous), with several stem bases at the top and rootlets (commonly known as Da Tou Qiang, or Big-Head Notopterygium). The texture of the herb is loose and crisp, easily broken. The fracture surface is flat, the cortex is light brown, and the xylem (wood part) is yellow white. The herb has a mild odor. The herb of a better grade has a thick rhizome, with cross nodes and is similar in shape to a silkworm, and the surface is brown, the texture of the fracture surface is close and dense, many cinnabar spots, and has a strong fragrance.
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Qiang Huo:Notopterygium Rhizome or Root or Rhizoma seu Radix Notopterygii.

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