Introduction of Xuan Fu Hua:Inula Flower or Flos Inulae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Inula Flower, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Inula britanica L.var.chinensis Regel., ②.Inula britannica L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plants, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plants, the features of the herb Inula Flower, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Flos Inulae(Inula Flower).

flowering plants of Inula Flower Pin Yin Name: Xuán Fù Huā.
 English Name: Inula Flower.
 Latin Name: Flos Inulae.
 Property and flavor: slight warm, bitter, pungent, salty.

 Brief introduction: The herb Flos Inulae is the dried flower-head of Inula britanica L.var.chinensis Regel., or Inula britannica L., used as an expectorant for relieving cough and asthma with excessive phlegm, and as an antiemetic for belching and vomiting. The herb is commonly known as Flos Inulae, Inula Flower, Xuán Fù Huā.

 Botanical source: The herb Flos Inulae (Inula Flower) is the dried flower-head of Inula japonica Thunb., or Inula britannica L., they are plants of the Inula genus, the Asteraceae family (Compositae, daisy family) of the Campanulales order. It is also known as Inula Flower, the flower of Linearleaf Inula, the flower of British Inula, or Xuán Fù Huā.

 Herbal classic book defined the herb Flos Inulae (Inula Flower) as the dried flower-head of:(1).Inula britanica L.var.chinensis Regel., or (2).Inula britannica L. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Inula britanica L.var.chinensis Regel.

 flowering plants of Inula britannica L in field Botanical description: Inula britanica L.var.chinensis Regel is also known as Inula britanica L.var.japonica (Thunb.) Sav., or Inula japonica Thunb. The plant is commonly known as Lǘ ér Cǎo, Bǎi Yè Cǎo. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 30–80 cm tall. The rhizome is short, transverse, or obliquely ascending, with fibrous roots. Stems are solitary or fascicled, green or purple, thinly longitudinally furrowed, and covered with long appressed hairs. The basal leaves wither in anthesis (the flowering phase), the leaves on the middle part are oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 4~13 cm long, 1.5~4.5 cm wide, the apex is pointed, the base is attenuated (gradually narrowing), often has circular half amplexicaular (stem-clasping) small ears, sessile, entire or sparsely toothed, the upper surface is sparsely piliferous or glabrate (nearly glabrous), the undersurface is sparsely covered with appressed hairs and glandular points, middle veins and lateral veins are covered with densely long pilose. Upper leaves gradually turn smaller, linear-lanceolate.

 flowering plants of Inula japonica Thunb growing in field Capitulum (flower head), 3~4 cm in diameter, most or a few arranged into sparse corymbals; peduncle is slender; involucral bracts are semiglobe (semi-spherical), 1.3–1.7 cm in diameter, involucral bracts are in about 5 layers, linear-lanceolate, the outermost layer is usually leafy and long. The outer layer base is coriaceous, the upper part is coriaceous; the inner layer is scarious; ligulate flowers are yellow; their length is 2~2.5 times the length of the involucre; ligule is linear (filate), 10–13 mm long; the tubular flower corolla is about 5 mm long, has triangular-lanceolate lobes; the pappus is white, 1 whorl, with more than 20 coarse hairs.

 Achenes are cylindrical, 1~1.2 mm long, with 10 longitudinal grooves, sparsely pubescent. Its flowering period is from June to October, and the fruiting period is from September to November.

 dried herbs of Inula Flower Ecological environment: The plant grows in areas at altitudes of 150~2,400 meters above sea level, on hillsides and roadsides, moist grasslands, riverbanks and ridge fields. It is widely distributed in the northern, eastern and central areas and upper reaches of the Zhujiang River in China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a warm and humid climate. It is appropriate to choose land with deep soil layers, fertile, loose, humus-rich sandy loam for cultivation. It is not appropriate to choose heavy clay soil, or arid soil for cultivation, and avoid continuous cropping.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is oblate or spheroidal with a diameter of 1~2 cm. The involucre is composed of many bracts, which are imbricate (arranged in a tile shape), and the bracts are lanceolate or strip-shaped, grayish yellow, 4~11 mm long. Pedicels sometimes remain at the base of the involucre, and the surfaces of bracts and pedicels are covered with white hairs, with 1 row of ligulate flowers, yellow, about 1 cm long, curly and often shedding, and the apex is 3-toothed; tubular flowers are numerous, brownish yellow, about 5 mm long, and the apex is 5-toothed; there are many white hairs on the top of the ovary, 5~6 mm long. Some oval achenes can be seen. The herb is light and easily broken. It has a slight smell and tastes slightly bitter. The herb of a better grade is big, golden yellow, has white hairs, and has no branches.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.Antibacterial effect: the decoction of Flos Inulae shows inhibition effect on Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus haemolyticus B, Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus diphtheriae, pneumococcus, Staphylococcus albus, etc; ②.Antitussive and antiasthmatic effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Downbear Qi (sending down abnormally ascending), dissolving phlegm, circulate water, controlling nausea and vomiting, indicated for cough due to wind-cold, phlegm and retained fluid accumulation, distention and fullness in chest and diaphragm, dyspnea and cough with excessive sputum, epigastric fullness and rigidity.

 Administration of Flos Inulae (Xuán Fù Huā): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Flos Inulae (Xuán Fù Huā)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~9 grams; ②.3~10 grams,water decoction, wrap-boiling or strained the hairs.

(2).Inula britannica L.

 flowering plants of Inula britannica L. growing in a cluster Botanical description: Inula britannica L is also known as big flower inula, piliferous inula. The different morphological features of Inula britannica from Inula britanica L.var.chinensis Regel. are: leaf blades are oblong or elliptic-lanceolate, the base is wide and big, cordate, has ears and is half amplexicaular (stem-clasping). Capitulum (flower head), 2.5~5 cm in diameter; involucre is 1.5~2.2 cm in diameter, 1 cm long. Achene is cylindrical, has shallow grooves, and is covered with short hairs.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows on the river bank, a humid sloping field, the ridge of the field, and the roadsides. It is distributed in the northern, and northwest areas, the middle reaches of the Yellow River, and other areas of China.



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