Introduction of Qian Hu:Hogfennel Root or Radix Peucedani.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Hogfennel Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn., ②.Peucedanum decursivum (Miq.) Maxim., 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 Hogfennel Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Radix Peucedani(Hogfennel Root).

growing shrub of Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn Pin Yin Name: Qián Hú.
 English Name: Hogfennel Root.
 Latin Name: Radix Peucedani.
 Property and flavor: light cold, bitter, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Radix Peucedani is the dried root of Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn, or Peucedanum decursivum (Miq.) Maxim., used to check the adverse up-flow of Qi, and resolve phlegm for relieving cough and dyspnea with copious or yellow sticky expectoration.

 Botanical source: The herb Radix Peucedani (Hogfennel Root) is the dried root of Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn, or Peucedanum decursivum (Miq.) Maxim., they are plants of the Peucedanum L. genus, the Apiaceae family (Umbelliferae, parsley family) of the Umbelliflorae order. It is also known as Root of Whiteflower Hogfennel, Root of Common Hogfennel, or Qián Hú.

 Herbal classic book defined the herb Radix Peucedani(Hogfennel Root) as the dried root of:(1). Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn., (2). Peucedanum decursivum (Miq.) Maxim. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn.

 a drawing of Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn.,plant and herb,rhizome and stems,flowers and seeds Botanical description: Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn is also known as white flower hogfennel, Bái Huà Qián Hú (means white flower hogfennel), Shuǐ Qián Hú (means water hogfennel), Zōng Bāo Qián Hú (means brown-sheath hogfennel), etc. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 60–100 cm tall. Roots are conical, have a few lateral roots, the root surface is yellowish-brown to brownish-black, and many tan (chocolate brown) leaf sheath fibers remain on the root tip. The stem is upright, and cylindrical, the upper part is branched, and pubescent, the lower part is glabrous. Basal leaves have long petioles, and the base is enlarged to a sheath-shape, amplexicaular (stem-clasping); leaf blades are broadly triangular-ovate, trifoliolate, bipinnatifid or tripinnatifid, 15~20 cm long, about 12 cm wide, the primary leaflets are in 2~3 pairs, the lowest pair has a long stalk, the stalk is 3.5~6 cm long, others have a short stalk or are sessile; the terminal lobes are rhomboid obovate, and the apex is acuminate, the base is cuneate to truncate, the edge has irregular 3-4 coarse tooth or crenature, sometimes lower serrates are lobed or deeply parted, 1.5~6 cm long, 1.2~4 cm wide, leaf veins on the undersurface are conspicuously protuberant, both surfaces are glabrous, or sometimes there are sparse pubescence along or on the leaf veins of the undersurface. Cauline leaves are similar to basal leaves but smaller; leaves on the upper part of the stem are sessile, leaf blades are ternate, lobes are narrow, the base is cuneate, and the base of the middle leaf is decurrent.

 Compound umbels are terminal or lateral, 6~18 umbrella spokes, unequal length, 1.5~4.5 cm long, pilose; 1 to several involucral bracts, fall off after flowering, linear-lanceolate, 0.7~1 cm long, the margin is membranous, pilose; umbellule is composed of 15~20 flowers, pedicels are unequal length, pilose; 7~12 bractlets, ovate-lanceolate, the apex is long acuminate, 3~5 mm long, 0.6~1 mm wide, equal to or longer than pedicels, pilose; calyx teeth are not conspicuous; 5 petals, white, broad-ovate to orbicular; 5 stamens; style is short, curved, stylopodium is conical.

 Fruits are ovoid, the back part is compressed, about 4 mm long, about 3 mm wide, brown, sparsely pubescent, the back edges are slightly protruding, the lateral edges are aliform (winglike), narrower than the fruit body, slightly thicker, there are 3-5 tubing (oil duct) in the ridge groove, the commissure has 6-10 tubing(oil duct), ventral surface of endosperm is straight. Its flowering period is from July to September, and the fruiting period is from October to November.

 flowering plant of Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn.,with small white flowers Ecological environment: The plant grows on hillsides and forest edges, roadsides, or in the grass on half-shady hillsides, at altitudes of 250~2,000 meters above sea level. It is mainly distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the south middle reaches of the Yellow River, the northwest and southwest areas, the Zhujiang River area and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a cold and moist climate and is resistant to drought and cold. The plant has a strong adaptability, and it can grow in mountainous regions and plains. It grows best in the field with deep soil layers, humus-rich fertile loam, should not choose heavy clay soil or low-lying wetland for cultivation.

 Characters of herbs: The root of whiteflower hogfennel: the root is subcylindrical, conical, or fusiform (spindle-shaped), slightly twisted, and the lower part ramificates, 3~15 cm long, and 1~2 cm in diameter. The root head often has stem marks and fibrous leaf sheath residues; the surface is gray-brown to dark-brown, with irregular vertical grooves and wrinkles, and transverse lenticels; there are dense rings on the upper part. The texture of the herb is soft, and hard when it is dried, and breakable, the fracture surface is irregular and loose, and many small yellow-brown oil spots scattering on the surface are visible under a magnifying glass; the cortex is thick, light yellowish white, the cambium ring is conspicuous, and the xylem (wood part) is yellowish (light yellow). The herb has a fragrance and tastes slightly bitter and pungent. The herb of a better grade has a thick stick, a soft texture, and a strong fragrance.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.Antiphlegm effect; ②.Antitussive effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dissipates the wind to clear the heat, downbear Qi (sending down abnormally ascending) and reduce phlegm.

 Administration of Radix Peucedani (Qián Hú): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Peucedani (Qián Hú)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian (about 4.5~9 grams), or prepare to pill,powder; ③.Internally:water decoction, 5~10 grams, prepare to finely ground herb powder and prepared to pill, powder.

(2).Peucedanum decursivum (Miq.) Maxim.

 a colorful drawing of Peucedanum decursivum Maxim.,stem and leaves,rhizome,flowers and seeds Botanical description: Peucedanum decursivum (Miq.) Maxim is also known as Porphyroscias decursiva Miq., or Angelica decursiva (Miq.) Franch. et Sav. It is commonly known as Zǐ Huà Qián Hú (means purple-flower hogfennel), Tǔ Dāng Guī, Yā Jiǎo Qián Hú (means duck-foot hogfennel), etc. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 1~2 meters high. The root is conical, often has several rootlets, and the surfaces are yellowish-brown to tan (chocolate brown). The stem is upright, cylindrical, with shallow vertical grooves, smooth, purple, the upper part is ramose (branched), pilose. Radical leaves and cauline leaves have long petioles, the petiole is 13~36 cm long, the base is swollen into a round purple sheath, amplexicaular (stem-clasping), the out surface is glabrous; leaf blades are triangular to oval, hard chartaceous (papery), 10~25 cm long, 1-trisected or 1-2-pinnatifid; petiolule of the primary leaflets extending aliform (winglike), lateral lobe has a basal junction with the tip leaf, extending along the leaf axis in aliform (winglike), edge of the wing is serrate; terminal lobes are oval or oblong-lanceolate, 5~15 cm long, 2~5 cm wide, the apex is pointed, the edge has white cartilaginous serrate, the serrate apex is pointed, the upper surface is dark green, pubescent on veins, the undersurface is green-white, the main vein is often purplish, glabrous; the leaves on the upper stem are simplified into a saccate swollen purple sheath.

 Compound umbels are terminal and lateral, the peduncle is 3~8 cm long, pilose; 10~22 umbrella spokes, 2~4 cm long; 1~3 involucral bracts, ovoid, broadly sheathed, persistent, reflexed, purple; 3~8 bractlets, linear to lanceolate, glabrous; umbrella spokes and flower stalks are piliferous; flowers are modena (deep purple); calyx teeth are conspicuous, linear conical or triangular conical; petals are obovate or elliptic-lanceolate, the apex is usually not infolding into concave-head shape; anthers are dark purple.

 Fruits are oblong to ovoid, 4~7 mm long, 3~5 mm wide, and glabrous, the back ridge is raised, and pointed, the lateral edge has a thicker, narrow wing, and the width is near the fruit body, 1~3 tubing (oil duct) in edge grooves, commissure has 4~6 tubing (oil duct), ventral surface of the endosperm is concaved. Its flowering period is from August to September, and the fruiting period is from September to November.

 a flowering plant of Peucedanum decursivum Maxim.,with purple flowers Ecological environment: The plant grows on the edge of hillside forests, ditches, and gully sides, or in shaw (holt or miscellaneous wood forest) and bush. It is mainly distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the Hanjiang river area, the Zhujiang river area, the northern area, Taiwan, and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The root of purple flower hogfennel: the root head is thicker and shorter, and there are few fibrous leaf sheath residues. The cortex of the fracture surface is easy to separate from the xylem (wood part). The herb has a fragrance, and it tastes slightly bitter and pungent. The herb of a better grade has a thick stick, a soft texture, and a strong fragrance.



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  • 1.Introduction of Qian Hu:Hogfennel Root or Radix Peucedani.

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