Introduction of Kun Bu:Kelp,Tangle or Thallus Laminariae seu Eckloniae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Kelp or Tangle, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Laminaria japonica Aresch., ②.Ecklonia kurome Okam., 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 Kelp or Tangle, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Thallus Laminariae seu Eckloniae(Kelp or Tangle).

Kelp:fresh kelp Pin Yin Name: Kūn Bù.
 English Name: Kelp or Tangle.
 Latin Name: Thallus Laminariae seu Eckloniae.
 Property and flavor: cold, salty.

 Brief introduction: The herb Thallus Laminariae seu Eckloniae is the dried thallus of sea tangle, Laminaria japonica Aresch., or Ecklonia kurome Okam.(family Laminariaceae), used together with seaweed to eliminate phlegm, soften hard masses and induce diuresis. The herb is commonly known as Thallus Laminariae seu Eckloniae, Kelp or Tangle, Kūn Bù.

 Botanical source: The herb Thallus Laminariae seu Eckloniae(Kelp or Tangle) is the dried thallus of Laminaria japonica Aresch., or Ecklonia kurome Okam., they are plants of the Laminaria or Saccharina genus, the Laminariaceae(brown algae) family of the Laminariales order.

(1).Laminaria japonica Aresch.


 Laminaria japonica Aresch.:growing plant. Botanical description: The Laminaria japonica Aresch., is a plant of the Laminariaceae family and Saccharina genus, it is commonly known as "Laminaria japonica Aresch.", "Tangle, or Sea Tangle", or "Hai Dai". Algal body is olive brown, dark brown when dry. Mature leathery strip, generally 2~6 m long, 20~50 cm wide, walking in the middle of the blade with two parallel longitudinal, two grooves and thicker part is "in", the thickness of about 2~5 mm, on both sides of the edge gradually thin, and there are wave creases, leaf blade base cuneate, thick into phase is oblate, a cylindrical or oblate under the short shank, 5~15 cm long, inside the handle and blade are composed of pith, cortex, and the epidermal layer. There are mucus cavities in the outer cortex and secretory cells in the cavities, which can secrete mucus to the surface of the leaf body, forming a gelatinous layer, making the algal body stick and play a protective role. The medulla is composed of many algal filaments, and one end of the cytoplasm is expanded in the shape of a horn tube. The young stage of the algal body leaves smooth, small kelp stage leaves concavo-convex phenomenon. The lower part of the annual algal leaf blade, where the sporangium group is usually seen, is in the form of a nearly round plaque. Biennial algal bodies grow sporangium on almost all leaves. The fixator is composed of a pseudoroot with forked branches. The spores mature in autumn.

 Growth characteristics: Kelp is originally a cold-water seaweed. The growth temperature is 0~13℃, and 2~7℃ is the optimal temperature for growth. Due to the turbidity and transparency of seawater, the water layer suitable for growth is also of different depths. The deeper is more than 2~3 meters below the tidal line, and the shallower is l meter under the water surface (applying nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer in the seawater can improve the yield of kelp). It grows well in the sea area with a high flow rate, on the other hand, it grows slowly and is easy to be infected with diseases. Generally, the flow rate is 50~80 cm/s.

 Kelp:herb photo Characters of herbs: Kelp is curled and folded into a ball or tangled into a bundle. The whole herb is black-brown or green-brown, with hoarfrost on the surface. When soaked in water, it swells into a flat strip, the length is 50 ~ 150 cm, the width is 10 ~ 40 cm. The middle part is thicker and the edges are thin and wavy. The texture of kelp is leather-like, the remaining petiole is flat and cylindrical. The kelp smells fishy and tastes salty.

 Pharmacological actions: ①. Effects on thyroid gland; ②. Antihypertensive effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Resolving hard lump, eliminate phlegm, alleviate water retention, indicated for the treatment of galls, scrofula, testicular swelling and pain, phlegm and retained fluid, general edema.

 Administration of Thallus Laminariae seu Eckloniae(Kūn Bù): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Thallus Laminariae seu Eckloniae(Kūn Bù)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:6~12 grams;②.Internally:water decoction, 1~3 qian(about 3~9 grams), or prepare to pill,powder;③.Internally:water decoction, 5~15 grams, or grinded to fine powder and prepared to pill, powder.

(2).Ecklonia kurome Okam.


 Ecklonia kurome Okam.:fresh plant Botanical description: The Ecklonia kurome Okam., is a plant of the Alariaceae family and Ecklonia genus, some classification system classified it into Lessoniaceae family, it is commonly known as "Ecklonia kurome.", "Tangle, or Sea Tangle", "Kun Bu" or "Hei Kun Bu". Algal body is dark brown, leathery, 30~100 cm high or higher. The lobes are flat, broad, slightly thick in the middle, pinnately lobed from both sides, lobes long or longer, slightly wrinkled, margin generally coarsely serrate. Petiole cauline, cylindrical or slightly flat, 4~12 cm long, 3~8 mm in diameter. In the cortical cells of the algal body, there is a circular arrangement of mucous cavity, which is 1~2 layers. The medullary portion is composed of an indeterminate tube. The sporangium group forms on the surface of the lateral lobes and the central portion of the mature lobes. The fixator consists of a pseudoroot with a bifurcated branch. Sporangium forms in early summer and spores mature in autumn.

 Characters of herbs: Tangle: lobes curled and shrunk into an irregular mass. The whole herb is black and thin. When soaked in water, it swells into a flat leaf shape, with a length and width of about 16 ~ 26 cm and a thickness of about 1.6 mm; The two sides are pinnately parted, the lobes are long tongue-shaped, and the edges are denticulate or entire. The texture of the tangle is smooth and soft.
 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Kun Bu:Kelp,Tangle or Thallus Laminariae seu Eckloniae.

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