Introduction of Sha Ren:Spiny Amomum Fruit or Fructus Amomi.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Spiny Amomum Fruit, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source three plant species, ①.Amomum villosum Lour., ②.Amomum villosum Lour. var. xanthioides (Wall. ex Baker) T.L. Wu et Senjen., ③.Amomum longiligulare T.L.Wu., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these three plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these three plant species, the features of the herb Spiny Amomum Fruit, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Fructus Amomi(Spiny Amomum Fruit).

Fructus Amomi Pin Yin Name: Shā Rén.
 English Name: Spiny Amomum Fruit.
 Latin Name: Fructus Amomi.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Amomi is the dried ripe fruit of Amomum villosum Lour., Amomum villosum Lour. var. xanthioides(Wall. ex Baker) T.L. Wu et Senjen., or Amomum longiligulare T.L.Wu., used (1).to resolve dampness for treating damp accumulation in the spleen and stomach, (2).to warm the middle for treating vomiting and diarrhea due to deficiency-cold of the spleen and stomach, and (3).to prevent miscarriage in cases of threatened abortion. The herb is commonly known as Fructus Amomi, Spiny Amomum Fruit, Shā Rén.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Fructus Amomi as from dried mature fruit from the Zingiberaceae family plant species (1). Amomum villosum Lour., or (2). Amomum villosum Lour. var. xanthioides(Wall. ex Baker) T.L. Wu et Senjen., or (3). Amomum longiligulare T.L.Wu., they are plants of the Amomum genus, the Zingiberaceae family (ginger family), the Zingiberales order. These 3 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Amomum villosum Lour.


 Amomum villosum Lour:growing plant Botanical description: Amomum villosum Lour is a plant of the Zingiberaceae family (ginger family) and Amomum genus, it is commonly known as Amomum villosum, or Yang Chun Sha. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 1.2~2.0 meters tall, upright. The rhizomes are cylindrical and procumbent, with sheathed membranous scales on the nodes. Buds are cardinal red (coceine), and subulate (pyramidalis). Stems are upright and terete (cylindrical). Leaves are sessile or subsessile; paraphyll (ligule) is semicircular, 3~5 mm long, red-brown or sometimes green; leaves are in 2 columns, sessile; leaf blades are narrowly oblong oval or lanceolate, 15~40 cm long, 2~5 cm wide, apex is acuminate or caudate, base is attenuated or orbicular, entire, both surfaces are glabrous, or sometimes the undersurface has microtriche.

 Amomum villosum Lour:flowers Scapes grow from rhizome, 7~15 cm long; peduncles are 3~10 cm long, pubescent; lodicules (scales) are membraneous, elliptic, brown or green, 0.8~2.5 cm long, apex is blunt, base often connate to fistuliform (tubulose), spikes are elliptic, phyllary (involucral bract) is membraneous, oblong oval, about 1.8 cm long, about 0.6 cm wide; flower bracts are tubular, white, about 1.1 cm long, membraneous, apex is 2-lobed; the calyx is tubular, white, about 1.7 cm long, apex has 3 shallow teeth; corolla tube is thin and long, white, 1.8~2.0 cm long; labellum (flabs) is round spatulate (round spoon), white, 1.6~2.0 cm long and wide, center part is slightly thickened, primrose yellow (pale yellow) or greenish yellow, sometimes has red spots, apex is 2-lobed, reflexed; 2 lateral staminodes grow at the base of labellum, papillae; 1 stamen, about 1 cm long, anther is about 6 mm long, septum appendage is trifid, front end lobes are semicircular, reflexed, lobes on two sides are thin and small, filaments are flat, slightly shorter than anther; the ovary is covered with white pilose.

 Amomum villosum Lour:plants with fruits Capsularfruit is elliptic, 1.5~2 cm long, about 1.5 cm in diameter, has unbranched soft spines, and is red brown. Many seeds accumulate into a block mass and have a strong fragrance. Its flowering period is from March to May, and the fruiting period is from July to September.

 Amomum villosum Lour:herb Ecological environment: Amomum villosum Lour grows in fields rich in humus, shady and damp places in the valley forest, in areas with a warm climate, or in cultivation. This plant species is mainly distributed in the Zhujiang River area and other areas of China. This species also grows throughout Southeast Asia.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Amomum villosum prefers the tropical and south Asian tropical monsoon forests with a warm and humid climate, is not resistant to coldness, and can withstand short low temperatures, freezing to death at -3 °C (Celsius, or 26.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The average annual temperature in the production area is 19~22 °C (Celsius, or 66.2~71.6 degrees Fahrenheit); rainfall is above 1,000 mm, and air relative temperature is above 90 °C, afraid of drought, avoid waterlogging. The plant needs proper shade, like diffuse light. It is advisable to choose mountain gully forest with intact forest, and both sides of streams have long-running water, an environment with abundant pollinating insect resources, and it is better to cultivate in loam and sandy soil with deep soil layers, loose and strong water and fertility preservation, should not choose clay and sandy soil.

 Amomum villosum:herb photo Characters of herbs: The fruit is elliptic, orbicular-ovate, or oval (egg-shaped), has inconspicuous 3 blunt edges, 1.2~2.5 cm long, and 0.8~1.8 cm in diameter, the surface is reddish-brown or brownish brown, densely covered by curved thorn-shape protrusions, longitudinally ridge-line vascular bundles are faintly visible, there are protruding perianth residues at the apex and fruit stalk marks or carpopodiums (fruit stalks) at the base; the pericarp is thin, easy to crack longitudinally, and the inner surface is pale brown. There are obvious longitudinal vascular bundles and thin septa, axile placenta, 3-loculed, each cell contains 6~20 seed grains, seeds aggregate into a lump. The seeds are irregularly polygonal, 2~5 mm long, and 1.5~4 mm in diameter; the surface is reddish-brown to black brown, has irregular wrinkles, is covered with pale brown membranous aril, the smaller end has concave hilum, chalaza is at the larger end, and raphe sunken to a longitudinal groove. The herb has an aromatic and strong fragrance, and it tastes pungent, cool, and slightly bitter. The herb of a better grade is big, firm and solid, the fruit kernel is full and has a strong fragrance.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anti-ulcer; ②.inhibiting gastric acid secretion; ③.promoting gastrointestinal movement; ④.anti-platelet agglutination; ⑤.excitatory effect on isolated guinea pig intestines.

 Medicinal efficacy: Resolving dampness and stimulate appetite, regulate Qi, warm the spleen and relieve diarrhea, harmonizing stomach, activate the spleen, Regulating Qi, and miscarriage prevention. It is indicated for turbid damp obstructing in middle-energizer, dampness and Qi stagnation, epigastric distention and not hungry, abdominal pain and Qi distension, deficiency and cold of spleen and stomach, stomach stagnation, dyspeptic retention, poor appetite, vomiting and diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, choking diaphragm, pernicious vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, cold diarrhea, cold dysentery, threatened abortion, etc.

 Administration of Fructus Amomi (Shā Rén): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Amomi (Shā Rén)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~6 grams, better add later to decoct; ②.Internally:water decoction, should not decoct for long time, 0.5~2 qian (about 1.5~6 grams), or prepare to pill, powder; ③.Internally:water decoction,3~6 grams, add later to decoct, prepare to pill, powder.

(2).Amomum villosum Lour. var. xanthioides T.L. Wu et Senjen.


 Amomum villosum Lour. var. xanthioides T. L. Wu et Senjen.:growing plant with fruits Botanical description: Amomum villosum Lour. var. xanthioides (Wall. ex Baker) T.L. Wu et Senjen is also known as A. xanthioides Wall.ex Baker., a plant of the Zingiberaceae family (ginger family) and Amomum genus, it is commonly known as Amomum villosum Lour.var.xanthioides, Cocklebur-like Amomum, Green Shell Amomum, Lv Ke Sha, or Suo Sha. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 1.5~3 meters tall, and the rhizomes are procumbent, sometimes hypertrophic. The stem is upright. Leaves are linear-lanceolate, 15.3~35 cm long, 4~7 cm wide, apex is sharp-pointed or acuminate, caudate, base is gradually narrowing, entire, both surfaces are glabrous; the leaf sheath is coriaceous, smooth; paraphyll (ligule) is 4 mm long, coriaceous.

 Scapes (flower stalks) are covered with silky fluff, have scale leaves, scale is obovate-oblong, the apex is sharp-pointed; spike, spheric shape (globular), flower bracts are small, oblong, 1.8~2 cm long, smooth; the calyx is tubular, about 2 cm long, corolla lobes are oblong, about 1 cm long; labellum is spatulate, longer than corolla lobe, about 1.8 cm wide, the apex is bifurcated, the base has wide claws; anther is smooth, about 5.5 mm long, appendage on top of the septum is semi-lune (half-moon shape), two sides are auriform (ear-like).

 Capsularfruit is firm and hard, oblong oval or spherical triangle, about 2 cm in diameter, and has spines, brown. Its flowering period is from May to June, and the fruiting period is from August to September.

 The external features of Amomum villosum Lour. var. xanthioides T. L. Wu et Senjen. is very similar to Amomum villosum Lour., the differences are: the bud and paraphyll (ligule) of this variety are mostly green and also green when the fruit is mature. Its flowering period is from April to May, and the fruiting period is from July to September.

 Amomum villosum Lour. var. xanthioides T. L. Wu et Senjen.:growing plant with fruits Ecological environment: Amomum villosum Lour. var. xanthioides T. L. Wu et Senjen grows in a damp place in the forest. This species is mainly distributed in the southwest area of China, but it is also distributed in Thailand and other areas of Southeast Asia.

 Green Shell Amomum:herb photo Characters of herbs: The fruit is oval (egg-shaped), ovoid or elliptic, has subtile 3 blunt edges, 1.2~2.2 cm long, and 1~1.6 cm in diameter, the surface is brown, yellow-brown, or tan (chocolate brown), and densely covered with slightly flat spikes of spinous protrusion; the inner surface of the pericarp is primrose yellow (pale yellow) or brown-yellow; each cell contains 8~22 seeds; seeds are irregularly polygonal, 2~4 mm long, and 2~4 mm in diameter, the surface is pale brown or brown, with regular wrinkles. The herb has a fragrance, and it tastes pungent, cool, and slightly bitter. The herb of a better grade is big, firm and solid, the fruit kernel is full, and it has a strong fragrance.

(3).Amomum longiligulare T.L.Wu.


 Amomum longiligulare T.L.Wu.:growing plant with fruits Botanical description: Amomum longiligulare T.L.Wu is a plant of the Zingiberaceae family (ginger family) and Amomum genus, it is commonly known as Amomum longiligulare, Longiligulate Amomum Fruit or Hai Nan Sha. The plant grows up to 1~1.5 meters tall, and has procumbent rhizomes. Leaf blades are linear or linear-lanceolate, 20~30 cm long, 2.5~3 cm wide, apex has a caudate thin tip, base is narrowing, both surfaces are glabrous; petioles are about 5 mm long; paraphyll (ligule) is lanceolate, 2~2 4.5 cm long, membranous, glabrous.

 Peduncles are 1~3 cm long, covered by persistent scales with a length about 5 mm; bracts are lanceolate, 2~2.5 cm long, brown; bracteoles are about 2 cm long, wrapping the calyx tube, calyx tube is 2~2.2 cm long, white, apex is 3 dentate lobed; corolla tube is slightly longer, lobes are oblong, about 1.5 cm long; labellum is round spatulate (round spoon), about 2 cm long and wide, white, apex has protrudent bifid yellow tip, mid-vein is raised, purple; stamens are about 1 cm long, septum appendage is trifid, apical lobes are semicircle (semicircular), lobes on two sides are orbicular.

 Capsularfruit is oval (egg-shaped), bluntly trigonous, 1.5~2.2 cm long, 0.8~1.2 cm wide, covered with flaky and partite short soft spines, spines are not over 1 mm long; seeds are puce (purple brown), covered with pale brown and membranous arils. Its flowering period is from April to June, and the fruiting period is from June to September.

 The differences between Amomum longiligulare T.L.Wu. and Amomum villosum Lour are: paraphyll (ligule) is very long, 2~4.5 cm long. The fruit has conspicuous blunt 3 edges, and the pericarp is thick and hard, covered with flaky and split soft spines, very easy to distinguish. Its flowering period is from April to June, and the fruiting period is from June to September.

 Ecological environment: Amomum longiligulare T.L.Wu grows in jungles of valleys, or is cultivated. This species is mainly distributed in Xishuangbanna of Yunnan, and it is introduced and planted in Guangdong and Hainan of China.

 Longiligulate Amomum Fruit:herb photo Characters of herbs: The fruit is oval (egg-shaped), elliptic, fusiform elliptic (spindle-shaped elliptic), or pear-shaped, with conspicuous 3 blunt edges, 1~2 cm long, and 0.7~1.7 cm in diameter, the surface is taupe (dust color) or taupe brown, covered by flaky and branched short spines; the pericarp is thick and hard, and the inner surface is reddish-brown; each cell contains 4~24 seeds, the seeds are polygonal, 2.5~4 mm long, and 1.5~2 mm in diameter, the surface is reddish-brown or dark brown, has irregular wrinkles. The herb has a slightly mild odor. The herb of a better grade has big grains, firm and solid, and the kernel is full and has a strong fragrance.
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Sha Ren:Spiny Amomum Fruit or Fructus Amomi.

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