Introduction of Dou Kou:Round Cardamom Fruit or Fructus Amomi Rotundus.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Round Cardamom Fruit, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Amomum kravanh Pierre ex Gagnep., ②.Amomum compactum Soland ex Maton., 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 Round Cardamom Fruit, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Fructus Amomi Rotundus(Round Cardamom Fruit).

dried herb fruits of Fructus Amomi Rotundus Pin Yin Name: Dòu Kòu.
 English Name: Round Cardamom Fruit.
 Latin Name: Fructus Amomi Rotundus.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Amomi Rotundus is the dried ripe fruit of Amomum kravanh Pierre ex Gagnep., or Amomum compactum Soland ex Maton, used to resolve damp, move Qi, and warm the middle for relieving epigastric and abdominal distension, nausea, and vomiting due to accumulation of cold-dampness of stagnation of Qi in the spleen and stomach. The herb is commonly known as Fructus Amomi Rotundus, Round Cardamom Fruit, Dòu Kòu.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Fructus Amomi Rotundus (Round Cardamom Fruit) as the dried ripe fruit of (1). Amomum kravanh Pierre ex Gagnep., or (2). Amomum compactum Soland ex Maton. They are plants of the Amomum Genus, the Zingiberaceae family (ginger family), Scitamineae order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Amomum kravanh Pierre ex Gagnep.


 flowering plant of Amomum kravanh Pierre ex Gagnep. with whitish flower spikes Botanical description: Amomum kravanh Pierre ex Gagnep is commonly known as Amomum kravanh, or Bái Dòu Kòu. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 1.5~3 meters high. The rhizome is stout, reddish brown. The leaf is subsessile; leaf blades are narrowly elliptic or ovate-lanceolate, about 60 cm long and 5~12 cm wide, the apex is caudate, the base is cuneate, both surfaces are smooth and glabrous; paraphyll (ligule) is circular, 3~10 mm long; leaf sheath mouth and ligule are densely covered with long, coarse hairs.

 Spica are 2 or more, grow out from stem base, cylindrical or conical, 7~14 cm long, 3~5 cm in diameter, densely covered with imbricate flower bracts; flower bracts are triangular, 3.5~4 cm long, wheat straw yellow, pubescent, has a conspicuous square grid reticulated pattern; flowers insert in the axil of flower bracts; the calyx is tubular, white and slightly reddish, about 1.2 cm long, apex is 3-dentate lobed; corolla tube is nearly equal length as hypanthium (calyx tube), 3 lobes, white, elliptic; labellum is elliptic, 1.5~2 cm long, about 1 cm wide, cucullar (spoon-shaped), white, the central part is yellow, base has petal stalk; the stamen is recurved, about 6 mm long, anther is broadly elliptical, about 3 mm long, septum appendage is trifid; the ovary is inferior, pubescent, has 2 rod-shaped appendages.

 fruiting plant of Amomum kravanh Pierre ex Gagnep. with several green unmature fruits and green leaves Capsularfruit is subglobular (near-spherical), white or primrose yellow (pale yellow), slightly obtuse 3-ridged, 1.5~1.8 cm in diameter, and easily crack. Seed mass has 3 valves; each valve has 7~10 seeds. Its flowering period is from February to May, and the fruiting period is from July to August.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in warm, moist forests rich in humus, in tropical forests with good drainage and fertility. It was native to Cambodia and Thailand. It was introduced and planted in Yunnan and the Zhujiang River area of China.

 a colorful drawing of Amomum kravanh Pierre ex Gagnep,plant fruit and rhizome Growth characteristics: The plant Amomum kravanh prefers a warm, cool, moist climate; seedlings stop growing when meeting a short period of low temperature of 9.5 °C (Celsius, or 49.1 degrees Fahrenheit); the leaf is drying shrinkage, and the leaf tip is scorched and withered. The above-ground part of the adult plants dies at 0 °C (Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit). Extreme temperatures are up to 41 °C (Celsius, or 105.8 degrees Fahrenheit), under shaded conditions, it can grow normally. It is appropriate to choose a sunny field, loam, or sandy loam rich in organic matter for cultivation; it is better not to choose clay or gravel soil.

 dried herbs of Round Cardamom Fruit Characters of herbs: The herb fruit is subglobular (near-spherical), 1.1~2 cm long, 1.2~1.8 cm in diameter, has 3 obtuse ridges, the surface is yellowish-white to fallow (light yellowish-brown.), smooth, has many longitudinal veins, apex has protuberant stylopodium, base has concave fruit stalk marks, both sides have yellow fluff; the pericarp is thin and easy to crack when it is pressed, the inner surface is pale yellow and glossy, axile placenta, 3-loculed, each cell contains about 7~10 seeds, seeds aggregate into a lump. The seed lumps are irregular polyhedrons, and the back is slightly protuberant, 3~4 mm in diameter; the surface is dark brown, or taupe brown, has slightly regular granular protrusions and is covered with off-white membraneous aril, the narrower end has circular den-shaped hilum, the other end has a chalaza; the raphe is on the ventral surface, sunken and forms a shallow longitudinal groove. The herb has an aromatic odor, and it tastes pungent and cool, slightly like camphor. The herb of a better grade has big grains, and the pericarp is thin and clean white, full, and has a strong aroma.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.promote gastric juice secretion; ②.promote gastrointestinal peristalsis; ③.stop abnormal fermentation in the intestine; ④.eliminate gastrointestinal Qi; ⑤.aromatic stomach-strengthening effect; ⑥.enhance the effect of low dose streptomycin on experimental tuberculosis in guinea pigs; ⑦.significant antiasthmatic effects; ⑧.inhibitory effect on Shigella dysenteriae.

 Medicinal efficacy: Reduce dampness and relieving distension, promoting the circulation of Qi and warm the middle, warm the middle and stop vomiting, warm the stomach, appetizing and aid digestion. It is indicated for turbid damp obstructing in middle-energizer, Qi stagnation, dampness and Qi stagnation, food stagnation, lack of appetite, incoordination between the spleen and the stomach, the onset of dampness warm syndrome, chest tightness and no hunger, cold and dampness nausea, abdominal distention, chest and abdominal distention, food retention, choking diaphragm, cardiac spasm, stomach cold and vomiting, vomiting, nausea, malaria, etc.

 Administration of Fructus Amomi Rotundus (Dòu Kòu): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Amomi Rotundus (Dòu Kòu)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~6 grams, better decoct later; 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, or prepared to pill, powder.

(2).Amomum compactum Soland ex Maton.


 plants of Amomum compactum Soland ex Maton.grow in field with green leaves Botanical description: Amomum compactum Soland ex Maton is commonly known as Java Amomum, or Zhǎo Wā Bái Dòu Kòu. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 1~1.5 meters tall, the rhizome is elongated, the sheath of the basal leaf is red. The leaf blade is lanceolate, 25~50 cm long, 4~9 cm wide, tip end is 2.5~3 cm long, caudate, except cilia, both surfaces are glabrous, has turpentine smell when it is rubbed, sessile; paraphyll (ligule) is bifid, rounded, 5~7 mm long, at the initial stage it is sparsely pilose, lately fall off and only covered with sparse cilia. The leaf-sheath mouth is glabrous.

 Spikes are cylindric, about 5 cm long, about 2.5 cm wide, gradually elongated after the flowering period; peduncles are up to 8 cm long; flower bracts are ovate-oblong, 2~2.5 cm long, 7~10 mm wide, wheat straw color, has vertical stripes and marginal seta (tricholoma), persistent; bracteoles are tubular, the apex is trifid, piliferous; hypanthium (calyx tube) is equal length as corolla tube, 1~1.2 cm long, piliferous; corolla is white or slightly yellowish, lobes are oblong, 8 mm long; labellum is elliptic, 15~18 mm long, 1~1.5 mm wide, slightly concave, primrose yellow (pale yellow), midrib has an orange band with a purplish edge, piliferous, lateral staminode is absent; filament base is piliferous; anthers are elliptic, about 2 mm long; septum appendage is trifid, about 4 mm long; nectarium (nectar gland) is tawny (yellow brown), 2, cylindrical-like, 2 mm long; the ovary is villous.

 Fruit is oblate, 1~1.5 cm in diameter, has 9 grooves when it is dried, is covered with sparse long hairs, primrose yellow (pale yellow) when it is fresh; seeds are irregular polyhedra, about 4 mm wide; seed groove is conspicuous. Its flowering period is from February to May, and the fruiting period is from June to August.

 stems of Amomum compactum Soland ex Maton. in field Ecological environment: The plant grows in a forest environment with good drainage and fertilizer retention, in the dank valley. It was native to Java island, and was introduced and planted in southeast areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: It is better to choose a field in a forest or woods, the soil better has good drainage, and good fertility preserving capability.

 Characters of herbs: The fruit is subglobular (near-spherical), has 3 obtuse ridges, 0.8~1.2 cm in diameter, the pericarp is unlustrous, the axile placenta is 3-loculed, each cell contains 2~4 seed grains. The herb of a better grade has big grains, and the pericarp is thin and clean white, it is full and has a strong aroma.
 
Semen Amomi Rotundus(Round Cardamom Seed).

 dried herb seeds of Semen Amomi Rotundus Brief introduction: The herb Semen Amomi Rotundus is the seed of round cardamom freshly removed from the pericarp, which is stronger in activity than the fruit.

 Botanical source: The botanical origin of the Semen Amomi Rotundus (Round Cardamom Seed) is the same as Fructus Amomi Rotundus (Round Cardamom Fruit), which was introduced in the entry titled "Fructus Amomi Rotundus(Round Cardamom Fruit)".
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Dou Kou:Round Cardamom Fruit or Fructus Amomi Rotundus.

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