Introduction of Cao Guo:Tsaoko or Fructus Tsaoko.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Tsaoko, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Tsaoko, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Fructus Tsaoko(Tsaoko,Caoguo).

Fructus Tsaoko:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Cǎo Guǒ.
 English Name: Tsaoko,Caoguo.
 Latin Name: Fructus Tsaoko.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Tsaoko is the dried ripe fruit of Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire, used (1).to remove dampness and warm the stomach in cases of epigastric distension, vomiting and abdominal pain, and (2).for treating malaria. The herb is commonly known as Tsaoko Amomum Fruit, Fructus Tsaoko, Caoguo, Cǎo Guǒ.

 Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire.:leaves Botanical source: The herbal classic book defined the herb Fructus Tsaoko(Tsaoko, Caoguo) as the dried ripe fruit of the species (1). Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire, is a plant of the Amomum Genus, the Zingiberaceae family (ginger family), the Zingiberales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire.

 Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire.:growing plants Botanical description: Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire., is also known as Amomum hongtsaoko C.F.Liang et D.Fang, Amomum guixiense D.Fang, is commonly known as Cǎo Guǒ. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 2~2.5 meters tall. The whole plant has a pungent and spicy smell. The stem base is enlarged, up to 6 cm in diameter. Leaves are in 2 rows, 11~14, sessile, or the upper leaves are short stipitate; paraphyll (ligule) is purplish, 1~2 cm long, membranous, sparsely pilose; Leaf-sheath is striate, the margin of paraphyll (ligule) and leaf sheath is more or less coriaceous; Leaf blades are oblong-lanceolate to oval (egg-shaped), 20~83 cm long, 5~19 cm wide, the apex is long and acuminate, the base is cuneate, entire, both surfaces are glabrous.

 Scapes grow out from stem base, 13~28 cm long; peduncle is 4~13 cm long; scales are broadly ovate, 1~8 cm long; Spikes are 9~15 cm long; Bracts are faint red (rose colour), oblong, 3.3~4 cm long, 7~9 mm wide, outside is sparsely pubescent; Bracteoles are fistuliform (tubiform), 1.7~2 cm long, 2-lobed; Outside is sparsely pubescent; Flowers are salmon pink (pale orange), 5.5~7 cm long; small pedicels are no longer than 5 mm; Calyx is 2.3~3 cm long, 3-dentate lobed, one side is lobed, glabrate or sparsely pubescent; Corolla tube is 2.5~2.8 cm long, pubescent, lobes are oblong, about 2.3 cm long, about 6 mm wide, posterior one is pocket-shaped (cucullate), about 2.5 cm long, about 1.5 cm wide; Labellum is oblong-obovate, 3~3.5 cm long, about 1.6 cm wide, margin is mostly wrinkled, has a red stripe on both sides of midrib; Stamens are 2~2.5 cm long, filaments are about 1 cm long, anthers are 1.3~1.5 cm long, septum appendages are about 5 mm long, with eroded teeth; Style is sparsely pubescent, stigma is funnel form (funnel shape); Ovary is glabrous.

 Capsularfruit is dark purple at maturity, subglobular (near-spherical), 2.5~4.5 cm long, 2~2.5 cm in diameter, olive shape when it is dried, pitchy (dark brown), apex has remnant perianth tube, the base is short stipitate. Many seeds. Its flowering period is from April to May, the fruiting period is from August to September.

 Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire.:growing plants Ecological environment: The plant grows in the woods at ditch sides. It is distributed in the Zhujiang river area, mainly in Guangxi and southern Yunnan of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Amomum hongtsaoko prefers a warm and moist climate, afraid of heat, drought, and frost. The plant is suitable to grow in fields at an elevation of 1000~2000 meters, an annual average temperature of 18~20 °C (Celsius, or 64.4~68 degrees Fahrenheit), the shading degree is about 50%-60%, in forest or river and valley slope, it is better to choose land with loose and fertile, sandy loam rich in humus for cultivation.

 Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire.:fruits Characters of herbs: The fruit is elliptic, 2~4.5 cm long, and 1~2.5 cm in diameter. The surface is brown or reddish brown, with 3 blunt edges and obvious longitudinal grooves and ridges, the apex has a round protruding stylopod (stylopodium), and the base has a fruit stalk or stalk mark, the pericarp is firm and tough, and easy to tear longitudinally. Peel off the pericarp, there is a yellow-brown diaphragm in the middle, it divides the seed ball into 3 chambers, each chamber contains 7~24 seeds, mostly containing 8~11 seeds. The seeds are conical and polyhedron, 5~7 mm in diameter, the surface of the seed is yellow-brown or reddish-brown, with ash gray (gray-white) membranous aril, concave chalaza in the center, round fossa hilum on the ventral surface at the narrower end, and the raphe is sunken into a longitudinal groove. The herb has an aromatic fragrance, it tastes pungent, spicy, and slightly bitter. The herb of better grade is big, full, red-brown, with a strong fragrance.

 Tsaoko:herb photo Pharmacological actions: ①.increase the tension of duodenal spontaneous activity in isolated rabbits, increase the amplitude, and antagonize the inhibitory effect of adrenaline on ileum activity; ②.antitussive and expectorant effects; ③.anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal effect; ④.analgesic, antipyretic and antiasthmatic effects; ⑤.effect of anti-bacteria, fungi and kills guinea pig ascarid.

 Medicinal efficacy: Drying dampness and warm the middle, dispel cold, remove phlegm and relieve malaria. It is indicated for internal stagnation of cold and dampness, epigastric distension pain, cold pain in the abdomen, stuffiness in chest and abdomen, vomiting, phlegm and retained fluid, diaphragm, malaria of cold and fever, malaria, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dysentery, dyspepsia (indigestion), etc.

 Administration of Fructus Tsaoko (Cǎo Guǒ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Tsaoko (Cǎo Guǒ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~6 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 0.8~1.5 qian (about 2.4~4.5 grams), or prepare to pill,powder; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~6 grams, or prepared to pill, powder.
 Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Fructus Tsaoko should avoid using ironware to prepare.

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