Introduction of Cang Shu:Atractylodes Rhizome or Rhizoma Atractylodis.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Atractylodes Rhizome, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Atractylodes lancea(Thunb.)DC., ②.Atractylodes chinensis(DC.) Koidz., 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 Atractylodes Rhizome, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Rhizoma Atractylodis(Atractylodes Rhizome).

Rhizoma Atractylodis Pin Yin Name: Cānɡ Shù.
 English Name: Atractylodes Rhizome.
 Latin Name: Rhizoma Atractylodis.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Rhizoma Atractylodis is the dried rhizome of Atractylodes lancea(Thunb.)DC., or Atractylodes chinensis(DC.) Koidz.(family Compositae), used (1).to eliminate dampness and invigorate the spleen for treating damp accumulation in the spleen and stomach, (2).to dispel wind-damp for rheumatic arthritis, and (3).to improve vision in cases of night blindness. The herb is commonly known as Rhizome of Swordlike Atractylodes, Rhizome Chinese Atractylodes, Rhizome of Swordlike Atractylodes, Rhizome of Simplicifolious Atractylode, Shēnɡ Shù, Cānɡ Shù.

 Botanical source: The herb Rhizoma Atractylodis(Atractylodes Rhizome) is the dried rhizome of Atractylodes lancea(Thunb.)DC., or Atractylodes chinensis(DC.) Koidz., they are plants of the Atractylodes genus, the Asteraceae(Compositae) family of the Asterales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

(1).Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.)DC.


 Atractylodes lancea Thunb.DC.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.)DC., is a plant of the Asteraceae(Compositae) family and Atractylodes genus, it is commonly known as "Mao Cang Shu", or "Nan Cang Shu", "Southern Tsangshu", its botanical name was also recorded as "Atractylis lancea Thunb.,or Atractylodes ouata(Thunb.) DC.", perennial herb. Rhizome transverse, nodular. Stems more longitudinal edge, 30~100 cm high, not branched or slightly branched at the top. Leaves alternate, leathery; leaf blade ovate-lanceolate to elliptic, 3~8 cm long, wide 1~3 cm, apex acuminate, base attenuate, central lobes larger, ovate, margin spiny serrated or heavy thorns teeth, dark green at above part, glossy, light green at below part, veins raised, sessile, not cleft or often 2-lobed in lower leaves, apex lobes apex, apex lobes very large, ovate, Shall not or shank. Head inflorescence grows in stem apex, 1 leafy bracts, pinnately divided, lobes spine; involucral cylindric, involucral bracts 5~8 layers, ovate to lanceolate, ciliate; flowers most Corolla tube-shaped, white or slightly reddish, ca. 1 cm, upper slightly swollen, apex 5-lobed, lobes strip; bisexual flowers mostly pinnately divided crested; Flowers generally female flowers, with 5 linear staminodes, slightly curled apex. Achenes obovate, densely yellowish white pilose. Its flowering period is from August to October, fruiting from September to December.

 Atractylodes lancea Thunb.DC.:growing shrubs Ecological environment: the plant grows in thickets and bushes on hillsides. It distributes in the middle and lower reaches areas of the Yangtze River, and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant atractylodes lancea prefers a cool climate, drought resistance, avoid waterlogging. The optimum growth temperature is 15~22℃, and the seedlings can withstand the low temperature of -15℃. It is advisable to cultivate in sandy loam with deep soil layer, loose and fertile, rich in humus and good drainage.

 Rhizoma Atractylodis:herb photo Characters of herbs: The rhizome is irregularly nodular or slightly beaded cylindrical, some of which are curved, usually a branch, with a length of 3~10 cm and a diameter of 1~2 cm. The surface is yellow-brown to gray-brown, with thin vertical lines, wrinkles, and a few residual fibrous roots. There are often constricted shallow horizontal concave grooves at nodes, round stem marks between nodes, residual stem bases at one end, occasionally there are stem marks, and some white flocculent crystals precipitated on the surface. The texture of the herb is solid and firm, easy to break, the fracture surface is slightly uneven, whitish or yellowish-white, with many orange-yellow or brown-red oil chambers scattered on it(commonly known as cinnabar spots), which can precipitate white fine needle-like crystals after being exposed for a little longer. The fracture surface does not show blue fluorescence under an ultraviolet lamp (254 nm). The herb has a strong aromatic fragrance, it tastes slightly sweet, bitter, and pungent. The herb of better grade has solid and form texture, many cinnabar spots on the cross-section, and a strong fragrance.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.resist experimental gastric ulcer and gastritis; ②.regulating effect on gastrointestinal movement; ③.protect the liver; ④.reducing blood-sugar; ⑤.significantly increase urinary sodium and potassium excretion; ⑥.sedative effect on frogs; ⑦.inhibitory effect on esophageal carcinoma in vitro.

 Medicinal efficacy: Drying damp and strengthening the spleen, dispelling wind and dissipate cold, dispelling wind and dampness, dispel melancholy, clear dirty, improving eyesight. It is indicated for abdominal distension and fullness, an overabundance of dampness trapped the spleen, dampness trapped the spleen and stomach, anemofrigid-damp arthralgia(the dampness numbness of wind-cold dampness, wind-cold-wetness type of arthralgia), lassitude and prefer to lying, abdominal distension, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, dysentery, malaria, phlegm and fluid retention, edema, exterior syndrome with dampness, heaviness and pain of head and body, beriberi, atrophy and flaccidity, rheumatic pain, anemofrigid cold, cold of the seasonal pathogen, soreness and ache of limbs, impotent foot, night blindness.

 Administration of Rhizoma Atractylodis(Cānɡ Shù): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhizoma Atractylodis(Cānɡ Shù)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~9 grams;②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian(about 4.5~9 grams), prepare to paste, or  prepare to pill, powder;③.Internally:water decoction,3~9 grams, or prepared to pill, powder.
 Precautions and Adverse Reactions: should avoid to combine the herb Rhizoma Atractylodis with peach, almond, finmeat, pakchoi seedling, black carp.

(2).Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC.var. chinensis (Bunge)Kitam.


 Atractylodes lancea Thunb. DC.var. chinensis Bunge Kitam.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC.var. chinensis (Bunge)Kitam., is a plant of the Asteraceae(Compositae) family and Atractylodes genus, it is commonly known as "Bei Cang Shu", "Northen Tsangshu", or "Hua Cang Shu", or "Shan Cang Shu(Mountain Tsangshu)", its botanical name was also recorded as "Atractylodes chinensis (DC.) Koidz", or "A.chinensis (DC.) Koidz", perennial herb, plant height is 40~50 cm. Rhizome hypertrophy, nodular. Stems a single or upper slightly disagreement. Leaves alternate, the lower leaves spatulate, the base was winged handle-like, base wedge-shaped to round, the edge of non-continuous spiny teeth, teeth flat, leathery, smooth. Capitulum grows in the top of the shoot tip, the base of the leaf-shaped bracts is lanceolate, the edge of the long comb-shaped dentate, slightly shorter than the head flowers, involucral bracts, involucral bracts 7-8, tubular flowers, corolla white. Achene long, dense silver-white pilose, crown-pinnate. Its flowering period is from July to August, fruiting from August to October.

 Atractylodes lancea Thunb.DC.:drawing of plant and herb Main difference of this species A.chinensis (DC.)Koidz from the Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.)DC.: Leaf blade is broad, ovate or long ovoid, usually pinnate 5-parted, the upper part of stem 3-5 pinnately lobed or not lobed, margin with irregular thorn-serrated, usually without petioles; Width, 56-layer of total bracts, slightly wider than Atractylodes; staminode apex rounded, not curly. Its flowering period is from July to August, fruiting from August to September.

 The Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.)DC., grows in the hillside shrubs, grass. The Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC.var. chinensis (Bunge)Kitam., grows in low mountain shady shrubs, under the forest and more dry place, with the altitude of 300~900 meters, in the dry slopes, sparse broad-leaved forest or coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, rocky hillside or hillside grassland. Prefer climate cool, a large temperature difference between day and night, adequate light climate. Not strict requirements on the soil, can grow on barren hills, slopes, barren soil, and grow better in good drainage, low groundwater level, loose soil, humus content of sandy loam, avoid flooding.

 Ecological environment: the plant grows in thickets, undergrowth, and dry places on the shady slope of the mountain. The plant distributes in the north, northwest area, the middle reaches area of the Yellow River and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The rhizomes are mostly lumpy, some are nodular cylindrical, often curved, with short branches, 4~10 cm long and 0.7~4 cm in diameter. The surface is black-brown, yellow-brown with outer bark removed, the texture of the herb is loose, there are yellow-brown oil chambers scattered on the cross-section, and no crystallization after placing. The herb has a weak aroma, it tastes bitter and pungent.
 
Fragrant Odor for Resolving Dampness Herbs.

 Introduction: Fragrant Odor for Resolving Dampness Herbs: a fragrant agent or substance herbs effective for resolving damp, often used in the treatment of damp syndrome marked by anorexia, lassitude, nausea and vomiting, distension in the chest and abdomen, greasy tongue coating and slippery pulse either in cases of febrile diseases or in other miscellaneous diseases.
 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Cang Shu:Atractylodes Rhizome or Rhizoma Atractylodis.

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