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.Atractylis chinensis (Bunge) DC., 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).

yellow brown dried herb slices of 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 Atractylis chinensis (Bunge) DC., 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 Atractylis chinensis (Bunge) DC., they are plants of the Atractylodes genus, the Asteraceae family (Compositae, aster, daisy family) of the Asterales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

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


 a flowering plant of Atractylodes lancea Thunb.DC. wotj flower and petals Botanical description: Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC is a plant of the Asteraceae family (Compositae, aster, daisy family) and Atractylodes genus, it is also known as Atractylis lancea Thunb., or Atractylodes ovata (Thunb.) DC., it is commonly known as Mao Cang Shu, Nan Cang Shu or Southern Tsangshu. A perennial herb. The rhizome is decumbent, nodular. Stems have many longitudinal ridges, 30~100 cm high, unbranched or slightly branched at the upper part. Leaves are alternate and coriaceous; leaf blades are ovate-lanceolate to elliptic, 3~8 cm long, 1~3 cm wide, the apex is acuminate, the base is attenuated, middle lobes are larger, oval (egg-shaped), the margin is spiny-serrate or duplicident spiny-toothed, the upper surface is dark green, glossy, the under surface is pale green, leaf veins are raised, sessile, undivided or leaves on the lower part are often 3-lobed, the apex of lobes is pointed, lobes at end tip are very large, oval (egg-shaped), lobes at two sides are smaller, the base is cuneate, sessile or petiolate.

 Capitulum (flower head) grows on the front end of branches and stems, leafy bracts are in 1 line, pinnately parted, pinnae are spinous (acanthous); general involucre is cylindric, phyllary (involucral bracts) are in 5~8 layers, oval (egg-shaped) to lanceolate, has cilia; many flowers, hermaphroditic flowers or unisexual flowers are dioecious; corolla is tubular, white or slightly reddish, about 1 cm long, the upper part is slightly swollen, the apex is 5-lobed, lobes are strip-shaped; hermaphroditic flowers have many pinnately divided pappi; the unisexual flower normally is a female flower, has 5 linear staminodes, apex is slightly curled.

 Achenes are obovate, densely covered with yellowish-white pilose. Its flowering period is from August to October, and the fruiting period is from September to December.

 growing shrubs of Atractylodes lancea Thunb.DC. with many green leaves Ecological environment: The plant grows in bushes and grass on hillsides or mountain slopes. It is distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant atractylodes lancea prefers a cool climate, is resistant to drought, and avoids waterlogging. The optimum growth temperature is 15~22 °C (Celsius, or 59~71.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and the seedlings can withstand a low temperature of -15 °C (Celsius, or 5 degrees Fahrenheit). It is advisable to choose a field with half shade and half sun, deep soil layers, loose and fertile, humus-rich sandy loam, and good drainage for cultivation.

 yellow brown dried herb slices of Rhizoma Atractylodis are piled together Characters of herbs: The rhizome is irregularly nodular or slightly beaded cylindrical, some are curved, usually unbranched, 3~10 cm long, 1~2 cm in diameter. The surface is yellow-brown to taupe brown (grayish brown), and has thin vertical grooves, wrinkles and a few residual fibrous roots. There are constricted shallow horizontal concave grooves at nodes, round stem marks between nodes, usually a residual stem base at one end, occasionally there are stem marks, and some white flocculent crystals precipitated on the surface. The texture of the herb is firm and solid, easy to break, and the fracture surface is slightly uneven, off-white (whitish) or yellowish-white, with many orange-yellow or red-brown oil chambers scattered on it (commonly known as cinnabar spots), which can precipitate white fine needle-like crystals when it is exposed in air 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, and it tastes slight sweet, bitter, and pungent. The herb of a better grade has a firm and solid texture, many cinnabar spots on the fracture surface, 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.


 a flowering plant of Atractylodes lancea Thunb. DC.var. chinensis Bunge Kitam. with a white flower Botanical description: Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC.var. chinensis (Bunge) Kitam is a plant of the Asteraceae family (Compositae, aster, daisy family) and Atractylodes genus, it is also known as A.chinensis (DC.) Koidz., or Atractylis chinensis (Bunge) DC., it is commonly known as Bei Cang Shu, Northen Tsangshu, Hua Cang Shu, or Shan Cang Shu (Mountain Tsangshu). A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 30~50 cm high. The rhizome is hypertrophic and nodular. Stems are single, or the upper part is slightly branched. Leaves are sessile, leaves are alternate, the cauline leaves on the lower part of the stem are spatulate, mostly are 3~5 deeply pinnately incised, the apex is blunt, the base is cuneate and slightly amplexicaul (amplexicaular, stem-clasping); cauline leaves on the upper part of the stem are ovate-lanceolate to elliptic, 3~5 pinnatilobate to undivided, leaf margin has hard spine teeth.

 Capitula (flower head) is about 1 cm in diameter; the basal phyllary is lanceolate, the margin is long pectinate; the phyllary (involucral bract) is in 5~6 layers; the corolla is tubular and white, the apex is 5-lobed, lobes are ovate-oblong; the front end of staminode is round, not curved.

 Achenes are long, and covered by dense, upward silver-white pilose. Its flowering period is from July to August, and the fruiting period is from August to October.

 a colorful drawing of Atractylodes lancea Thunb.DC.,root,leaves and stems,flowers The main difference between this species, A.chinensis (DC.) Koidz. and the Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC.: leaf blades are broad, oval (egg-shaped) or long ovoid, usually pinnately 5-parted, cauline leaves on the upper part of the stem are 3-5 pinnatilobate or undivided, margin is irregular thorn-serrated, usually sessile; capitula (flower head) are slightly wider, phyllary (involucral bract) are in 5~6 layers, slightly wider than Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC.; the front end of the staminode is rounded, not curly.

 Ecological environment: Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC.var. chinensis (Bunge) Kitam grows in low mountain shady shrubs, in the forest, and in more dry places, at altitudes of 300~900 meters, in dry slopes, sparse broad-leaved forest or coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, rocky hillside or hillside grassland. The plant is distributed in the northern and northwest areas, the middle reaches of the Yellow River, and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a cool climate, a large temperature difference between day and night, and an adequate light climate. No strict requirements in the soil, can grow on barren hills, and slopes, barren soil, and grow better in good drainage, low groundwater levels, loose soil, humus content of sandy loam, and avoid flooding.

 Characters of herbs: The rhizomes are mostly lumpy, some are nodular cylindrical, often curved, have short branches, are 4~10 cm long, and 0.7~4 cm in diameter. The surface is dark brown, yellowish-brown when the outer bark is removed, the texture of the herb is loose and light, there are yellow-brown oil chambers scattering on the fracture surface, the fracture surface is fibrous, and no crystallization after placing. The herb has a weak aroma, and it tastes bitter and pungent.
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Cang Shu:Atractylodes Rhizome or Rhizoma Atractylodis.

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