Introduction of Qian Niu Zi:Pharbitis Seed or Semen Pharbitidis.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The TCM herbalism is also known as pharmaceutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Chinese pharmaceutics, is the branch of health science dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and proper utilization of Chinese herbs. It is majorly composed of Introduction of Chinese Medicinals, Classification of Chinese Herbs, Formulas, and Patent medicines.

Classifications of Herbs:Diuretics and Hydragogues Herbs:Herbs Hydragogues or Drastic Purgatives.

 TCM Herbs Icon09 Introduction: Herbs Hydragogues or Drastic Purgatives: also known as diuretic hydragogue herbs, an agent or substance herbs that causes copious discharge of water through catharsis and at the same time increases urine excretion.

 
Semen Pharbitidis(Pharbitis Seed).

Semen Pharbitidis Pin Yin Name: Qiān Niú Zǐ.
 English Name: Pharbitis Seed.
 Latin Name: Semen Pharbitidis.
 Property and flavor: cold, bitter, pungent, toxic.

 Brief introduction: The herb Semen Pharbitidis is the dried ripe seed of Pharbitis nil(L.) Choisy, or Pharbitis purpurea(L.) Voigt(family Convolvulaceae), used as a hydragogue for edema and oliguria, and an anthelmintic for ascariasis. The herb is commonly known as Semen Pharbitidis, Pharbitis Seed, Qiān Niú Zǐ.

 Botanical source: Official herbal classics and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Semen Pharbitidis(Pharbitis Seed) as the dried ripe seed of the species (1). Pharbitis nil(L.) Choisy., or (2). Pharbitis purpurea(L.) Voigt. They are plants of the Pharbitis Choisy genus, the Convolvulaceae family of the Tubular order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

 Pharbitis nil L.Choisy. (1).Pharbitis nil(L.) Choisy.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Liě Yè Qiān Niú(literally it means cleft leaf pharbitis). Spiralaceae annual climbing herbs, it is distributed in most areas of China, it was originated in tropical America and Australia, beautiful flowers, can be cultivated for ornamental uses. Leaves are cordate, alternate; Petiole length 2~15 cm; Leaf blade broadly ovate or suborbicular, deep or shallow 3-lobed, occasionally 5-lobed, base cordate, middle lobed oblong or ovoid, acuminate or cusp, lateral lobes shorter, triangular, lobes acute or rounded, leaf surface slightly stiffly pilose. Flowers axillary, single or 2-3 inserted at apex of peduncle, peduncle unequal in length, hairy; 2 bracts, linear or foliate; 5 sepals, subequal, narrowly lanceolate, outside hairy; Corolla funnelform, 5~10 cm long, bluish-purple or purplish red, corolla tube pale; 5 stamens, not extending outside corolla, filaments unequal, base slightly broad, hairy; 1 pistil, ovary glabrous, 3 locules, stigma capitate; Capsule subglobose, 0.8~1.3 cm in diameter, 3-valved. 5~6 seeds, ovoid triangular prism, dark brown or beige, its flowering period is from July to September, fruiting from August to October.

 Pharbitis nil L.Choisy. Compliance is strong, sunny enough, can withstand half shade. The plant is fond of warm-cool, also could bear the heat of summer heat high temperature, but do not bear cold, fear frost. It prefers loose soil, water-resistance, and early dry, salt and alkali resistance. The suitable temperature for seed germination is 18~23 ℃, seedlings could grow above 10℃ temperature.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in areas with an altitude of 100~200~1,600 meters above sea level, on hillside thickets, dry valley roadside, garden side house, mountain roadside, or for cultivation. The plant is cultivated throughout China, it often grows in wild fields. The plant was native to tropical America, this species is now widely planted in tropical and subtropical regions.

 Growth characteristics: The adaptability of Pharbitis nil is strong, and the requirement of climate and soil is not strict, but it is suitable for temperate climate and medium fertile sandy loam soil. Poor growth at low wet or dry thin sterile land.

 Characters of herbs: Seeds are orange segment shaped, slightly 3-rowed, 5-7 mm long, 3-5 mm wide. The surface is grayish-black(Heichou) or pale yellowish-white(Baichou), the dorsal surface is arched, the two sides are slightly flat and slightly wrinkled, there is a shallow longitudinal groove in the middle of the dorsal surface, and the lower part of the back edges is a light color hilum like a round shape. The texture is hard, pale yellow or yellowish-green cotyledons 2 in transverse section, folds. After water immersion, the seed coat is cracked, with obvious mucus, and tastes pungent, bitter and benumbing tongue. It is better to have full granules and no impurity such as pericarp.

 Pharmacological actions: The chemical properties of pharbitisin are similar to that of senna, and it has a strong purgative effect. Pharbitisin decomposes when it encounters bile and intestinal fluid in the intestine, stimulates the intestine, promotes peristalsis, and leads to diarrhea. Both the water and ethanol extracts of Pharbitis Seed have a purgative effect on mice, but they lost their effect after decocting. The aqueous solution after the removal of pharbitisin still seems to have a purgative effect, so there may be other purgative components besides the pharbitisin.

 Medicinal efficacy: Water drainage and relaxing the bowels, alleviate water retention to purge constipation, eliminate phlegm and eliminate retained fluid, down bear Qi, removing food retention and kill parasites, kill parasites and attack accumulation. It is indicated for edema, edema and swelling fullness, ascites, obstruction of urine and stool, constipation, phlegm and retained fluid, accumulation, Qi reverse and asthma cough, dyspneal fullness, sputum obstruction and cough, phlegm and retained fluid, beriberi, lumbago, scrotal swelling, ulcer swelling poison, hemorrhoid and stool poison, malnutrition due to parasitic infestation, dyspeptic retention, parasitic infestation and abdominal pain, ascariasis, tapeworm disease, etc.

 Administration of Semen Pharbitidis(Qiān Niú Zǐ): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Semen Pharbitidis(Qiān Niú Zǐ)
TCM Books: Internally:3~6 grams(CP),Internally:prepare to pill,powder,1~3 fen(about 0.3~0.9 grams);water decoction,1.5~3 qian(about 4.5~9 grams).(DCTM),Internally:water decoction,3~10 grams,or prepare to pill,powder,0.3~1 grams each time,2~3 times daily.Fried herb has milder property than raw herb(CHMM).


 Pharbitis purpurea L.Voigt. (2).Pharbitis purpurea(L.) Voigt.:
 Botanical description: It is commonly known as Yuán Yè Qiān Niú(literally it means round leaf pharbitis),or Máo Qiān Niú(literally it means hairy pharbitis). The shape of the leaves is similar to that of Pharbitis nil, the main difference is that the leaves are round cordate or broadly ovate cordate, 4~18 cm long, 3.5 cm wide, usually entire. Flowers axillary, single or 2~5 into umbel cymes, sepals ovate-lanceolate. Cultivated or wild in the flat ground to area with altitude of 2,800 meters above sea level, in fields, roadsides, houses or valleys. It is distributed in most areas of China.

 Pharbitis purpurea L.Voigt. Ecological environment: The plant is cultivated or grow wild in the flat ground to the area with an altitude of 2,800 meters above sea level, in fields, roadsides, houses, or valleys. It mainly distributes throughout China and many other areas.

 Characters of herbs: The shape of the seeds are similar to segment shaped, slightly 3-edged, 5~7 mm long, 3~5 mm wide. The surface is grayish-black (black ugly), or yellowish-white (white ugly), abaxially arched, slightly flat on both sides, slightly wrinkled, abaxially with a shallow longitudinal groove in the middle, the ventral edge for the lower end of the round light color navel. Hard, cross-section showing pale yellow or yellowish-green folded cotyledons 2. The seed coat was cracked after water immersion, with obvious mucus and slight taste, bitter and numbness of the tongue. The herb which is full-grain, no peel, and other impurities are preferred.
 
Black Pharbitis Seed.

 Black Pharbitis Seed Brief Introduction: The Herb Black Pharbitis Seed is the pharbitis seed with its surface colored grayish black.

 ✵The Black Pharbitis Seed is commonly known as Hēi Chǒu(literally it means black ugly), Hēi Qiān Niú Zǐ, the botanical origin was introduced in entry "Semen Pharbitidis(Pharbitis Seed)".
 
White Pharbitis Seed.

 White Pharbitis Seed Brief Introduction: The Herb White Pharbitis Seed is the pharbitis seed with its surface colored pale yellowish.

 ✵The White Pharbitis Seed is commonly known as Bái Chǒu(literally it means white ugly), Bái Qiān Niú Zǐ, the botanical origin was introduced in entry "Semen Pharbitidis(Pharbitis Seed)".
 
Black and White Pharbitis Seed.

 Black and White Pharbitis Seed Brief Introduction: The Herb Black and White Pharbitis Seed is the black and white pharbitis seeds mixed in equal quantities.

 ✵The Black and White Pharbitis Seed is commonly known as Hēi Bái Chǒu(literally it means black ugly and white ugly), Hēi Bái Qiān Niú Zǐ, the botanical origin was introduced in entry "Semen Pharbitidis(Pharbitis Seed)".
 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Qian Niu Zi:Pharbitis Seed or Semen Pharbitidis.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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