Introduction of Niu Banɡ Zi:Fructus Arctii or Burdock Fruit.

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:Pungent-cool Exterior-releasing Herbs.

 TCM Herbs Icon01 Introduction: Pungent-cool exterior-releasing herbs: an agent or substance herbs pungent in flavor and cool in property, which is usually used for treating a wind-heat exterior syndrome.

 
Fructus Arctii(Burdock Fruit).

Burdock Fruit Pin Yin Name: Niú Bànɡ Zǐ.
 English Name: Burdock Fruit, Great Burdock Achene.
 Latin Name: Fructus Arctii.
 Property and flavor: cold, pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Arctii is the dried ripe fruit of great burdock, Arctium lappa L.(family Compositae), used (1).to disperse wind and heat in the treatment of wind-heat affliction, (2).to promote eruption for measles, and (3).to counteract toxins and reduce swelling for boils, sores, mumps and erysipelas. The herb is commonly known as Fructus Arctii, Burdock Fruit, Niú Bànɡ Zǐ.

 Botanical source: The herb Fructus Arctii(Burdock Fruit) is the dried ripe fruit of the Arctium lappa L., it is a plant of the Arctium genus, the Asteraceae(Compositae) family of the Asterales order. This commonly used species is introduced as:

 Arctium lappa L 01 Arctium lappa L.:
 Botanical description: The plant is a biennial herb, it grows to more than 3 feet (91 cm), native to Asia and Europe but is a widespread weed in New Zealand. It is well known to little boys who pull off the clinging seed vessels to throw at one another, it is also known as Personata, Happy-major, and Clot-bur. A traditional herbal medicine, burdock was formerly listed in the British Pharmaceutical Codex and is widely recorded in most writings on medicinal herbs. This tall, branching biennial has large, rounded to arrow-shaped leaves and purple flower heads encased in bracts with hooked tips. Burdock can be an invasive weed. Harvest roots after the 1st years growing season, before it goes to seed in its second year. The plant varies considerably in appearance, and by some botanists various subspecies, or even separate species, have been described, the variations being according to the size of the flower-heads and of the whole plant, the abundance of the whitish cottonlike substance that is sometimes found on the involucres, or the absence of it, the length of the flower-stalks, etc.

 Arctium lappa L 01 The flower-heads are found expanded during the latter part of the summer and well into the autumn: all the florets are tubular, the stamens are dark purple and the styles are whitish. The plant owes its dissemination greatly to the little-hooked prickles of its involucre, which adhere to everything with which they come in contact, and by attaching themselves to coats of animals are often carried to a distance. The dried root from plants of the first year's growth forms the official herb, but the leaves and fruits (commonly, though erroneously, called seeds) are also used. The roots are dug in July, and should be lifted with a beet-lifter or a deep-running plow. As a rule they are 12 inches (30.48 cm) or more in length and about 1 inch (2.54 cm) thick, sometimes, however, they extend 2 to 3 feet (60.8~91.44 cm), making it necessary to dig by hand. They are fleshy, wrinkled, crowned with a tuft of whitish, soft, hairy leaf-stalks, grey-brown externally, whitish internally, with a somewhat thick bark, about a quarter of the diameter of the root, and softwood tissues, with a radiate structure. Burdock root has a sweetish and mucilaginous taste.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a warm and humid climate, resistant to cold and drought, afraid of waterlogging. It is appropriate to cultivate in sandy soil with a deep soil layer, loose and fertile soil with good drainage.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is long obovate, slightly flat, slightly curved, 5~7 mm long, 2~3 mm wide. The surface is grayish-brown with purplish-black spots, with several longitudinal edges, usually, 1~2 in the middle are more obvious. Apex is obtuse round, slightly wider, top with a ring, middle with dotted style remnants; The base is slightly narrow, pale areola. The pericarp is harder, after breaking two cotyledons are visible, yellowish-white, rich oily. Fruit odorless, the seed has a specific smell, tastes bitter slightly pungent, a little longer benumbing.

 Pharmacological actions: The decoction of fructus arctii has anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, diuretic, anti-tumor, lower blood sugar, and other effects, and has an inhibitory effect on pneumococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, and a variety of pathogenic skin fungi. Arctiin can paralyze the heart, uterus, intestines, bones, and motor nerves in vitro.

 Medicinal efficacy: Disperse wind and heat, open the inhibited lung-energy and prompt eruption, reduce swelling and detoxification, relieve sore throat and eliminate stagnation, indicated for wind-heat cough, sore throat, macula not erupt, urticaria itching, carbuncle swollen ulcer sore poison.

 Administration of Fructus Arctii(Niú Bànɡ Zǐ): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Arctii(Niú Bànɡ Zǐ)
TCM Books: Internally:6~12 grams(CP), or 1.5~3 qian(4.5~9 grams), water decoction,or prepare into powder.Externally:mouth wash with water decoction(DCTM),or water decoction, 5~10 grams, or grinded to fine powder and prepared to pill, powder.Externally:mouthwash with water decoction(CHMM).

 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Niu Banɡ Zi:Fructus Arctii or Burdock Fruit.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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