Introduction of Canɡ er Zi:Fructus Xanthii or Siberian Cocklebur Fruit.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Siberian Cocklebur Fruit, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source 2 plant species, ①.Xanthium sibiricum Patrin.ex Widder, ②.Xanthium mongolicum Kitag., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plants, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plants, the features of the herb Siberian Cocklebur Fruit, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Fructus Xanthii(Siberian Cocklebur Fruit).

green Siberian Cocklebur Fruit Pin Yin Name: Cānɡ ěr Zǐ.
 English Name: Siberian Cocklebur Fruit.
 Latin Name: Fructus Xanthii.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, bitter, mild toxicity.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Xanthii is the dried ripe fruit of Xanthium sibiricum Patrin., used to disperse wind, eliminate damp, relieve nasal congestion and alleviate pain for the treatment of wind-cold affliction of a stuffy nose, rhinitis, nasosinusitis, urticaria with pruritus, and rheumatism.

 Botanical source: The herb Fructus Xanthii (Siberian Cocklebur Fruit) is the dried ripe fruit of Xanthium sibiricum Patrin, it is a plant of the Xanthium L. genus, the Asteraceae family (Compositae, daisy family) of the Campanulales order. It is also known as Siberian Cocklour Fruit, Fruit of Siberian Cocklebur, Fructus Xanthii, or Cānɡ ěr Zǐ.

 Herbal classic book defined the herb Fructus Xanthii (Siberian Cocklebur Fruit, or Cānɡ ěr Zǐ) as the dried ripe fruit of: (1).Xanthium sibiricum Patrin.ex Widder, (2).Xanthium mongolicum Kitag. They are plants of the Xanthium L. genus, the Asteraceae family of the Campanulales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Xanthium sibiricum Patrin.ex Widder.

 fruiting plant with green leaves and purple stems of Xanthium sibiricum Patrin.ex Widder. Botanical description: The plant Xanthium sibiricum Patrin.ex Widder is also known as Xanthium strumarium L., or Cānɡ ěr. An annual herb, the plant grows up to 20~90 cm high. Roots are fusiform (spindle-shaped), branched, or unbranched. The stem is upright unbranched or rarely branched, the lower part is cylindric, the upper part has vertical grooves, covered with gray-white coarse hairs. Leaves are alternate; it has a long petiole, 3~11 cm long; leaf blades are triangular-ovate or cordiform, 4~9 cm long, 5~10 cm wide, subentire (subentire edge), or 3~5 inconspicuously lobed, the apex is pointed or obtuse, the base is 3-veined, the upper surface is green, the undersurface is pale-white, covered with scabrous or short white pubescence.

 Capitulum (flower head) is nearly sessile (subsessile), aggregated, unisexual and homophytic; Male inflorescence is globose, involucral bracts are small, in 1 row, densely puberulent, receptacle is columnar, stipules of inflorescence are oblanceolate, florets are tubular, the apex is 5-dentate, 5 stamens, anthers are oblong-linear; female inflorescence is ovate, involucral bracts are in 2~3 rows, bracts in outer rows are small, bracts in inner rows are big, connate to saccate ovate shape, 2-loculate hardenite, the out surface has glochid, the apex has 2 conical tips, 2 florets, without corolla, ovary is inside involucre, each loculus has 1 flower, style is linear, protruding outside involucre. Involucral bracts with mature achene turn firm, oval or elliptic, its length with a beak is 12~15 mm, 4~7 mm wide, green, yellowish (light yellow) or reddish-brown, hooked involucral thorns grow on the outer surface, involucral thorns are thin, 1.~1.5 mm long, the base is not thickening, rostrum (beak) is 1.5~2.5 mm long; 2 achenes, obovate, achene contains 1 seed. Its flowering period is from July to August, and the fruiting period is from September to October.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a warm and slightly moist climate, and it is appropriate to choose a field with loose and fertile, sandy loam with good drainage for cultivation.

 a drawing of a white rabbit and Xanthium sibiricum plant. Ecological environment: The plant grows in plains, hills, low mountains, wilds, grass land, on roadsides, ditch sides, field sides, village side, etc. It is distributed throughout the areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The herb Cānɡ ěr, or Siberian Cocklebur herb is in segments and pieces, a mixture state of stems, leaves, flowers and achenes. The stem is cylindrical, its surface is brown, has vertical grooves, sparsely covered with yellow-white punctate lenticels and dark purple streaks. Leaves are dark green, both surfaces are covered with coarse short hairs. The herb has a delicate fragrance and tastes saltish. The capitulum (flower head) is smaller, hooked spines are short and soft, and the achene has an internally wrapped rostrum (beak) on its apex. The herb of a better grade has big, full grains, color yellow-brown.

 The herb Cānɡ ěr Zǐ is also known as Siberian Cocklebur Fruit or Fructus Xanthii, it is defined as a fruit with an involucre, the traits of the herb are: fruit is inside the involucre, fusiform or ovoid, 1~1.5 cm long, 0.4~0.7 cm in diameter. Its surface is yellowish-brown or yellowish-green, there are hooked thorns on the whole surface, 2 thick thorns on the front end, separated or adhesive, there are stalk marks on the base. It is hard and tough, with a dissepiment (septum) in the center of the cross-section, 2-loculed, and one piece of achene inside each locule. Achene is slightly fusiform, one end is flat, with a protruding stylopodium on the front end, and the pericarp is thin, gray-black, with vertical lines. Seed coat (spermoderm) is membranous, light gray, has vertical lines; 2 cotyledons, oily (oleosus). The herb fruit has a light odor, and it tastes slight bitter.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.lowering blood sugar and relieving cough; ②.inhibitory effect on some bacteria and fungi.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispelling wind, relieve exterior syndrome, free nasal orifices, eliminating dampness and analgesia, indicated for wind chill headache, nasosinusitis (acute and chronic sinusitis), tooth pain, wind chill rheumatism, limb spasmatic pain, scabies, itch.

 Administration of Fructus Xanthii (Cānɡ ěr Zǐ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Xanthii (Cānɡ ěr Zǐ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:Fructus Xanthii, 3~10 grams, Siberian Cocklebur herb, 1~2 liang (about 30~60 grams); ②.1.5~3 qian (about 4.5~9 grams), as water decoction, or prepare to pill, powder; ③.3~10 grams, water decoction, or prepare to finely ground herb powder and prepared to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount,mashed and apply stick, or wash with water decoction.

(2).Xanthium mongolicum Kitag.

 a fruiting plant stem of Xanthium mongolicum Kitag. Botanical description: The plant Xanthium mongolicum Kitag is also known as Mongolia Xanthium, or Měng Gǔ Cānɡ ěr. The differences of this species from Xanthium sibiricum Patrin.ex Widder are: mature involucre with achene is elliptic, its length with a beak is 18~20 mm, 8~10 mm wide, with relatively sparse involucral thorns on the out surface, involucral thorns are hard, thorns are 2~5.5 mm (usually 5 mm) long, thickening at the base.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows on arid hillsides or sandy wastelands. It is distributed in the northern area of China.

 Characters of herbs: The herb Siberian Cocklebur herb prepared from Xanthium mongolicum Kitag is similar in features to the herb prepared from Xanthium sibiricum Patrin.ex Widder. The main differences are: the capitulum (flower head) is elliptic, the involucre is hard and firm, and hard hooked thorns grow sparsely on the surface of the involucre. Achenes are in 2 pieces, and its achene has a divergent rostrum (beak) on its apex.



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