Introduction of Gui Zhi:Ramulus Cinnamoni or Cassia Twig.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Cassia Twig, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source 2 plant species, ①.Cinnamomum cassia Presl, and ②.Cinnamomum cassia BL.var.macrophyllum Chu.var.nov., 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 Cassia Twig, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Ramulus Cinnamoni(Cassia Twig).

twig stems and leaves of Cinnamomum cassia Presl Pin Yin Name: Guì Zhī.
 English Name: Cassia Twig.
 Latin Name: Ramulus Cinnamoni.
 Property and flavor: warm in nature, tastes pungent, sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Ramulus Cinnamoni is the dried young stems of Cinnamomum cassia Presl., used (1).to induce sweating for releasing the muscles in cases of wind-cold affliction, (2).to warm and unblock the meridians to relieve various pains due to cold and congealing blood, and (3).to stimulate menstrual discharge for treating amenorrhea. The herb is commonly known as Ramulus Cinnamoni, Cassia Twig, Guì Zhī.

 Cassia Twig Photo 02 Botanical source: Cinnamomum cassia Presl or Cinnamomum verum, C. zeylanicum, is a plant of the Cinnamomum Genus, Lauraceae family (laurel family) of the Laurales order. The species commonly used as Cinnamon herb are known comes from the botanical source of 2 species, include Cinnamomum Cassia Presl., and one of its varieties Cinnamomum cassia Presl var.macrophyllum Chu, the second one is also known as Large Leaf Cassia, or Large Leaf Qinghua Cassia, they are trees of the Lauraceae family and Cinnamomum genus.These two commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Cinnamomum cassia Presl.


 Cinnamomum cassia Presl Tree Botanical description: Cinnamomum cassia is a kind of evergreen tree, it grows up to 12~17 meters high. The bark is taupe brown (gray-brown) and fragrant, the young branches (twigs) are slightly quadrangular, and the branches are covered with sallow (grayish yellow) pubescence. Leaves are alternate or almost opposite, coriaceous; petioles are stout, 1.2~2 cm long, covered with yellow pubescence; leaves are long elliptic to nearly lanceolate, 8~34 cm long, 4~9.5 cm wide, the apex is pointed or tapering, the base is cuneate, the edge is recurved (curls inward), the upper surface is green, glossy and glabrous, the undersurface is light-green, sparsely covered with yellow pubescence; basinerved ternate veins grow from the base, the cross veins are small, nearly parallel, coriaceous.

 Panicles are axillary or subapical, 8~16 cm long, covered with yellow pubescence, and 3 flowers arrange in cymose shape at the branching end of the inflorescence. Flowers are hermaphroditic, about 4.5 cm long, white; pedicels are 3~6 mm long, covered with yellow-brown pubescence; perianth tube is obconical, about 2 mm long, tapels (perianth lobes) are egg-shape or oval, about 2.5 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, the tip is blunt or pointed; it can have 9 stamens, and filaments are covered with pubescence, stamens in the 1st and 2nd whorls are about 2.5 mm long, anther is oval (egg-shaped), 4-loculed, the 2 upper loculi are smaller, the outside crack toward the lobes, the 2 lower loculi crack outward to the lobes; 3 staminodes, arrow-shaped, its length with the stalk is about 2 mm, the stalk is covered with pubescence; the ovary is ovoid, about 1.7 mm long, glabrous, style is the equal length as ovary, stigma is small, inconspicuous.

 Fruits are elliptical, about 1 cm long, 8 mm wide, and purple and glabrous; the fruit receptacle is shallow cyathiform (cotyloid), 4 mm long, and the diameter of the front end reaches 7 mm, sometimes slightly rictal. Its flowering period is from June to August, and the fruiting period is from October to December or February to March of the next year.

 Cinnamomum cassia Presl:thriving tree Growth characteristics: The tree grows in the evergreen broadleaved forest but is mostly cultivated. The tree is suitable for tropical and south Asian tropical areas with high temperatures and high humidity, does not bear cold, and is vulnerable to freeze damage where the temperature is below 0 °C (Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter. It is a half-shade tree, does not tolerate direct sun-shine, young trees prefer shade, the grown-up tree needs sufficient sunshine, is not tolerant of waterlogging, and it is better to choose a field with deep soil layers, loose, acid soil with good drainage for cultivation. Stone-gravel soil or alkaline soil should not be chosen for cultivation. It is distributed in southern coastal areas of China.

 Cassia Twig branch tips photo 01 Characters of herbs: The herb is long and cylindrical, many-branch, 30~75 cm long, and the wide end is 0.3~1 cm in diameter. The appearance is red-brown to brown, with branch marks, leaf marks, bud marks, punctiform lenticels on the surface, longitudinal ridge, fine wrinkles, and small shades. The texture is hard and brittle (crisp), easily broken. The thickness of slice is 2~4 mm, the cortex of the cross-section is reddish-brown, the xylem (wood part) is yellow-white to light yellow-brown, and the pith part is lightly in a square. There is a specific aroma, sweet taste, slightly pungent, and the taste of the cortex is thick. The herb of a better grade is young, thin, symmetrical, red-brown, and has a strong aroma.

 Cassia Twig branch tips photo 02 Pharmacological actions: ①. antipyretic effect; ②. inhibitory effect on staphylococcus aureus, typhoid bacillus, dermatophytes, influenza virus, and orphan virus; ③. sedative, analgesic, anti-convulsion, anti-tumor effects; ④. cough relieving, diuretic, cardio tonic effect, strengthening the stomach, and inhibit tubercle bacillus.

 Medicinal efficacy: Expelling pathogenic factors from muscles and skin by perspiration, warming and activating meridian, activating Yang and activate Qi, indicated for exterior syndrome due to wind-cold, aching pain in shoulder back and artus, thoracic obstruction, phlegm and retained fluid, amenia (menischesis), abdominal mass, etc.

 Administration of Cassia Twig (Guì Zhī): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Cassia Twig (Gui Zhi)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 3~9 grams; ②.water decoction, 0.5~2 qian (about 1.5~6 grams), or prepare to pill, powder;③.water decoction, 1.5~6 grams, big dosage could be 15~30 grams; prepare to finely ground herb powder and prepared to pill, powder.
 Contraindications: should not be used with cautions during pregnancy.

(2).Cinnamomum cassia BL.var.macrophyllum Chu.var.nov.


 Cinnamomum cassia BL.var.macrophyllum Chu Tree Botanical description: Cinnamomum cassia BL.var.macrophyllum Chu.var.nov is also known as Large Leaf Cassia, or Large Leaf Qinghua Cassia, and it is a species of the Lauraceae family (laurel family), and a varieties of Cinnamomum cassia Presl., a kind of evergreen tree. The tree grows up to 12~17 meters high, and the whole plant has an aroma. The bark is taupe brown (gray-brown), and young branches are slightly quadrangular; leaves are alternate, glossy, tender leaves are purple, and the back surface of old leaves are dark green . The panicle is axillary or terminal, the flowers are small and yellow-green; the berry is oval (egg-shaped), green when it is not mature and turns black-purple at maturity. Its flowering period is from June to July, and the fruiting period is from February to March of the next year.

 Its main differences from Cinnamomum cassia Presl are: the leaves are extremely big, about 25~48 cm long, 8~13 cm wide; the filament is almost glabrous.

 Growth characteristics: The tree is cultivated in hilly or sloping mountains and has a large area of cultivation in the Zhujiang River area and other places in China. The tree prefers a warm and moist climate, has a good adaptability to temperature, and a short-term low temperature of -1~-3 °C (Celsius, or 30.2~26.6 degrees Fahrenheit) cannot lead to cold damage. Young trees prefer scattered light, and grown-up trees need sufficient sunlight. Its cultivation requires a deep soil layer, loose, good drainage, acidic red soil or yellow soil, yellow soil is especially good. You should not choose barren land with shallow soil layers, drought all year, poor drainage clay for cultivation.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is similar to the twig of Cinnamomum cassia Presl in character.
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Gui Zhi:Ramulus Cinnamoni or Cassia Twig.

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