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: The 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: The Cinnamomum cassia is a kind of evergreen tree, it grows up to 12~17 meters high. The bark is gray-brown and fragrant, the young branches are slightly quadrangular, and the branches are covered with gray-yellow pubescent. Leaves alternate, or almost opposite, leathery; petiole is stout, 1.2~2 cm long, covered with yellow pubescent; 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 curls inward, the upper surface is green, shiny and glabrous, the under surface is light-green, sparsely covered with yellow short pubescent; 3 veins emerge from the base, the cross veins are wary, nearly parallel, leathery. The panicle is axillary or subapical, 8~16 cm long, covered with yellow pubescent, and 3 flowers arrange in cymose shape at the branching end of the anthotaxy. Flowers are hermaphroditic, about 4.5 cm long, white; pedicel is 3~6 mm long, covered with yellow-brown pubescent; perianth tube is an inverted cone shape, about 2 mm long, lobes of perianth is egg-shape or oval, about 2.5 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, the tip is blunt or sharp; it can have 9 stamens, filament is covered with pubescence, the 1st and 2nd round of stamens are about 2.5 mm long, anther is egg-shaped oval, 4 chambers, the 2 upper chambers are smaller, the outside crack toward the lobes, the 2 lower chambers crack outward to the lobes; staminodes 3, arrow-shaped, about 2 mm long with stalk, the stalk is covered with pubscent; Ovary is egg-shaped spherical, about 1.7 mm long, glabrous, style is equal length with ovary, stigma is small, not obvious. The fruit is elliptical, about 1 cm long, 8 mm wide, and shows purple color, glabrous; Fruit receptacle is shallow cup-shaped, 4 mm long, and the diameter of the front end reaches 7 mm, sometimes slightly rictal. Its flowering period is from June to August, 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, not tolerant to waterlogs, better choose deep soil layer, loose, good drainage acid soil for cultivation. Should not choose stone gravel soil or alkaline soil 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, multi-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, easy to break. Slice thickness is 2~4 mm, the cortex of the cross-section is reddish-brown, the 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 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: The Cinnamomum cassia BL.var.macrophyllum Chu.var.nov. is also known as Large Leaf Cassia, or Large Leaf Qinghua Cassia, it is a species of the Lauraceae family (laurel family), and a varieties of the Cinnamomum cassia Presl., a kind of evergreen tree, the tree grows up to 12~17 meters high, the whole plant has an aroma. The bark is gray-brown, and young branches are slightly quadrangular; leaves are alternate, shiny, tender leaves are purple, and dark green on the back of old leaves; panicle axillary or terminal, flowers are small, yellow-green; berry oval, green when it is not mature, turn black-purple when ripe. Its flowering period is from June to July, 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, good adaptability to temperature, and short-term low temperature of -1~-3 °C (Celsius, or 30.2~26.6 degrees Fahrenheit) can not 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 acid red soil or yellow soil, yellow soil is especially good. Should not choose barren land with shallow soil layer, or drought all year round, 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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