Introduction of Gao Ben:Rhizoma Ligustici or Chinese Lovage.

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-Warm Exterior-releasing Herbs.

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

 
Rhizoma Ligustici(Chinese Lovage).

Ligustrum sinense Oliver Pin Yin Name: Gǎo Běn.
 English Name: Chinese Lovage,or Chinese Ligusticum Rhizome.
 Latin Name: Rhizoma Ligustici.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Rhizoma Ligustici is the dried rhizome and root of Ligustrum sinense Oliver, or Ligustrum jeholense Nakai et Kitagawa(family Umbelliferae), used to relieve pain in the vertex of the head in cases of wind-cold affliction, and rheumatic arthralgia. The herb is commonly known as Rhizoma Ligustici, Chinese Lovage, Gǎo Běn.

 Botanical source: The herb Rhizoma Ligustici(Chinese Lovage) is the dried rhizome and root of the Ligustrum sinense Oliver, or Ligustrum jeholense Nakai et Kitagawa, it is a plant of the Ligusticum L. Genus, the Apiaceae(Umbelliferae) family of the Apiales(Umbellales) order. It is also known as Ligusticum sinense Oliv., Chinese Ligusticum, Jehol Ligusticum, Chinese Ligusticum Rhizome, Jehol Ligusticum Rhizome.

 Common official herbal classics and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Rhizoma Ligustici(Chinese Lovage) as the dried herb of (1). Ligusticum sinense Oliv., (2). Ligusticum jeholense(Nakai et Kitag.) Nakai et Kitag. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

(1).Ligusticum sinense Oliv.


 Ligusticum sinense Oliv.:flowering plant Botanical description: The plant is also known as Gao Ben. Perennial herbs, grows up to 1 meter. Rhizome is well-developed with swollen nodules. Stem is erect, cylindrical, hollow, longitudinally furrowed. Basal leaves with long stalk are up to 20 cm long; Leaf blade scalloped broadly triangular, 10~15 cm long, 15~18 cm wide, bicyclic trichome fully lobed, first feather contour oblong-ovate, 6~10 cm long, 5~7 cm wide, lower feather sessile, sessile 3~5 cm long, base is slightly enlarged. Ultimate lobes are ovate, ca. 3 cm long, ca. 2 cm wide, apex acuminate, margin lobed, both surfaces are glabrous, pubescent only on veins, apex pinnacles acuminate to caudate; The middle part of the stem has larger leaves; Stem upper leaves subsessile, base swollen into the ovate-clasped sheath. Compound umbel is terminal or lateral; 6~10 involucral bracts, linear to pinnate, ca. 6 mm long; 14~30 spokes, up to 5 cm long, tetraphenous, pubescent; Inflorescences with involucre ca. 10, linear or narrowly lanceolate, 3~4 mm long; Flowers are small, calyx toothed; Petals are white, obovate, apex is slightly concave, with inflexed small tip; 5 stamens; Stylopodium raised, style is long, inverted outwards. Fruit is oblong-ovate, ca. 4 mm long, 2~2.5 mm wide, apex narrow, dorsal rims protuberant, lateral rims enlarged into wings, 1~3 tubings in dorsal rims, 3 tubings in lateral rims, 4~6 commissures, ventral endosperm flat. Its flowering period is from July to September, fruiting period is from September to October.

 Ecological environment: the plant grows under forests, meadows, forest margins, wet gravel slopes, and gullies at the area with an altitude of 1,000~2,700 meters above sea level. Resources distribution: this plant mainly distributes in the middle and lower reaches areas of the Yangtze River, the area of the Hanjiang River, and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers cold and wet climate, cold-resistant, fear of waterlogging. It is not strict to the soil requirement, but it is best to plant and grow in the sandy soil with a deep soil layer, loose and fertile, and good drainage. It is not suitable to plant in the clay, barren and dry field. Avoid continuous cropping.

 Characters of herbs: ligusous rhizome is irregular nodular cylindrical, slightly twisted, slightly branched, 3~-10 cm long. Common brown dark brown surface, rough, longitudinal wrinkles, emboli easy to peel, the upper end has one to several round hole shaped stem base, the lower side has most of the point shape protuberant root trace and residual roots. Light, hard, easily broken, cross-section is yellow or yellow-white, fibrous. The smell is fragrant, the taste is pungent, bitter, slight benumbing. The herb with a rough, strong quality, the aroma is better.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.Central inhibitory effects: significant effects of sedation, analgesic, antipyretic, and cooling effects; ②.Anti-inflammatory and anti-diarrheal effects; ③.Effects on smooth muscle.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dissipate wind-cold and dampness pathogens, dissipate cold and relieve pain, indicated for wind-cold headache, parietal headache, cold-dampness abdominal pain, hernia and mass, scabies, etc.

 Administration of Rhizoma Ligustici(Gǎo Běn): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhizoma Ligustici(Gǎo Běn)
TCM Books: Internally:3~9 grams(CP), or water decoction,1~3 qian(about 3~9 grams),Externally:wash with water decoction or grinded into fine powder and apply(DCTM), or 3~10 grams, water decoction; grinded to fine powder and prepared to pill, powder.Externally:proper amount,wash with water decoction, or grinded to fine powder and apply(CHMM).

(2).Ligusticum jeholense(Nakai et Kitag.) Nakai et Kitag.


 Ligusticum jeholense.:drawing of plant and herb Botanical description: The plant is also known as Liao Gao Ben. Perennial herb, 30~80 cm tall. The rhizome is known; Root is conical, bifurcated, surface dark brown. Stem is erect, cylindrical, hollow, longitudinally striated, often purplish. Leaves are stipitate, basal leaf petiole 19 cm long, 2~3 gyrus trichome pinnate, first lobes are with 4~6 pairs, last pair with longer stipitate, stipitate is 2~5 cm long. Second lobes are often sessile; Ultimate lobes are ovate to rhomboid ovate, 2~3 cm long, 1~2 cm wide, base cordate to cuneate, margin often 3-5 lobed, lobes dentate, the apex of teeth with small apex or lateral inflorescence, 3~7 cm in diameter. 2 involucral bracts, linear, ca. 1 cm long, hispid, margin narrowly membranous, caducous; Umbrella spoke 8~16, 2~3 cm long; 8~10 involucral bracts, subulate, 3~5 mm long, hispid; Inflorescences umbels with 15~20 flowers; Calyx teeth are not conspicuous; Petals are white, oblong-obovate, with inflexed utricle; Stylopodium is raised, hemispherical, style 0is long, fruiting downward reflexed. Fruit is elliptic, 3~4 mm long, 2~2.5 mm wide, fruiting meridional dorsal ridge protruding, lateral ribs narrowly pterygiform, 1 furrow, less than 2, confluent surface 2~4, endosperm ventral flat. Its flowering period is from July to September, fruiting period is from September to October.

 Characters of herbs: Trait identification: ligusous rhizome is irregular, clumpy or columnar, 2~10 cm long, 0.5~1.5 cm in diameter. The surface is tan, the upper end has the tufted leaf base and the protuberant node, the lower end has the most slender curved root.
 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Gao Ben:Rhizoma Ligustici or Chinese Lovage.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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