Introduction of Ci Wu Jia:Thorny Acanthopanax Root, Siberian Ginseng or Radix Acanthopanacis Senticosi.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Thorny Acanthopanax Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Acanthopanax senticosus ( Maxim.) Harms., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Thorny Acanthopanax Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Radix Acanthopanacis Senticosi(Thorny Acanthopanax Root).

light brownish dried herb slices of Acanthopanax senticosus are piled together Pin Yin Name: Cì Wǔ Jiā.
 English Name: Thorny Acanthopanax Root, Siberian Ginseng.
 Latin Name: Radix Acanthopanacis Senticosi.
 Property and flavor: warm in nature, tastes pungent, slightly bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Radix Acanthopanacis Senticosi is the dried root and rhizome of Acanthopanax senticosus ( Maxim.) Harms., it is used to replenish Qi, strengthen the spleen, tonify the kidney, and induce tranquilization for the treatment of general weakness, anorexia, aching back and knees, insomnia and dream-disturbed sleep. The herb is commonly known as Radix Acanthopanacis Senticosi, Thorny Acanthopanax Root, Siberian Ginseng, Cì Wǔ Jiā.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Radix Acanthopanacis Senticosi (Thorny Acanthopanax Root) as the dry root or rhizoma and root bark of the Araliaceae family plant species (1).Acanthopanax senticosus ( Maxim.) Harms. It is a plant of the Acanthopanax Miq. genus, the Araliaceae family (ginseng, ivy, aralia family) of the Apiales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Acanthopanax senticosus ( Maxim.) Harms.

 a colorful drawing of Acanthopanax senticosus Rupr.Maxim.Harms.,stem and green leaves,with black purple fruit berry spikes Botanical description: The plant, Acanthopanax senticosus ( Maxim.) Harms is a plant of the Araliaceae family (ginseng, ivy, aralia family) and Eleutherococcus genus, it is also known as Eleutherococcus senticosus ( Maxim.) Maxim., commonly known as Acanthopanax senticosus, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Siberian Ginseng, or Ci Wu Jia. A deciduous shrub, the plant grows up to 1~2 meters tall, or reaches up to 6 meters tall; stems are usually covered with dense thin, and long anatropous thorns (inverted spines). Palmately compound leaves, alternate; petioles are 3.5-12 cm long, have spinlets or anacanthous (stingless); 5 lobules (leaflets), rarely 4 or 3, petiolules are 0.5-2 cm long, covered with brown pubescence; leaf blades are ellipsoid obovoid to oblong (long circular), 7-13 cm long, 2-6 cm wide, the apex is acuminate or protrudent pointed, the base is cuneate, the upper surface is sap green (dark green), the under surface is pea green (pale green), pale brown hairs grow along leaf veins, the edge is biserrate or serrated.

 Umbels are apical, solitary or 2–4 flowers grow in tufts and compose sparse panicles, peduncles grow up to 8 cm long; pedicels (flower stalks) are 1-2 cm long; hypanthium (calyx tube) is green, connate with ovary, 5 calyx teeth; 5 flower petals, oval (egg-shaped), yellow and purplish; 5 stamens; the ovary is 5-loculed, style is thin terete (thin cylindrical).

 Drupes (drupe fruits) are berrylike, atropurpureus (purple black), subsphaeroidal, spherical, or ovoid, 5-sided, 7~8 mm in diameter, persistent style is 1.5~1.8 mm long. Its flowering period is from June to July, the fruiting period is from July to September.

 a shrub of Acanthopanax senticosus Rupr.Maxim.Harms. with green leaves grow in sunny field Ecological Environment: The plant, Acanthopanax senticosus ( Maxim.) Harms grows in deciduous broad-leaved forests, mixed broadleaf-conifer forests, in forest or at forest edges, in areas at altitudes of several hundred meters to 2,000 meters above sea level. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in the northern, and northwest areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant, Acanthopanax senticosus ( Maxim.) Harms likes warm and moist climates, is cold-resistant, and bears slight shade. It is appropriate to choose a sunny field with a deep humus layer, and slightly acidic sandy loam for cultivation. Its seeds have the feature of ripening after embryo, the embryo need to pass morphological after-ripening and physiological after-ripening before sprouting.

 many root slices of thorny acanthopanax root are piled together Characters of herbs: The rhizome of Acanthopanax senticosus is nodular (tuberculous) and irregular cylindrical, its diameter is 1.4~4.2 cm, and is branched; the surface is taupe brown (grayish-brown), with vertical wrinkles, the bending part often has dense cross wrinkles, lenticels are elongated, slightly protuberant and light colored. The root of Acanthopanax senticosus is cylindrical, mostly tortuose (contorted), 3.5~12 cm long, and 0.3~1.5 cm in diameter; The surface is taupe brown or dark brown, coarse and rough, with distinct wrinkles, the cortex is thin, some are falling off, and the exfoliated part is sallow (grayish yellow). The texture of the herb is hard, the fracture surface is yellow-white and fibrous. The herb has a special aromatic fragrance, it tastes slightly pungent, slightly bitter, and puckery.

 some brownish dried aciculate stem segments of Acanthopanacis Senticosi are piled together The stem of Acanthopanax senticosus is long cylindrical, many-branched, different in length, the diameter is 0.5~2 cm. The surface is light gray, and the old branches are taupe brown, with vertical fissurings and anacanthous; Young branches are yellowish-brown, and spinules (small thorns) grow densely on them. The texture of the stem is firm and hard, not easy to break, the cortex of the fracture surface is thin, and yellowish-white, the xylem (wood part) is broad and light yellow, and there is a pith in the center. The herb has a slight odor, it tastes slightly pungent.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.effects on the central nervous system; ②.effect on non-specific stimulation, mainly including anti-fatigue effect, anti-hypoxia effect, anti-high and low-temperature effect, Anti-centrifuge effect and anti-radiation effect, anti-stress effect, detoxification effect; ③.anti-aging effect; ④.affect the immune function; ⑤.anti-tumor effect; ⑥.anti-inflammatory effect; ⑦.effect on the cardiovascular system; ⑧.inhibition of platelet aggregation; ⑨.effect on the endocrine system; ⑩. Effect on metabolism and tissue regeneration; ⑾.antimicrobial and antiviral effect: acanthopanax alcohol extract or water decoction has an inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus alba, the alcohol extract has a certain antibacterial effect on Neisseriaceae and Escherichia coli; ⑿.effects on the respiratory system.

 Medicinal efficacy: Invigorating Qi and benefit the spleen, invigorating the kidney and strong waist, invigorating the kidney and calm the nerves (relieve uneasiness of mind and body tranquilization), promoting blood circulation for removing the obstruction in collaterals. It is indicated for Qi deficiency of spleen and lung, spleen deficiency and feebleness (deficiency of spleen, lack of strength), weakness and feebleness, Qi deficiency and edema puffiness, anorexia (inappetence, lack of appetite), insomnia and dreaminess (lose sleep, many dreams), amnesia (poor memory), deficiency of both the heart and spleen, deficiency of both the lung and kidney, chronic cough and dyspnea due to deficiency, kidney deficiency and waist and knee pain, soreness and weakness of waist and knees, thoracic obstruction and pains, kidney deficiency and physical weakness, infantile retardation of walking, wind-cold-dampness arthralgia (anemofrigid-damp arthralgia, or wind-cold-wetness type of arthralgia), swelling pain from a fall injury, etc.

 Administration of Radix Acanthopanacis Senticosi (Cì Wǔ Jiā): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Acanthopanacis Senticosi (Cì Wǔ Jiā)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 9~27 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 6~15 grams, or prepared to pill, powder;infusing in wine. Externally:proper amount, prepare to finely ground herb powder, apply stick;or mash the fresh herb and apply stick.




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  • 1.Introduction of Ci Wu Jia:Thorny Acanthopanax Root, Siberian Ginseng or Radix Acanthopanacis Senticosi.

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