Introduction of Su Mu:Sappan Wood or Lignum Sappan.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Sappan Wood, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Caesalpinia sappan L., 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 Sappan Wood, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Lignum Sappan(Sappan Wood).

Lignum Sappan:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Sū Mù.
 English Name: Sappan Wood.
 Latin Name: Lignum Sappan.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, sweet, salty.

 Brief introduction: The herb Lignum Sappan is the dried heartwood of Caesalpinia sappan L., used to activate blood and remove stasis, mainly for the treatment of contused wounds, dysmenorrhea, and amenorrhea. The herb is commonly known as Lignum Sappan, Sappan Wood, Logwood, Sū Mù.

 Caesalpinia sappan L.:flowers Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Lignum Sappan (Sappan Wood) as the dried heartwood of the species (1). Caesalpinia sappan L. It is a plant of the Caesalpinia genus, the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, legume, pea family) of the Rosales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Caesalpinia sappan L.


 Caesalpinia sappan L.:drawing of plant parts Botanical description: Caesalpinia sappan L is commonly known as Sū Mù. Shrubs or small trees, the tree grows up to 5–10 meters tall. Its trunk has spines, branchlets are celadon (grayish-green), have round protruding lenticels, and new branchlets are puberulent, falling off lately. The leaves are bipinnately compound leaves, up to 30–40 cm long, pinnae are in 7–13 pairs, opposite, rhachis is pubescent; lobules (folioles) are in 9–17 pairs, opposite, oblong to oblong-rhombic, about 14 mm long, about 6 mm wide, apex is blunt and emarginate (slightly concave), base is deflective, entire, the upper surface is green, glabrous, the under surface has glandular dots, mid-vein is deflective.

 Panicles are apical or axillary, about equal length as the leaf, pubescent; flower bracts are big, lanceolate, caducous; pedicels (flower stalks) are about 15 mm long, covered with fine pilose; the receptacle is shallow campaniform (campanulate or bell-shaped); 5 sepals, slightly unequal size, one sepal on the lower part is bigger, pocket-shaped; flower petals are yellow, broadly obovate, about 9 mm long, the sepal on the upper part is pink on the base, stipitate; 10 stamens, free, in 2 whorls, slightly stretching beyond, filaments are thin, the upper part is twisted, the lower part is densely pubescent; 1 stamen, style is thin and long, the ovary has gray fluff, style is piliferous, stigma is truncated.

 Pods are ligneous, slightly flattened, nearly oblong to oblong-obovate, about 7 cm long, and 3.5–4 cm wide, the base is slightly narrow, the apex is obliquely truncated, promuscidate, reddish brown, and not cracked. 3~4 seeds, oblong, slightly flat, about 2 cm long, brown yellow. Its flowering period is from May to October, and its fruiting period is from July to March of the next year.

 Caesalpinia sappan L.:pods Ecological Environment: The small tree grows in valleys and jungles, or is cultivated. It is mainly distributed in the Zhujiang River area, the Jinshajiang River Valley, the Red River Valley, Taiwan, and other areas of China. It is also distributed in several other areas of Southeast Asia.

 Growth characteristics: Caesalpinia sappan prefers sunshine, avoids shading and waterlogging, and is tolerant of drought. The tree is mostly found in areas with less rainfall, and it is slightly resistant to light frost. It can be cultivated in tropical and South Asia subtropical areas. Its soil requirements are not strict, sandy loam, clay soil, and alluvial soil are suitable for planting.

 Sappan Wood:herb photo Characters of herbs: The dry heartwood is long cylindrical or double semi-cylindrical, 10–100 cm long, and 3~12 cm in diameter. The surface is yellowish-red to red-brown, with knife-cutting marks and branch marks, longitudinal cracks are common. The cross-section is slightly glossy, and the growth rings (annual rings) are conspicuous, there is dark brown, loose, pith part with bright spots. The texture of the herb is firm and hard. The herb has a slight odor, and it tastes slightly puckery. The herb of a better grade is thick and big, and the texture of the herb is firm and solid, red-yellow.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.cardiovascular effect; ②.anticancer and inhibition of mutagenesis; ③.central inhibitory effect and hypnotic effect; ④.inhibits aldose reductase; ⑤.inhibition on various bacteria, including staphylococcus aureus, hemolytic streptococcus, streptococcus pneumoniae, Bacillus diphtheriae, Bacillus influenzae, Bacterium flexneri and Bacillus paratyphoid, it also has inhibition effect on Bordetella pertussis, Bacillus typhi, Paratyphoid A and B, pneumobacillus.

 Medicinal efficacy: Activate blood circulation, remove blood stasis, detumescence (reduce swelling) and relieve pain. It is indicated for fall injury, injury of tendon and muscle, bone fracture, blood stagnation and stasis, swelling and pain, woman heart and abdomen pain due to Qi and blood stagnation, dysmenorrhea, blood stagnation, amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea due to blood stasis, dysmenorrhea(abdominal pain after menstruation), postpartum blood stasis, postpartum pain in heart and abdomen due to stasis obstruction, postpartum blood stasis swelling pain and dyspnea with rapid respiration, stabbing pain in chest and abdomen, postpartum fainting or coma due to blood stasis, dysentery, carbuncle, ulcer or swelling pain, tetanus, pain from fall injury and blood stagnation, traumatic injury, etc.

 Administration of Lignum Sappan (Sū Mù): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Lignum Sappan (Sū Mù)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 3~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1~3 qian (about 3~9 grams), prepare to finely ground herb powder or prepare to paste. Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder, sprinkle apply; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~9 grams, or prepare to finely ground herb powder. Externally:proper amount, prepare to finely ground herb powder, sprinkle apply.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Lignum Sappan should be used cautiously during pregnancy, or hypermenorrhea, or should forbidden using during pregnancy. Should not be prepared with ironware.

 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Su Mu:Sappan Wood or Lignum Sappan.

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