Introduction of Mao Dong Qing:Pubescent Holly Root or Radix llicis Pubescentis.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Pubescent Holly Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Ilex pubescens Arn., 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 Pubescent Holly Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Radix llicis Pubescentis(Pubescent Holly Root).

dried herb root segments of Radix llicis Pubescentis Pin Yin Name: Máo Dōnɡ Qīnɡ.
 English Name: Pubescent Holly Root.
 Latin Name: Radix llicis Pubescentis.
 Property and flavor: cold, puckery, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Radix llicis Pubescentis is the dried root of Ilex pubescens Arn., used (1).to invigorate blood circulation and unblock the meridians and collaterals for the treatment of thromboangitis obliterans and angina pectoris, (2).to clear heat and counteract toxins for treating inflammations such as acute tonsillitis, and (3).as antitussive and expectorant for treating acute bronchitis. The herb is commonly known as Radix llicis Pubescentis, Pubescent Holly Root, Root of Pubescent Holly, Máo Dōnɡ Qīnɡ.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Radix llicis Pubescentis (Pubescent Holly Root) as the dried root of the species (1). Ilex pubescens Arn. It is a plant of the Ilex L. genus, the Aquifoliaceae family (holly family) of the Sapindales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Ilex pubescens Arn.

 a colorful drawing of Ilex pubescens Arn.,with yellow root and stems,green leaves Botanical description: Ilex pubescens Arn is also known as Ilex tricheclata Hayata., commonly known as Máo Dōnɡ Qīnɡ. Evergreen shrubs or small trees, the small tree grows up to 3~4 meters tall; Branchlets are slender, nearly prismatic, taupe (dust-color or grayish brown), densely covered with hirsute, has longitudinal ridges, has no lenticels, with slightly raised, nearly crescent leaf marks; Terminal buds are usually stunted or absent, living branches grow in 1~2 years; the leaf blades are chartaceous (papery) or membranous, oval (egg-shaped), elliptic or long ovate, 2~6 cm long, 1~2.7 cm wide, the apex is short and acuminate or sharp pointed, the base is broadly cuneate or blunt, the margin is thin and sharp finely serrated or subentire (nearly entire), the midvein on the upper surface is concave, 4–5 pairs of lateral veins, both surfaces have sparse coarse hairs, dense short coarse hairs grow along leaf veins. Petioles are 2.5–5 mm long and densely hirsute.

 fruiting tree of Ilex pubescens Arn. with red fruits Inflorescences cluster in the leaf axils of 1~2-year-old branches, densely hirsute. Male inflorescence: each male inflorescence on one branch has 1 flower, rarely 3 flowers, flowers are 4 to 5, pedicels are 1~2 mm long, base has 2 bracteoles, pedicels are 1~1.5 mm long if 3-flowered; calyx is about 2 mm in diameter, lobes are ovate-triangular, pubescent, corolla is 4-5 mm in diameter, corolla is obovate-oblong, stamens are shorter than corolla; Female inflorescence: each female inflorescence has 1–3 flowers, flowers are 6 to 8, calyx is about 2.5 mm in diameter, lobes are broadly ovate, has hirsute, flower petals are oblong oval, about 2 mm long, ovary is oval (egg-shaped), about 1.5 mm long, about 1.3 mm in diameter, glabrous; style is conspicuous, stigma is capitate, or thickly discoid.

 The fruit is spheric shape (globular), about 3-4 mm in diameter, turns red at maturity, persistent style is conspicuous, usually 6 pyrenes, a few are 5 or 7 pyrenes, elliptic, the back surface has single groove, both sides are smooth, the endocarp is nearly ligneous. Its flowering period is from April to May, the fruiting period is from July to August.

 many red fruits of Ilex pubescens Arn. are hanging on branch Ecological Environment: The small tree often grows in the thickets and barren mountain grass on hillsides or mountain slopes, in areas at altitudes of 180–500 meters above sea level, in the evergreen broad-leaved forest or at the forest edge, and beside streams and roadsides. Except for Hubei and Sichuan, it widely spreads in the south of the Yangtze River area.

 Growth characteristics: The small tree can adapt to the red, yellow, and other mountain soil types widely distributed in southern China. At the same time, it was resistant to shade and could grow well in an evergreen broad-leaved forest with a canopy density of 0.8 or above.

 fruiting tree of Ilex pubescens Arn. with red fruit berries and green leaves grow in mountain Characters of herbs: The roots are cylindrical, some are branched, varying in length, and 1~4 cm in diameter. The surface is taupe (dust color, or grayish-brown) to tan (chocolate brown), and the root head has stem branches and stem residues; The cortex is slightly coarse and rough, with longitudinal fine wrinkles and transverse lenticels. The texture of the herb is solid and firm, not easy to break, the cortex of the fracture surface is thin, and the xylem (wood part) is developed, khaki to ash gray (grayish-white), with dense radial texture and ring pattern. The herb has a slight odor, it tastes bitter, puckery, and then sweet. Most of the commercial herbs are lumpy and flaky, differing in size, and 0.5–1 cm thick.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.influence on the cardiovascular system: increase of coronary flow is strong and lasting, the antihypertensive effect; ②.antimicrobial effect: bacteriostatic test showed that Staphylococcus aureus is extremely sensitive to the Radix llicis Pubescentis. Bacillus proteus, Bacterium flexneri, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are also sensitive; ③.antitussive and expectorant effects.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clearing heat, detoxifying, activating blood circulation, unblock collaterals. It is indicated for anemopyretic cold, asthma cough of lung heat, sore throat, nippled moth (tonsillitis), swelling and aching of gum, chest pain and heartburn, apoplexia and hemiplegia, thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease), erysipelas, burns (scald or empyrosis), ulcer, central retinitis, etc.

 Administration of Radix llicis Pubescentis (Máo Dōnɡ Qīnɡ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix llicis Pubescentis (Máo Dōnɡ Qīnɡ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1~3 liang (about 30~90 grams). Externally:smear apply with water decoction, or immerse; ③.Internally:water decoction, 10~30 grams. Externally:proper amount, smear apply with water decoction or immerse.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Radix Llicis Pubescentis is slight toxic, should not be take in large dose for long period.




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  • 1.Introduction of Mao Dong Qing:Pubescent Holly Root or Radix llicis Pubescentis.

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