Introduction of Zao Jiao Ci:Chinese Honeylocust Spine or Spina Gleditsiae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Chinese Honeylocust Spine, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Gleditsia sinensis Lam., 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 Chinese Honeylocust Spine, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Spina Gleditsiae(Chinese Honeylocust Spine).

dried brownish herbs of Spina Gleditsiae Pin Yin Name: Zào Jiǎo Cì.
 English Name: Chinese Honeylocust Spine.
 Latin Name: Spina Gleditsiae.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Spina Gleditsiae is the dried spine of Gleditsia sinensis Lam., used (1).to reduce swelling and dispel pus for treating acute suppurative inflammation with the effect of promoting local rupture, and (2).as an antipruritic in the treatment of skin diseases. It is commonly known as Spina Gleditsiae, Chinese Honeylocust Spine, Zào Jiǎo Cì.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Spina Gleditsiae (Chinese Honeylocust Spine) as the dried spine of the species (1).Gleditsia sinensis Lam. It is a plant of the Gleditsia Linn genus, the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, legume, pea family) of the Rosales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Gleditsia sinensis Lam.

 a colorful drawing of Gleditsia sinensis Lam.,drawing of plant parts,root,stem and leaves,pods and seeds,flowers Botanical description: Gleditsia sinensis Lam is commonly known as Zào Jiá. A deciduous tree or small tree, the tree grows up to 15 meters high; Branches are gray to dark brown; Spines are stout, cylindrical, often branched, mostly conical or cylindrical, up to 16 cm long, branchlet (twig) is glabrous. Primary paripinnate compound leaves, 10~18 cm long, or up to 26 cm long; lobules (folioles) are in 3–7 pairs (6~14 folioles), chartaceous (papery), ovate-oblong, oblong oval to ovate-lanceolate, 3~8 cm long, 1.5~3.5 cm wide, the apex is blunt or acuminate, the base is circular or cuneate, sometimes slightly oblique (oblique circular or oblique cuneate), the margin is serrulate, glabrous. The upper surface is pubescent, the midvein on the under surface is slightly pubescent; retiform veins are prominent, and convex on both surfaces; Petioles are 1~2 mm long, or up to 5 mm long, pubescent.

 growing tree of Gleditsia sinensis Lam. with pods Flowers are polygamous, arrange into axillary racemes, yellow and white; Inflorescences are axillary or terminal, 5~14 cm long, pubescent; Calyx is campanulate (bell-shaped), has 4 lanceolate lobes; 4 flower petals, white; 6~8 stamens; ovary is strip-shaped, piliferous along suture (line). Male flowers: 9~10 mm in diameter; Pedicels are 2~8 (~10) mm; Receptacle is 2.5~3 mm long, dark brown, outside is pilose; 4 sepals, triangular-lanceolate, 3 mm long, pilose grows on both surfaces; 4 petals, oblong, 4~5 mm long, puberulent; 8 stamens; pistillode is 2.5 mm long; hermaphroditic flowers: 10~12 mm in diameter; Pedicels are 2-5 mm long; Calyx, petals are similar to male flowers, except sepals, petals are 5~6 mm; 8 stamens; Ovary is sutured, and the base is piliferous (occasionally a few Hubei specimen ovary is all piliferous), stigma is shallowly 2-lobed; Ovules are numerous.

 Pods are strip-shaped, not torsional, 12~30 cm long, 2~4 cm wide, straight or twisted, the pulp is slightly thick, swollen on both sides, some pods are short, more or less cylindrical, 12~30 cm long, 2~4 cm wide, curved crescent shape, usually called pig tooth soap, no seeds inside; Fruit neck length is 1~3.5 cm; Fruit valves are coriaceous, brown or reddish-brown, often has white pinkish frost; Many seeds, oblong or elliptic, 11~13 mm long, 8~9 mm wide, brown, shiny. Its flowering period is from March to May, the fruiting period is from May to October or to December.

 growing tree and spines of Gleditsia sinensis Lam Ecological Environment: The plant is photophobia, prefers slight shade, and grows in the hillside forest or valley, roadside, in flat areas, or in areas at altitudes of up to 2,500 meters above sea level. It often grows in courtyards or near houses. This plant is distributed in most areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: Gleditsia sinensis Lam., prefers a warm and sunny field. Its requirement in the soil is not strict, but need good drainage, it can be cultivated in mountain regions, field corner, and unoccupied place. The plant normally grows in slightly acidic, calcareous, lightly saline, or alkaline soils or even clay or sandy soils. It is a deep-rooted plant with strong drought tolerance, and its life span is up to 600 or 700 years.

 dried brownish herbs of Chinese Honeylocust Spine Characters of herbs: The whole thorns are the main spines and l~2 branches; The main spines are long conical or oblate, with a length of 3~15 cm or 5~18 cm or longer, 0.3~1 cm in diameter, the base is 8~12 mm thick, and the end tip is pointed. Branch spines are spirally arranged, forming an angle of 60~80 degrees with the main spine, and stretching around, with sharp thorn ends, generally about 1~7 cm long; There are often smaller spines on the secondary branches, and the inner side of the base of the branch thorns often presents a small mound-like bulge; The herb is purple-brown or brown, smooth or finely wrinkled. The herb is light, and the texture of the herb is firm and hard, not easily broken. Commodities are cut into inclined thin slices, usually long lanceolate, 2~6 cm long, 3~7 mm wide, and 1~3 mm thick. It usually has a tapering thorn end, the xylem of the cross-section is yellow-white, and the central pith part is loose and soft, which is light reddish or reddish-brown. The texture of the herb is crisp, easily broken, it has a slight odor or odorless, mild tastes, or tasteless. The herb of a better grade is in a thin slice, without impurity, exscapose, brown-purple, brown-red in the center of the slice, and has a spongy core.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anticancer effect; ②.bacteriostasis: The water decoction has an inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus and Mlicrococcus catarrhalis.

 Medicinal efficacy: Detumescence and draining toxin, removing the wind, draw out the poison, eliminate the pernicious influence and prompt eruption of pus, drainage of pus, kill parasites. It is indicated for the onset of ulcer or pus formed and failure to ulcerate, swollen carbuncles, warts, ulcers, scrofula (lymphoid tuberculosis), sore ulcer and stubborn dermatitis, tinea sore, postpartum hypogalactia, retention of afterbirth, externally for scabies and leprosy.

 Administration of Spina Gleditsiae (Zào Jiǎo Cì): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Spina Gleditsiae (Zào Jiǎo Cì)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 3~9 grams. Externally:proper amount, steaming with vinegar and smear liquid at affected area; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1~3 qian (about 3~9 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:decoct with vinegar and smear apply, prepare to ground herb powder and sprinkle apply, or mixed and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~9 grams, prepared to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, decoct with vinegar and smear apply, prepare to ground herb powder and sprinkle apply, or mixed and apply stick.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions:should avoid using the herb Spina Gleditsiae during pregnancy.




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