Introduction of Xi Hong Hua:Crocus,Saffron or Stigma Croci.

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

Stigma Croci(Crocus,Saffron).

Stigma Croci:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Xī Hónɡ Huā, or Fān Hónɡ Huā
 English Name: Crocus,Saffron.
 Latin Name: Stigma Croci.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Stigma Croci is the dried stigma of Crocus sativus L., used in the same way as Flos Carthami. The herb is commonly known as Stigma Croci, Crocus, Saffron, Xī Hónɡ Huā, or Fān Hónɡ Huā.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Stigma Croci(Crocus, Saffron) as the dried stigma of the species (1). Crocus sativus L. It is a plant of the Crocus genus, the Iridaceae family (iris family) of the Liliflorae order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Crocus sativus L.

 Crocus sativus L.:growing plant with bud Botanical description: The plant is commonly known as Fān Hónɡ Huā, Xī Hónɡ Huā, Zàng Hónɡ Huā. The Crocus is a perennial herb. The bulb is oblate globose, ca. 3 cm in diameter, covered with yellowish-brown membranous envelope. Leaves are basal, 9~15, striate, grayish-green, 15~20 cm long, 2~3 mm wide, margin reversed; The base of the leaf plexus is covered with 4~5 membranous sheathed leaves.

 The flower stem is very short, does not protrude the ground; 1~2 flowers, pale blue, red-purple or white, fragrant, 2.5~3 cm in diameter; Perianth lobes 6,2 rounds, inner and outer perianth lobes are obovate, tip obtuse, 4~5 cm long; Stamens are upright, 2.5 cm long, anthers are yellow, apex is pointed, slightly curved; Style is orange-red, ca. 4 cm long, upper part is 3 branched, branches bent and pendulous, stigma is slightly flat, apex is cuneate, shallower toothed, longer than stamens, ovary is narrowly fusiform. The capsularfruit is elliptic, ca. 3 cm long.

 Crocus sativus L.:growing plants with flower buds Stigma is linear, apex is broad, caudate tapering downward, apex margin is unevenly dentate, lower end with residual yellow branches. It is about 2.5 cm long and 1.5 mm in diameter. Purplish red or dark reddish-brown, slightly lustrous. The body is light, soft, dry brittle, and easy to break. If the stigma is put into water, it will expand. It can be seen that the orange color drops in a straight line and gradually diffuses, and the water will be dyed yellow. It won't break with a needle in a short time. The odor is specific, slightly stimulating, slightly bitter taste. The herb which is long, lubricious purplish red, moist and burnishes, yellow style fewer, flavor spicy and cool is better.

 Crocus sativus L.:flowering plants Ecological Environment: The plant was native to Persia and the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, and Iran, it is cultivated in the southwest of China. Crocuses are thought to be native to the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, and Iran. It was planted in Iran and Kashmir and is believed to have been introduced into China later, and was recorded in the Compendium of Materia Medica (1552~1578). The main cultivation centers of early-stage are Silesia and Asia minor. It was recorded in an English medical book of the 10th century. It ever disappeared in Western Europe until the crusaders reintroduced it, and for many periods saffron was worth more than its weight in gold and is still the most valuable spice in the world today. The herb is mainly distributed in Iran, France, Italy's Apennines mountains, and Sicily, Kashmir, Xizang of China. Iran is the biggest Crocus producer in the world today.

 Crocus sativus L.:flower and stigma Growing habits: bulbous flowers for autumn, crocus origin of Southern Europe. It prefers cold, moist, and semi-shade environment, and is hardy to cold. It is suitable for sandy loam with good drainage and rich humus. Its suitable pH value (pH scale:acidity-basicity) is 5.5 to 6.5. Bulb dormancy in summer, fall hair root, bud leaf. In late October, flowers are in blossom by day and close by night.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Crocus sativus prefers a warm and humid climate, afraid of heat, cold. Seedlings can withstand a low temperature of about -10 °C (Celsius, or 14 degrees Fahrenheit); the flowering temperature is 14~20 °C (Celsius, or 57.2~68 degrees Fahrenheit), the soil temperature is 14~15 °C (Celsius, or 57.2~59 degrees Fahrenheit); The optimum temperature for the growth of the above ground part is 15 °C (Celsius, or 59 degrees Fahrenheit). Better to choose sunny, loose, and fertile land. A sandy loam rich in humus and well-drained is preferable. Avoid continuous cropping, avoid waterlogging.

 Crocus,Saffron:herb photo Characters of herbs: The complete stigma is linear, the apex is wider, tapering down into a tail shape, the edge of the apex has irregular teeth, and the lower end is a residual yellow flower branch. It is about 2.5 cm long and 1.5 mm in diameter. Purple or dark reddish-brown, slightly shiny. The herb is light, the texture of the herb is soft, brittle, and easily broken after drying. When the stigma is put into water, it will swell. It can be seen that the orange-yellow color drops linearly and gradually spreads, and the water is dyed yellow. There is no precipitation, and the stigma is trumpet-shaped with short slits. The herb has a peculiar odor, it tastes slightly irritating and slightly bitter. The herb of better grade is long, purple-red, moist, and shiny, with few yellow styles, tastes spicy and cool.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anticoagulant effect; ②.exciting uterine effect; ③.lower blood pressure and stimulate breathing; ④. treatment of experimental glomerulonephritis; ⑤.anti-tumor effect; ⑥.influence on learning and memory; ⑦.other effects:enhance the immune response function,lower cholesterol level(hypolipemic),choleretic effect, adaptogen activity, anti-stress, antifatigue effect, and so on.

 Medicinal efficacy: Activate blood circulation and remove blood stasis, cool blood and detoxify, disperse stagnation and removing stasis, resolving stagnation for tranquilization. It is indicated for amenorrhea and abdominal mass, dysmenorrhea (abdominal pain after menstruation), irregular menstruation, postpartum stasis obstruction, postpartum persistent flow of lochia, abdominal mass pain, febrile virulent maculae, pestilent maculae, measles, melancholy and stuffiness and chest congestion, panic or palpitation due to fright, palpitation due to fright and delirium, fall injury, etc.

 Administration of Stigma Croci (Xī Hónɡ Huā): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Stigma Croci (Xī Hónɡ Huā)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:1~3 grams, water decoction, or infusing with boiling water and drink; ②.Internally:water decoction,1~3 grams, brewing with hot water, or infusing in wine and cook.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Stigma Croci should be used cautiously during pregnancy.

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