Introduction of Xie Bai:Longstamen Onion or Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Longstamen Onion, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its herbal classic book defined botanical source two plant species, ①.Allium macrostemon Bunge., ②.Allium chinense G. Don., and other usable two plant species, ③.Allium neriniflorum (Herb.) Baker., ④.Allium caeruleum Pall., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Longstamen Onion, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni(Longstamen Onion).

Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Xiè Bái.
 English Name: Longstamen Onion.
 Latin Name: Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni is the dried bulb of Allium macrostemon Bunge., used to unblock and regulate Yang-Qi and remove stagnation in the treatment of angina pectoris with stuffiness sensation in the chest, and also for treating tenesmus in cases of dysentery. The herb is also known as Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni, Longstamen Onion, Longstamen Onion Bulb, Xiè Bái.

 Allium macrostemon Bunge.:flowering plant Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni(Longstamen Onion) as the dried bulb of the species (1). Allium macrostemon Bunge., or (2). Allium chinense G. Don. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni(Longstamen Onion) as the dried bulb of the species (1). Allium macrostemon Bunge., or (2). Allium chinense G. Don., or (3). Allium neriniflorum (Herb.) Baker., or (4). Allium caeruleum Pall. They are plants of the Alliaceae genus, the Liliaceae family (lily family) of the Liliflorae order. These commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Allium macrostemon Bunge.

 Allium macrostemon Bunge.:plant with rhizome Botanical description: Allium macrostemon Bunge., is also known as Allium macrostemon Bunge var.uratense (Franch.) Airy-Shaw., is commonly known as Xiǎo Gēn Suàn (means "garlic with small roots"), Cài Zhī, Xiǎo Gēn Cài, Zǐ Gēn Suàn, or Tuán Cōng. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 30~60 cm tall. Bulbs are subsphaeroidal (subglobular), 0.7~1.5 cm in diameter, with 1~3 bulbules (bulblets) attached to the side, white membranous scales on the outside, later turning black. Leaves are alternate; Leaf color is verdant (pale green), semi-cylindrical narrow filate, hollow, 20~40 cm long, 2~4 mm wide, the apex is acuminate, the base is sheathed and amplexicaular (stem-clasping).

 Allium macrostemon Bunge.:flowering plant The scape (flower stalk) is solitary, upright, 30~70 cm tall, umbels are apical, spheric shape (globular), membranous bracts underneath, oval (egg-shaped), apex is long pointed; Pedicels are 1~2 cm long, some inflorescence has only a few florets, and with many succulent bulbiets, even completely change to bulbiets; 6 tepals (perianth lobes), pink or roseous (rosiness); 6 stamens, longer than perianth, filaments are thin and long, lower part is slightly enlarged; Ovary is superior, spheric shape (globular).

 The capsularfruit is obovate, the apex is concave. Its flowering period is from May to June, the fruiting period is from August to September.

 Allium macrostemon Bunge.:flowering plant Ecological environment: The plant grows in cultivated land weeds and dry places in the mountains. It prefers a cool climate. It was dormant in the high-temperature period in summer. In spring and autumn, the plant is vigorous. It grows in the field, hillsides and mountain slopes, dry grassland, forest edge, wasteland, valley, and grass in areas at altitudes below 1,500 meters above sea level, often growing into pieces, forming a dominant group. The plant is distributed in the northwest, southwest, and northern areas, the middle and lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Allium macrostemon Bge prefers a warm and moist climate. It is appropriate to choose loose and fertile, humus-rich, loam or sandy loam with good drainage for cultivation.

 Longstamen Onion:herb photo Characters of herbs: The bulb is irregularly oval (irregularly egg-shaped), 0.5~2.0 cm long, and 0.7~1.8 cm in diameter. The surface is yellowish-white or fallow (pale yellowish-brown), wizened (wizzled), translucent, with longitudinal grooves and wrinkles, or covered with off-white membranous scales, with residual stem base or stem marks on the top, and protruding squamous bulb disc at the base. The texture of the herb is firm and hard, keratose (corneous), not easily broken, and the fracture surface is yellowish-white. The herb has a slight garlic odor, it tastes mild spicy. The herb of better grade is big and full, the texture of the herb is firm and hard, yellowish-white, and translucent.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.promote fibrin to dissolve; ②.lower blood lipids and serum peroxidation lipids; ③.inhibit platelet aggregation and release; ④.inhibit arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation; ⑤.inhibitory effect on Shigella dysenteriae, staphylococcus aureus, and pneumococcus.

 Medicinal efficacy: Activating Yang and eliminating stagnation, regulates Qi, relieving stuffiness of the chest, promoting the circulation of qi stagnation, and removing food stagnation. It is indicated for obstruction of Qi in the chest and pain, obstruction of Qi in the chest and chest pain radiating to the back, stuffiness and chest congestion, chest congestion and uncomfortable, epigastric pain, cough and asthma with much sputum, phlegm and fluid retention with cough and asthma, retching, severe diarrhea, leukorrhoea, sore and furuncle and carbuncle swelling.

 Administration of Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni (Xiè Bái): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni (Xiè Bái)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:5~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction,1.5~3 qian (about 4.5~9 grams), fresh herb 1~2 liang (about 30~60 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally: mashed the herb and apply stick, or extract juice and smear; ③.Internally: water decoction,5~10 grams, fresh herb 30~60 grams, or prepared to pill, powder, or cook porridge. Externally: proper amount, mashed and apply stick, or extract juice and smear.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni should not combine with leek.

(2).Allium chinense G. Don.

 Allium chinense G. Don.:flowering plant Botanical description: Allium chinense G. Don., is commonly known as Xiè, Huǒ Cōng, Qiáo Tóu. It is similar to Allium macrostemon Bunge. The main differences are: several bulbs are aggregated, narrowly ovate, 1~1.5 cm in diameter; the bulb coat is white or reddish, membranous, and not broken. Leaves are basal, 2~5; Terete with 3~5 ridges, hollow, nearly equal length as scape.

 Allium chinense G. Don.:flowering plant Scape is lateral, terete (cylindrical), 20~40 cm tall, involucre is membranous, 2-lobed, persistent, umbels are semiglobe (semi-spherical), loosely, pedicels are 2~4 times the length of perianth, bracteate; Flowers are mauve (lavender or lilac) to royal purple (bluish violet), 6 tepals, 4~6 mm long, broadly elliptic to orbicular, obtuse; Filaments are 2 times the length of perianth, only basal part connate and adnate with perianth, the base of inner whorl is enlarged, 1 tooth on each side, outer whorl is toothless; Ovary is broadly obovate, base has 3 concave holes with a cover; Style extends beyond perianth. Its flowering and fruiting period is from October to November.

 Allium chinense G. Don.:flowering plant Ecological environment: Allium chinense G. Don. has strong adaptability and can be cultivated in soil with a pH value (pH scale:acidity-basicity) of 6.0~8.0. The plant can adapt to weak light, good drainage, and fertile soil loam or sandy soil is appropriate. Allium chinense growth is stagnant in the cold winter. In the next April, it begins to grow again. The plant develops well in a cold climate, and the leaves grow in a cold climate. The growth temperature of the plant is 15~21 °C (Celsius, or 59~69.8 degrees Fahrenheit), but it still grows slowly at 5~10 °C (Celsius, or 41~50 degrees Fahrenheit). The bulb expansion is at 20 °C (Celsius, or 68 degrees Fahrenheit), and the plant is in dormancy when the temperature is higher than 30 °C (Celsius, or 86 degrees Fahrenheit). It is native to China and is widely cultivated and grows wild in the Yangtze River basin and the southern regions. The plant also grows in the USA (the United States of America), Cambodia, and Laos.

 Allium chinense G. Don.:flowering plant Characters of herbs: The bulb is a slightly flat oval, 1~3 cm high, and 1~1.5 cm in diameter. The surface is yellowish-brown or tan (chocolate brown), with shallow longitudinal wrinkles. The texture of the herb is soft, and has 2~3 layers of scales on the fracture surface. The herb is sticky to the teeth when it is chewed. The herb of better grade is big and full, and the texture of the herb is firm, yellowish-white, and translucent.

(3).Allium neriniflorum (Herb.) Baker.

 Allium meriniflorum Herb.Baker.:growing plant Botanical description: Allium neriniflorum (Herb.) Baker., is also known as Calos cordum neriniflorum Herb., is commonly known as Cháng Gěng Xiè Bái (means long stem allium herb), or Cháng Gěng Jiǔ. The plant has no odor of onion and garlic. Bulbs are solitary, ovoid, or subsphaeroidal (subglobular), 1~2 cm in diameter; Bulb coat is grayish-black, membranous, not cracked, endothelium is white. Leaves are terete (cylindrical) or nearly semi-cylindrical, hollow, longitudinal ridge, fine coarse teeth along the longitudinal ridge, the same length as or longer than the scape, 1~3 mm wide.

 Umbels are scattered; Pedicels are unequal length, 7~11 cm long, the base has bracteoles (bractlet); Flowers are red to prunus (violet red); the base of tapel (perianth lobe) converge to each other and fistuliform (tubelike), tapels(perianth lobes) are 7~10 mm long, each cell of the ovary has 6 ovules. Its flowering and fruiting period is from July to September.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows on hillsides or mountain slopes, grasslands, or sandy beaches, in areas at altitudes below 2,000 meters above sea level. It is mainly distributed in the north area of China.

 Characters of herbs: The bulb is ovoid, 1~2 cm in diameter. The herb of better grade is big, full, the texture of the herb is firm, yellowish-white, translucent.

(4).Allium caeruleum Pall.

 Botanical description: Allium caeruleum Pall., is commonly known as Tiān Lán Xiǎo Gēn Suàn (means sky blue garlic with small roots), or Léng Yè Jiǔ (means leek with prism leaves), or Lán Huā Shān Suàn (means blue flower mountain garlic). Bulbs are subsphaeroidal (near-spherical), 1~2 cm in diameter, the base often has bulbules (bulblets) with a dark purple out coat. The bulb coat is dark gray, papery, not cracked or broken, endothelium is white and membranous. 3~5 leaves, strip-shaped, the back surface has 1 longitudinal ridge, sometimes is 3-ribbed strip, often tortuose when it is dried, shorter than scape, 2~5 mm wide, gradually dried up and dying at flowering; Leaf blade and leaf sheath are smooth or finely coarse dentate along longitudinal veins.

 The scapes are 25~85 cm high; Umbels are spherical or semiglobe (semi-spherical), have many and dense flowers, and sometimes has bulbiet; pedicle is subequal (nearly equal length), 2~6 times longer than perianth. Flowers are sky blue, when the flower is dried it often turns royal purple (bluish violet). Its flowering and fruiting period is from June to August.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows on drier hillsides or mountain slopes, or grasslands, in areas at altitudes between 1,100 and 2,300 meters above sea level. It is mainly distributed in the northern area of Tianshan Mountain, Xinjiang of China.

 Characters of herbs: The bulb is subsphaeroidal (subglobular), 1~2 cm in diameter. The herb of better grade is big and full, and the texture of the herb is firm, yellowish-white, and translucent.
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