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

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The TCM herbalism is also known as pharmaceutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Chinese pharmaceutics, is the branch of health science dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and proper utilization of Chinese herbs. It is majorly composed of Introduction of Chinese Medicinals, Classification of Chinese Herbs, Formulas, and Patent medicines.

Classifications of Herbs:Herbs regulating the flow of Qi.

 TCM Herbs Icon10 Introduction: Herbs regulating the flow of Qi: also known as Qi-regulating herbs, an agent or substance that regulates the activity of Qi to treat Qi stagnation or adverse Qi flow, also known as Qi-moving herbs.

 
Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni(Longstamen Onion).

Longstamen Onion 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 Bge.(family Liliaceae), 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 Bge. Botanical source: Official herbal classics defined the herb Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni(Longstamen Onion) as the dried bulb of the species (1). Allium macrostemon Bge., or (2). Allium chinensis G. Don. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni(Longstamen Onion) as the dried bulb of the species (1). Allium macrostemon Bge., or (2). Allium chinensis G. Don., or (3). Allium meriniflorum(Herb.) Baker., or (4). Allium caeruleum Pall. They are plants of the Alliaceae genus, the Liliaceae family of the Liliflorae order. These commonly used species are introduced as:

 Allium macrostemon Bge. (1).Allium macrostemon Bge.:
 Botanical description: The plant is commonly known as Xiǎo Gēn Suàn(literally it means "garlic with small roots"). The perennial herb grows up to 30~60 cm tall. Bulbs subglobose, 0.7~1.5 cm in diameter, with 1~3 small bulbs attached to the side, white membranous scales on the outside, later turns black. Leaves are alternate; Leaves color pale green, semi-terete narrowly linear, hollow, 20~40 cm long, 2~4 mm wide, apex acuminate, base sheath clasped. The flower stem is simple, erect, 30~70 cm tall, inflorescences are terminal, globose, submembranous bracts, ovate, apex long; Pedicels 1~2 cm long, some inflorescence only a few florets, and with many succulent bead buds, even completely changed the size of plant bud; 6 tepals, pink or rose; 6 stamens, longer than perianth, filaments slender, lower part slightly enlarged; Ovary superior, globose. The capsule is obovate, apex concave. Its flowering period is from May to June, the fruiting period is from August to September.

 Allium macrostemon Bge. Bulb terete, with stout root bulb coat white, membranous, undivided, or rarely ruptured into fibers. Leaves are striate, flattened, with distinct midrib, nearly as long as a scape, 4~10 mm wide. The scape is prismatic, with 2~3 longitudinal ribs or narrow wings, 20~50~60 cm high, middle thick 1.5~2~3.5 mm, lower leaf-sheathing involucre 2~3-lobed, caducous inflorescences sparsely flowered, loosely, pedicels nearly equal, 2~5 times longer than perianth, apex often pendulous, base without bracteoles. The flower is bell shape, red-purple, and purple flowers grow 8~12 mm, concave, apex truncation or wide ocean shipping oblong, navicular, inside round oval oblong, slightly longer than ocean shipping and narrow filaments isometric, slightly longer than or longer than perianth segment, such as cone, at the base connate with tepals stick raw ovary ovoid spherical, apex sometimes have six angle protrusion styles out of flowers. Its fruiting period is from August to October.

 Allium macrostemon Bge. 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, hillside, dry grassland, forest edge, wasteland, valley, grass below the altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level, often grow into pieces, forming a dominant group. The plant distributes in northwest, southwest, north, 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 humid climate. It is advisable to cultivate in loam or sandy loam with loose and fertile, rich humus and good drainage.

 Characters of herbs: It is irregular oval, 0.5~1.5 cm high, 0.5~1.8 cm in diameter. The surface is yellow-white or yellowish-brown, wrinkled, translucent, covered with nearly white membranous scales, base with raised bulb disk. Hard and horny. It smells of garlic and is slightly spicy. The herb in big size, full, qualitative firm, yellow-white, translucent is better.

 Pharmacological actions: The herb Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni can promote fibrin to dissolve, lower blood lipids and serum peroxidation lipids, inhibit platelet aggregation and release, inhibit arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation. The decoction of Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni has an inhibitory effect on Shigella dysenteriae, staphylococcus aureus, and pneumococcus. The activity of serum peroxide dismutase (SOD), catalase(scavenger enzymes), and T lymphocyte are significantly enhanced, the formation of serum lipid peroxidation is inhibited by gastric administration of juice from Allium macrostemon.

 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: Internally:5~9 grams(CP), 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(DCTM), 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(CHMM).


 Allium chinensis G. Don. (2).Allium chinensis G. Don.:
 Botanical description: The plant is commonly known as Xiè. It is similar to the previous one. The main differences are: many bulbs agglutinate, narrowly ovate, 1~1.5 cm in diameter; Bulb coat white or reddish, membranous, not ruptured. Leaves basal, 2~5; Terete with 3~5 rows, hollow, nearly as long as scape. Scape lateral, terete, 20~40 cm tall, involucre membranous, 2-lobed persistent, inflorescences semispherical, loosely, pedicels 2~4 times as long as perianth, bracteate; Flowers mauve to blue-violet, 6 tepals, 4~6 mm long, broadly elliptic to subcircular, obtuse; Filaments 2 times as long as perianth, only basal part united and adnate to perianth, the base of inner wheel enlarged, 1 tooth on each side, outer wheel toothless. Ovary broadly obovate, base with 3 covered recesses; Style extends perianth. Its flowering and fruiting period is from October to November.

 Allium chinensis G. Don. Bulbs several united, narrowly ovate, thick 0.5~2 cm; Bulb coat white or reddish, membranous, not ruptured. 2~5 leaves, terete with 3-5 rows, hollow, nearly as long as a scape, 1~3 mm thick.

 Allium chinensis G. Don. Scape is lateral, terete, 20~40 cm tall, lower part is covered by leaf sheath; Involucre 2-lobed, shorter than umbel; Inflorescences are subhemispherical, looser; Pedicel subequal, 1~4 times longer than tepals, base with bracteoles; Flowers are lavender to dark purple; Tepals are broadly elliptic to subcircular, apex obtuse, 4~6 mm long, 3~4 mm wide, slightly longer of the inner wheel; Filaments are equal in length, about 1.5 times the length of the perianth, only base connate and adnate with the perianth, the base of the inner wheel is enlarged, enlarged part with 1 tooth on each side, outer wheel is toothless, conical; Ovary obovate-ovoid, a recessed honey hole with curtain at base of the abdominal suture; Styles protrude from perianth. Its fruiting period is from October to November.

 Allium chinensis G. Don. Ecological environment: Allium chinensis G. Don. has strong adaptability and can be grown in soil with a pH value of 6.0~8.0. This kind can adapt to weak light, good drainage, fertile soil loam or sandy soil is appropriate. Allium chinense growth is stagnant in the cold winter. The next April it began 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 ℃, but it still grows slowly at 5~10 ℃. The bulb expansion is at 20 ℃, and the plant dormancy when the temperature is higher than 30 ℃. It is native to China and is widely cultivated and grows wild in the Yangtze river basin and the southern provinces and regions. It also grows in Cambodia, Laos, and the United States of America.

 Characters of herbs: Long oval slightly oblate, 1~3 cm high, 0.3~1.2 cm in diameter. The surface is yellowish-brown or tan, with shallow longitudinal wrinkles. Soft, the cross-section can be seen scale leaf 2-3 layers, when chewing it stick the teeth. The herb which is big, full, qualitative firm, yellow-white, translucent is better.

 Allium meriniflorum Herb.Baker. (3).Allium meriniflorum(Herb.)Baker.:
 Botanical description: The plant is commonly known as Cháng Gěng Xiè Bái(literally it means "long stem allium herb"). The plant does not smell of onion and garlic. Bulbs are solitary, ovoid or subglobose, 1~2 cm in diameter; Bulb coat is grayish-black, membranous, not ruptured, endothelium white. Leaves terete or sub-semi-circular, hollow, longitudinally ribbed, finely striate along longitudinally ribbed, as long as or longer than scape, 1~3 mm wide. Umbellate inflorescence evacuated; Pedicel unequal, 7~11 cm long, base with bracteoles; Flowers are red to purplish-red; Perianth segments basal to each other synthetic tubular, perianth segments 7~10 mm long, ovary 6 ovules per compartment. Its flowering period is from July to September.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows on slopes, grasslands, or sandy beaches below an elevation of 2,000 meters above sea level. It mainly distributes in the north area of China.

 Characters of herbs: Bulb globose, 1~2 cm in diameter. The herb which is big, full, qualitative firm, yellow-white, translucent is better.

 (4).Allium caeruleum Pall.:
 Botanical description: The plant is commonly known as Tiān Lán Xiǎo Gēn Suàn(literally it means "sky blue garlic with small roots"), or Léng Yè Jiǔ(literally it means "leek with prism leaves"). Bulbs subglobose, 1~2 cm in diameter, base often with small purple outer bulb. Bulb coat is dark gray, papery, not ruptured, endothelium white, membranous. 3~5 leaves, striate, abaxially 1 longitudinal, sometimes 3-ribbed, often twisted when dry, shorter than scape, 2~5 mm wide, gradually dying at flowering; Leaf blade and leaf sheath smooth or finely coarsely dentate along longitudinal veins. The scapes are 25~85 cm high; Inflorescence globose or hemispherical, with many and densely flowered, sometimes beaded; Pedicel subequal, 2~6 times longer than perianth. Flowers are sky blue, when the flower is dried it often turns bluish purple. Its flowering and fruiting period is from June to August.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows on drier slopes or grasslands with altitude between 1,100 and 2,300 meters above sea level. It mainly distributes in North of Tianshan mountain, Xinjiang of China.

 Characters of herbs: Rhizome bulbs are subglobose, 1~2 cm in diameter. The herb which is big, full, qualitative firm, yellow-white, translucent is better.
 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Xie Bai:Longstamen Onion or Bulbus Allii Macrostemoni.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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