Introduction of Zhi Shi:Immature Orange Fruit or Fructus Aurantii Immaturus.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Immature Orange Fruit, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its herbal classic book defined botanical source two plant species, ①.Citrus aurantium L., ②.Citrus sinensis Osbeck., and other two usable plant species, ③.Poncirus trifoliata, ④.Citrus medica Linn. with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these three plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these three plant species, the features of the herb Immature Orange Fruit, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Fructus Aurantii Immaturus(Immature Orange Fruit).

Fructus Aurantii Immaturus:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Zhǐ Shí.
 English Name: Immature Orange Fruit.
 Latin Name: Fructus Aurantii Immaturus.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, sour, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Aurantii Immaturus is the dried small immature fruit of Citrus aurantium L. and its cultivated varieties or Citrus sinensis Osbeck with a diameter under 2.5 cm, used for treating dyspepsia, constipation, and abdominal distension due to food stagnation, and served in large doses for treating visceroptosis. The herb is commonly known as Fructus Aurantii Immaturus, Immature Orange Fruit, Zhǐ Shí.

 Botanical source: The herb Immature Orange Fruit is the dried small immature fruit of (1). Citrus aurantium L. and its cultivated varieties or (2). Citrus sinensis Osbeck with a diameter under 2.5 cm, they are plants of the Citrus genus, the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) of the Sapindales order. Actually, the small immature fruit of other species is also in use:(3). Poncirus trifoliata, and (4). Citrus medica Linn. The 2nd species is introduced in the above section titled "Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae (Dried Tangerine Peel)". The other 3 species are introduced:

(1).Citrus aurantium L.


 Citrus aurantium L.:fruiting tree Botanical description: Citrus aurantium L is a plant of the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) and Citrus L. genus, it is commonly known as Citrus aurantium L, bitter orange, seville orange, sour orange, bigarade orange, or marmalade orange, or Suān Chéng (means sour orange), or Suān Chéng Zhǐ Shí, Tóu Pí Chéng, Gōu Tóu Chéng. An evergreen small tree. The small tree has dense branches, branches are prismatic, and have long spines. Leaves are alternate; petioles have narrow and long or narrow long obcordate leaf wings, 8~15 mm long, 3~6 mm wide; leaf blades are coriaceous, obovate-elliptic or ovate-oblong, 3.5~10 cm long, 1.5~5 cm wide, the apex is short and obtuse, acuminate or emarginate (slightly concave), base is cuneate or round, entire or slightly undulated (sinuolate), has translucent oil spots.

 Flowers are solitary, or several flowers cluster in leaf axils and on the tip of the same year branches, white, fragrant; the calyx is cotyloid (cuplike), 5-lobed or 4-lobed; 5 flower petals, oblong, elliptic or suborbicular; over 20 stamens; the ovary is superior, the pistil is shorter than stamen, style is capitate.

 Citrus aurantium L.:fruiting tree Hesperidium is subsphaeroidal (subglobular), round or oblate, slightly thick to very thick, hard to peel off, orange yellow to vermilion when it is mature, uneven size, uneven, farctate or half full, 10~13 segments, the fruit is sour, sometimes bitter with specific smell; Seeds are many and large, often ribbed, the cotyledon is cream white (milky white), single embryone or multiple embryones. Its flowering period is from April to May, the fruiting period is from June to November.

 Ecological environment: Citrus aurantium L grows and is cultivated on hills, low mountains, and near rivers and lakes. It was native to tropical Asia, this tree now grows throughout the tropics and subtropics. Orchards of bitter orange are found along the Mediterranean coast.

 Growth characteristics: The small tree Citrus aurantium prefers a warm and moist climate, resistant to shade. The annual average temperature requirement is over 15 °C (Celsius, or 59 degrees Fahrenheit), the effective temperature for germination is over 10 °C (Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit), the suitable temperature for growth is 20~25 °C (Celsius, or 68~77 degrees Fahrenheit), and it can grow safely over -5 °C (Celsius, or 23 degrees Fahrenheit), the lowest temperature is -9 °C (Celsius, or 15.8 degrees Fahrenheit), and the highest temperature is 40 °C (Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit). Yearly precipitation is 1,000~2,000 mm, and relative humidity is 75%. It is appropriate to choose a field with sufficient sunshine, deep soil layers, loose and fertile, humus-rich, slightly acid alluvial soil or acid yellow soil, and red loam with good drainage for cultivation.

 Immature Orange Fruit:herb photo Characters of herbs: The fruits are semiglobe (semi-spherical), or oval (egg-shaped), a few are spheric shape (globular), 0.5~2.5 cm in diameter. The exocarp (epicarp) is dark green (black green) or dark brown-green, with granular protrusions and wrinkles. The top end has conspicuous style remnants or fruit stalk marks, the base has floral disc remains or shedding marks of carpopodium (fruit stalk). The surface of the cross-section is smooth and slightly protuberant, ash gray (grayish white), 3~7 mm thick, has 1~2 rows of scattered sunken oil chambers (oil spots) on the edge, the mesocarp on the surface of the cross-section is slightly raised, 0.3~1.2 cm thick, yellow-white or yellowish-brown, the pulp has 7~12 segments, brown, the center has brownish sac, and in wheel lines. The texture of the herb is firm and hard. The herb has an aromatic fragrance, it tastes bitter and slightly sour.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anti-ulcer; ②.analgesia; ③.sedative; ④.anti-allergy; ⑤.anti-shock; ⑥.anti-thrombosis.

 Medicinal efficacy: Relieving stagnant Qi, resolving stasis and mass, reduce phlegm, removing food retention or Qi stagnation. It is indicated for indigestion and internal stagnation, distention and fullness swelling pain, chest and abdominal distension, thoracic obstruction, pain of mass, diarrhea and dysentery after tneesmus, constipation, thoracic obstruction due to phlegm stagnation and qi obstruction, phlegmatic mass, accumulation of pathogens in chest, edema, dyspepsia (indigestion), gastroptosis (stomach sagging), rectocele, uterine prolapse, etc.

 Administration of Fructus Aurantii Immaturus (Zhǐ Shí): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Aurantii Immaturus (Zhǐ Shí)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction,1~2 qian (about 3~6 grams),or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder and smear apply,or fried hot and iron; ③.Internally:water decoction,3~10 grams,prepared to pill, powder.Externally:proper amount,prepare to finely ground herb powder and smear apply,or fried hot and iron.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Fructus Aurantii Immaturus should be used cautiously during pregnancy.

(3).Poncirus trifoliata.


 Poncirus trifoliata.:growing trees Botanical description: Poncirus trifoliata is a plant of the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) and Citrus L. genus, it is commonly known as Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf, or Citrus trifoliata L., Zhǐ, Gǒu Jú, Tiě Lí Ba. A deciduous shrub or small tree. Stems are glabrous; many-branched, and the branchlets are flattened. Stem branches have stout and big axillary thorns, 1~5 cm long, the base of thorns is flattened. Leaves are alternate, trifoliolate compound leaves; Petioles are 1~3 cm long, 2~5 mm wide; Apical lobules (foliole) are obovate or elliptic, 1.5~6 cm long, 0.7~3 cm wide, the apex is emarginate (slightly concave) or rounded, the base is cuneate, the margin is inconspicuous minutely serrated. Lateral lobules are small, elliptic-ovate, the base is slightly inclined, pubescent on main veins when it is young and fresh, and has translucent oily glandular points.

 Poncirus trifoliata.:tree with green fruits Flowers are white, short stipitate (with short stalks), solitary or grow in pairs in biennial branches axils, often flowering before leaves grow out, aromatic; 5 sepals, ovate-triangular, 5~6 mm long; 5 petals, obovate-spatulate, 1.5~3 cm long, 0.5~1.5 cm wide; 8~20 stamens or more, of varying length; 1 pistil, ovary is subsphaeroidal (subglobular), densely pubescent, 6~8-loculed, each cell contains several ovules, style is stout and short, stigma is capitate.

 Hesperidium is spheric shape (globular), 2~5 cm long, turns orange-yellow when it is mature, densely pubescent, has many oily glandular points, is fragrant, carpopodium is stout and short, persistent, and grows on branches. Many seeds. Its flowering period is from April to May, the fruiting period is from July to October.

 Poncirus trifoliata.:tree with ripe fruits Ecological environment: Poncirus trifoliata grows and is cultivated along the roadsides and in outdoor gardens, as grass hedgerows. It is mainly cultivated in the Yellow River area, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the reaches of the Zhujiang River, the southwest area, and Taiwan, in China.

 Growth characteristics: Poncirus trifoliata., prefers bright sunlight, and a warm and humid climate, it can bear 20~28 °C (Celsius, or 68~82.4 degrees Fahrenheit) low temperature, and can flourish. The shrub prefers slightly acidic soil and is not resistant to alkali. The growth rate is moderate. Strong branching, resistant to pruning. The main root is shallow, with many fibrous roots.

 Characters of herbs: The fruit is spheric shape (globular), or into halves, 0.8~1.2 cm in diameter; the out surface is olive-brown (greenish-brown), densely covered with brownish-green trichomes, base has circular disc shape carpopodium marks; transverse cross-section is off-white, the edge is greenish-brown, sunken dots are visible, the pulp is yellowish-white, it tastes bitter and puckery.

(4).Citrus medica Linn.


 Citrus medica L.:fruiting tree Botanical description: Citrus medica Linn.(Citrus medica L.) is a plant of the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) and Citrus L. genus, it is commonly known as Citron Fruit, or Gǒu Yuán (means Citrus medica), Gǒu Yuán Zī (means fruit of Citrus medica). An evergreen small tree or shrub, the tree grows up to 9~11 meters tall. The whole plant is glabrous, branches have short and hard spines, fresh branches are smooth, prunus (violet-red). Leaves are alternate; short stipitate, has no leaf wings or slightly has marks, has no conspicuous nodes with leaf blade; leaf blades are oblong or obovate-oblong, 8~15 cm long, 3.5~6.5 cm wide, the apex is blunt or shortly sharp pointed, base is wide cuneate, margin is serrate, has translucent oily glandular points.

 Citrus medica L.:fruiting tree Racemes, Flowers are solitary or 3~10 flowers cluster in leaf axils; hermaphroditic flowers degenerate to male flowers for pistillode, short stipitate; the calyx is shallow cotyloid (cyathiform or cuplike), the upper tip is shallowly 5-lobed; 5 flower petals, the inner surface is white, out surface is mauve (lilac); 30~60 stamens; 1 pistil, the ovary is 10~13-loculed, each cell contains many ovules, style is hypertrophic, persistent, stigma is capitate.

 Hesperidium is oblong, oval (egg-shaped), or subsphaeroidal (subglobular), 10~25 cm long, apex has papillae, the pericarp is coarse or smooth, turns lemon yellow when it is mature, fragrant, pulp of the fruit is small; seeds are oval (egg-shaped), the surface of the seed is smooth. Its flowering period is in April, the fruiting period is from October to November.

 Ecological environment: Citrus medica Linn is cultivated in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze river, southwest areas, and the reaches of Zhujiang river in China.

 Growth characteristics: The small tree Citrus medica Linn. prefers a warm and moist climate, is afraid of severe frost, not tolerant to chilliness. It is appropriate to choose fields with deep soil layers, fertile and loose, humus-rich sandy loam with good drainage for cultivation.

 Citrus medica L.:fruiting tree Characters of herbs: Gou Yuan: the herb is a round or oblong slice, 3~10 cm in diameter, and about 2~5 mm thick. The edge of the cross-section is sinuolate (slightly undulated), and the exocarp is yellow-green or pale orange yellow, with scattered concave oil spots. The mesocarp is 1.5~3.5 cm thick, yellowish-white, coarse and rough, with irregular reticular protuberance (vascular bundles). The pulp has 11~16 segments, and sometimes red-brown shriveled juicy sac remains; 1~2 seeds. The fruit shaft is conspicuous, up to 1.2 cm wide. The texture of the herb is pliable and tough. The herb has a faint scent, it tastes slightly sweet, bitter, and spicy. The herb of a better grade has yellowish-white slices and a strong fragrance.

 According to ancient herbal classics, the fruit of the Citrus medica L was used as the botanical origin of the herb Fructus Aurantii Immaturus (Zhǐ Shí) in the ancient epoch Tang and Song dynasties, but until the Ming dynasty, it was classified as an adulterant.
 
Fructus Aurantii(Orange Fruit).

 Fructus Aurantii:herb photo Brief Introduction: The Herb Fructus Aurantii is the dried immature fruit of Citrus aurantium L. and its cultivated varieties with a diameter between 3~5 cm (family Rutaceae), used in the same way as immature orange fruit, with a milder effect. The herb is commonly known as Fructus Aurantii, Orange Fruit, Bitter Orange, Zhǐ Ké.

 Herbal classics defined the herb Fructus Aurantii(Orange Fruit) as the dried immature fruit of the species (1).Citrus aurantium L. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Fructus Aurantii(Orange Fruit) as the dried immature fruit of the species (2).Citrus sinensis (L.)Osbeck. They are plants of the Citrus L. genus, the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) of the Sapindales order. These 2 commonly used species were introduced in the above entries "Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae(Dried Tangerine Peel)" and "Fructus Aurantii Immaturus(Immature Orange Fruit)".
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Fructus Aurantii should be used cautiously during pregnancy.
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Zhi Shi:Immature Orange Fruit or Fructus Aurantii Immaturus.

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