Introduction of Xiang Yuan:Citron Fruit or Fructus Citri.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Citron Fruit, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Citrus medica L., ②.Citrus wilsonii Tanaka., 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 Citron Fruit, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Fructus Citri(Citron Fruit).

Fructus Citri:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Xiānɡ Yuán.
 English Name: Citron Fruit.
 Latin Name: Fructus Citri.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, bitter, sour.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Citri is the dried ripe fruit of Citrus medica L. or Citrus wilsonii Tanaka, used to soothe the liver, regulate Qi, and resolve phlegm for the treatment of gastric distension with pain and fullness sensation in the chest, as well as cough with profuse phlegm. The herb is commonly known as Fructus Citri, Citron Fruit, Xiānɡ Yuán.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Fructus Citri (Citron Fruit) as the dried ripe fruit of the species (1). Citrus medica L., or (2). Citrus wilsonii Tanaka. They are plants of the Citrus L. genus, the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) of the Rutales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Citrus medica L.


 Citrus medica L.:fruiting tree and dried fruit 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 mucronate, base is wide cuneate, margin is serrate, has translucent oily glandular points.

 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.

 Citrus medica L.:fruiting tree 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.

 Citron Fruit:herb photo 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.

 Citrus medica L.:fresh fruit Pharmacological actions: ①.promote gastrointestinal peristalsis; ②.expectorant; ③.inhibit thrombosis.

 Medicinal efficacy: Soothe the liver and regulating Qi, regulating Qi and calm the adverse-rising energy, relieve stagnation, relieve diaphragm, relieving stuffiness of the chest, reduce phlegm. It is indicated for the stagnation of liver-QI and stomach-QI, stomachache distension and fullness, fullness pain in chest and hypochondrium, fullness and stuffy in chest and abdomen, epigastric belly puffiness, vomiting and belching, vomit and poor appetite, much phlegm and cough, phlegm and retained fluid with cough, etc.

 Administration of Fructus Citri (Xiānɡ Yuán): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Citri (Xiānɡ Yuán)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1~2 qian (about 3~6 grams), or prepare to pill, powder; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~6 grams, prepared to pill, powder.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Fructus Citri should be used cautiously in conditions Qi deficiency during pregnancy.

(2).Citrus wilsonii Tanaka.


 Citrus wilsonii Tanaka.:fruiting tree Botanical description: Citrus wilsonii Tanaka is commonly known as Xiānɡ Yuán. An evergreen tree, the tree grows up to 9~11 meters tall. The entire plant is glabrous, and has short spines. Leaves are alternate; Petiole has obcordate wide wings, about 1/3 or l/4 length of the leaf blade; Leaf blade is coriaceous, elliptic or oblong, 5~12 cm long, 2~5 cm wide, the apex is short and obtuse, or acuminate, slightly emarginated, base is blunt, entire or undulated serrate, both surfaces are glabrous, with translucent oily glandular points.

 Citrus wilsonii Tanaka.:fruiting tree Flowers are solitary or tufty, also into racemes, white flowers; 25~36 stamens; Ovary is 10-loculed or 11-loculed.

 Hesperidium is oblong, round or oblate, transverse diameter is 5~9 cm, apex has papillae, the pericarp is usually coarse and rugous or smooth, turns orange yellow when it is mature, aromatic; many seeds are. Its flowering period is from April to May, the fruiting period is from October to November.

 Ecological environment: Citrus wilsonii Tanaka is mainly cultivated in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze river, and other areas in China.

 Citrus wilsonii Tanaka.:fruiting tree Characters of herbs: The herb fruit is subsphaeroidal (subglobular), its slices are round, 4~7 cm in diameter. The surface is celadon (sage green) or yellowish-brown, coarse and rough, densely covered with small sunken oil spots, with style remnants and circular ring grain (fringes) on the top, which are commonly called "golden coin rings", there are fruit stalk marks at the base. The texture of the herb is firm and hard, with conspicuous oil spots on the edge of the cross-section, the mesocarp is about 0.5 cm thick, and the pulp of the fruit has 9~12 fruit valves, brown or pale brown, with yellowish-white seeds. The herb has a fragrant odor, it tastes sour and bitter. The herb of a better grade is big, the pericarp is coarse, greenish-black, with a strong fragrance.
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Xiang Yuan:Citron Fruit or Fructus Citri.

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