Introduction of Fo Shou:Finger Citron or Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Finger Citron, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis (Noot.) Swingle., 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 Finger Citron, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis(Finger Citron).

dried yellowish herb slices of Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis Pin Yin Name: Fó Shǒu.
 English Name: Finger Citron.
 Latin Name: Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis is the dried fruit of Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis (Noot.) Swingle., used to soothe the liver, regulate Qi, harmonize the middle, resolve damp and phlegm for the treatment of Qi stagnation in the liver or disharmony between the spleen and stomach, as well as chronic cough with profuse expectoration. The herb is commonly known as Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis, finger citron, Fó Shǒu.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis (Finger Citron) as the dried fruit of the species (1).Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis (Noot.) Swingle. It is a plant of the Citrus L. genus, the Rutaceae family (rue, spurge olive family) of the Rutales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis (Noot.) Swingle.

 fruiting tree of Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis Swingle with many pendulous yellow fruits Botanical description: Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis (Noot.) Swingle is commonly known as Fó Shǒu. It is a varietas of Citrus medica. An evergreen shrub or small tree with irregular branches. Old branches are celadon (sage green), young branches are slightly prunus (violet-red), have short and hard spines, and spines grow up to 4 cm. New shoots, buds, and flower buds are dark purplish-red. Single leaves are alternate; Petioles are short, 3~6 mm long, has no winged petiole, no nodes; leaf blades are coriaceous, oblong oval or obovate-oblong, 5~116 cm long, 2.5~7 cm wide, apex is blunt, sometimes emarginate (slightly concave), base is orbicular or cuneate (wedge-shaped), edge has sinuolate crenature.

 Flowers are solitary, tufty, or up to 12 flowers form a raceme; Flowers are hermaphroditic, the calyx is cyathiform (cuplike), 5-lobed, lobes are triangular; 5 flower petals, 1.5~2 cm long, inner surface is white, out surface is purple; many stamens, about 30~50 stamens; pistillode, the ovary is elliptic, the upper part is narrowly pointed; style is long and stout, stigma is capitate. The ovary divides immediately after the flower falls off and becomes a finger-like strip during the fruit's development.

 fruiting branches of Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis Swingle with several yellow fruits and many green leaves Hesperidium is oval (egg-shaped), or oblong, front tip crack, and is fist-shaped, or open and similar to a fingertip, its split number is the number of carpels, the surface is orange-yellow, coarse, fruit pulp is primrose yellow (faint yellow). Several seeds, are oval (egg-shaped), the apex is pointed, sometimes incompletely developed (underdeveloped). Its flowering period is from April to May, and the fructescence (fruit ripening period) is from October to December.

 Ecological environment: The small tree grows in tropical, subtropical areas, warm and humid, sunny environments. The tree is mostly planted in the open hilly plain at altitudes of 300~500 meters above sea level, or the hilly area at altitudes of 400~700 meters above sea level in the south and southwest area, especially in the top of hills. It is distributed all over the south of the Yangtze River in China. In southern regions, it is mostly cultivated in the garden or orchard.

 fruiting branch of Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis Swingle with many fruits on tree Growth characteristics: The tree Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis Swingle prefers a warm and moist climate, is afraid of severe frost, drought, tolerant to shade, aridity, waterlogging. The optimal growth temperature is 22~24 °C (Celsius, or 71.6~75.2 degrees Fahrenheit), it can pass winter safely at temperatures above 5 °C (Celsius, or 41 degrees Fahrenheit), can tolerate the extremely low temperature of -8 °C (Celsius, or 17.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The annual precipitation of 1,000~1,200 mm is optimum. It likes sunlight and the annual sunshine duration is 1,200~1,800 hours. It is appropriate to choose fields with deep soil layers, loose and fertile, humus-rich and slightly acidic sandy loam with good drainage for cultivation.

 dried pale herb slices of Finger Citron Characters of herbs: The herb is oval (egg-shaped), or oblong, the front tip crack into valves like a fist or finger, often wizened or curly, 6~10 cm long, 3~7 cm wide, and 0.2~0.4 cm thick. The out surface is orange-yellow, greenish-yellow, or brownish-green, densely scattered with sunken dens, sometimes there are visible fine wrinkles. The inner surface is off-white, and there are yellow punctate (spotted) or crisscrossed vascular bundles. The texture of the herb is hard and crisp, and turns soft after being affected by dampness. It has an aromatic fragrance, the out part of the pericarp (exocarp) tastes spicy and slightly pungent, and the inner part of the pericarp (endocarp) tastes sweet first and then bitter.

 Slices are 4~6 cm or 6~10 cm long, 3~6 cm wide, 1~2 mm thick, or 3 mm thick. The edge is green or yellow, the pulp of the fruit is white, and has a slightly yellow pattern or conspicuous pattern, the texture of slices is hard or soft, easily broken. The slices have a faint scent or light fragrance and taste sweet and slightly bitter.

 The herb of a better grade has yellow pericarp and white pulp, and a strong fragrance.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.expectorant; ②.antiasthmatic; ③.anti-allergic effects.

 Medicinal efficacy: Soothe the liver and regulating Qi, harmonizing the stomach and relieve pain, reduce phlegm. It is indicated for the stagnation of liver-QI and stomach-QI, distension fullness and pain in chest and hypochondrium, liver Qi stagnation and hypochondriac pain, epigastric fullness, stomach puffiness, stomachache, abdominal distention pain of spleen and stomach Qi stagnation,  liver-stomach disharmony, poor appetite and vomiting, belching, nausea, choking, phlegm and fluid retention, cough and asthma, chronic cough with much phlegm, neutralize the effect of alcoholic drinks.

 Administration of Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis (Fó Shǒu): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis (Fó Shǒu)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 0.8~3 qian (about 2.4~9 grams), or brewing as tea; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~10 grams, or brewing tea and drink.




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