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

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.

 
Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis(Finger Citron).

Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis:herb photo 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 Swingle(family Rutaceae), 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: Official herbal classics defined the herb Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis(Finger Citron) as the dried fruit of the species (1).Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis Swingle. It is a plant of the Citrus L. genus, the Rutaceae family of the Rutales order. This commonly used species is introduced as:

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


 Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis Swingle.:growing tree Botanical description: The plant is commonly known as Fó Shǒu. It is a varietas of Citrus medica. A shrub or small tree with irregular branches. New shoots, buds, and flower buds are dark purplish-red, stem branches are spiny, spines grow up to 4 cm. Single leaf, rare and single compound leaf, then related to the section, but no winged leaves; Petiole is short, the leaf blade is elliptic or ovoid elliptic, 6~12 cm long, 3~6 cm wide, or larger, apically rounded or obtuse, sparsely mucronate, leaf margin with shallowly obtuse cleft teeth.

 Racemes with up to 12 flowers, sometimes with axillary single flowers; Flower is bisexual, has unisexual flower trend, pistil degenerates; 5 petals, 1.5~2 cm long; 30~50 stamens; Style is long and stout, stigma capitate. The ovary divides immediately after the flower has fallen off and becomes a finger like strip of flesh during the fruit's development.

 Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis Swingle.:fruiting tree The fruit is finger shape flesh bar, weight up to 2,000 grams, the peel is pale yellow, rough, the peel is very thick, difficult to peel, endothelium white or slightly pale yellow, cotton, soft, gourd capsule 10~15 petals, flesh colorless, nearly transparent or pale yellow, crisp, sour or slightly sweet taste, aroma; Seeds are small, smooth, cotyledons are milky white, many or single embryo. Usually seedless. Its flowering period is from April to May, fruiting from October to November.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in tropical, subtropical, warm and humid, sunny environment, not resistant to cold, fear of frost and drought, resistance to shade, poor, waterlogging. Plenty of rain. It is advisable to plant it in winter without freezing. The optimum growth temperature is 22~24℃, the overwintering temperature is above 5℃, the annual precipitation is 1,000~1,200 mm, and the annual sunshine duration is 1,200~1,800 hours. It is suitable to grow in acid loam, sandy loam, or clay loam with deep soil, loose and fertile soil, rich humus, and good drainage.

 Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis Swingle.:fruits on tree Distribution: The tree is mostly planted in the open hilly plain of 300~500 meters above sea level, or the hilly area of 400~700 meters above sea level in south and southwest area, especially in the top of hills. There are plants all over the south of the Yangtze River in China. In southern provinces and regions, it is more cultivated in the garden or orchard.

 Growth characteristics: The tree Citrus medica L.var.sarcodactylis Swingle prefers a warm and humid climate, afraid of severe frost, drought, resistance to shade, waterlogging. Optimal growth temperature is 22~24℃, can pass wintering safely with the temperature above 5℃, can tolerate the extreme minimum temperature -8℃. The annual precipitation of 1000~1200 mm is the most suitable. It likes sunshine and the annual sunshine duration is 1200~1800 hours. It is suitable to cultivate in the slightly acidic sandy loam with a deep soil layer, loose and fertile soil, rich in humus, and good drainage.

 Finger Citron:herb photo Characters of herbs: This herb is a kind of oval or oval thin slice, often wrinkled or curly. It is 6~10 cm long, 3~7 cm wide and 0.2~0.4 cm thick. Apex is slightly wide, often has 3~5 finger-like lobes, the base is slightly narrow, some visible fruiting pedicel. The skin is yellow-green or orange-yellow with wrinkles and oil spots. The pulp is pale yellow-white scattered with an uneven line or point vascular bundles. Hard and brittle, flexible after exposure to moisture. The herb is fragrant, slightly sweet taste, and bitter.

 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: Internally:3~9 grams(CP), Internally:water decoction, 0.8~3 qian(about 2.4~9 grams), or brewing as tea.(DCTM), Internally:water decoction,3~10 grams, or brewing tea and drink(CHMM).

 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Fo Shou:Finger Citron or Fructus Citri Sarcodactylis.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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