Introduction of Suo Luo Zi:Buckeye Seed or Semen Aesculi.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Buckeye Seed, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source three plant species, ①.Aesculus chinensis Bge., ②.Aesculus chinensis Bge.var.chekiangensis(Hu et Fang)Fang., ③.Aesculus wilsonii Rehd., 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 Buckeye Seed, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Semen Aesculi(Buckeye Seed).

Semen Aesculi:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Suō Luó Zǐ.
 English Name: Buckeye Seed.
 Latin Name: Semen Aesculi.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Semen Aesculi is the dried ripe seed of Aesculus chinensis Bge., Aesculus chinensis var.chekiangensis(Hu et Fang)Fang, or Aesculus wilsonii Rehd., used to regulate Qi, harmonize the stomach, and alleviate pain for relieving distension and stuffiness in the chest and abdomen, and especially gastralgia. The herb is commonly known as Semen Aesculi, Buckeye Seed, Chinese Buckeye Seed, Wilsom Buckeye Seed, Suō Luó Zǐ.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Semen Aesculi(Buckeye Seed) as the dried ripe seed of the species (1).Aesculus chinensis Bge., (2).Aesculus chinensis Bge.var.chekiangensis(Hu et Fang)Fang., (3).Aesculus wilsonii Rehd. They are plants of the Aesculus genus, the Hippocastanaceae family (the horse chestnut family) of the Sapindales order. These 3 commonly defined species are introduced:

(1).Aesculus chinensis Bge.

 Aesculus chinensis Bge.:fruiting tree Botanical description: The tree is commonly known as Qī Yè Shù. Deciduous trees, it grows up to 25 meters high, the bark is dark brown or taupe, branchlets, cylindric, tawny or taupe, glabrous or puberulent when young, lenticels are rounded or elliptic pale yellow. Winter buds are large, resinous. Palmately compound leaves, 5~7 small, petiole 10~12 cm long, gray puberulent; Leaflets are papery, oblong-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, sparsely oblong-elliptic potassium apex shortly pointed, base is cuneate or broadly cuneate, margin obtuse serrate, 8~16 cm long, 3~5 cm wide, dark green above, glabrous, below except for middle rib and lateral veins when basally tender and sparsely pilose, the rest is glabrous; Middle rib is prominent, raised at the lower part, lateral veins are 13~17 pairs, slightly prominent at the upper part, significantly at lower part; Petiole is 1~1.8 cm long, petiole is 5~10 mm on both sides, gray puberulent.

 Aesculus chinensis Bge.:growing trees Inflorescences are cylindrical, 21~25 cm long, with 5~10 cm long total pedicels, inflorescence rachis puberulent, inflorescence has often 5~10 flowers. Composed, spreading horizontally, puberulent, 2~2.5 cm long, pedicels are 2~4 mm. Flowers are hybrid, male and bisexual, calyx is tubular-campanulate, 3~5 mm long, outside is puberulent, unequally 5-lobed, lobes are obtuse, margin with short cilia; 4 petals, white, oblong-obovate to oblong-oblanceolate, ca. 8~12 mm long, 5~1.5 mm wide, margin is ciliate, base is clawed; 6 stamens, 1.8~3 cm long, filaments are linear, glabrous, anthers are oblong, pale yellow, ca. 1~1.5 mm long. Ovary is not developed in male flowers, well-developed in bisexual flowers, ovoid, style is glabrous.

 Aesculus chinensis Bge.:leaves The fruit is globose or obovate, apically short or obtuse and slightly concave in the middle, 3~4 cm in diameter, tawny, spinous, with very dense spots, its shell is 5~6 mm thick after drying, 1~2 seeds, nearly globose, 2~3.5 cm in diameter, chestnut brown; Navel white, about half the volume of seeds. Its flowering period is from April to May, fruiting in October.

 Aesculus chinensis Bge.:fruits on tress Ecological environment: The tree is cultivated in the Yellow River basin and eastern provinces of China, only wild in Qinling; It is naturally distributed in mountain areas with an altitude below 700 meters above sea level. It prefers light, slightly resistant to shade; It prefers warm weather, also can withstand cold; It prefers deep, fertile, moist, and well-drained soil. Deep root, strong germination; Medium growth rate slates, life span is long. Horse chestnut leaves burn easily in hot summer.

 Growth characteristics: The Aesculus chinensis is a semi-negative tree species, resistant to cold. It prefers moist and fertile soil.

 Buckeye Seed:herb photo Characters of herbs: The dried fruit is slightly spherical, with a diameter of 2.5~4 cm, a few are 6~8 cm. The top is flat or slightly pointed, the base is marked with a stalk, the surface of the pericarp is brown, coarse, and rough, densely covered with yellow-brown spots, three longitudinal grooves form a three-petal shape. Commodities are often removed of the fruit peel. The seeds are round or irregularly oblate, the texture of the seed is hard, the surface is chestnut brown, not very flat, the hilum at the upper end is yellowish-brown, accounting for about 1/2 of the seeds, the base is concave, and there are one slightly protruding ridges extending to the hilum along one side; The fracture surface is white or yellowish-white, and the cotyledons are thick, powdery. The pericarp and seed coat has a weak odor, while the cotyledons taste bitter. The herb of better grade is uniform, full and the fracture surface is yellow-white.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anti-inflammatory effect; ②.anti-swelling effect; ③.corticosterone effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Regulate Qi, soothing the liver, harmonize the stomach and relieve pain, kill parasites. It is indicated for chest and abdominal distention, epigastric distention fullness, epigastric pain, stomach cold pain, breast distention and pain, dysmenorrhea (abdominal pain after menstruation), malnutritional stagnation and pain due to parasites, malaria, dysentery, etc.

 Administration of Semen Aesculi (Suō Luó Zǐ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Semen Aesculi (Suō Luó Zǐ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~9 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction,1~3 qian (about 3~9 grams), or charred the herb with its property retained, prepare to finely ground herb powder; ③.Internally:water decoction,5~10 grams, or burn into ashed and infusing in wine.

(2).Aesculus chinensis Bge.var.chekiangensis(Hu et Fang)Fang.

 Aesculus chinensis Bge.var.chekiangensis Hu et Fang Fang.:leaves Botanical description: The tree is commonly known as Zhè Jiāng Qī Yè Shù. It is a varieties of the Aesculus chinensis Bge. The difference between these varieties and the Aesculus chinensis Bge is that the variation of lobular thinner, on the back of the green, slightly powder, lateral veins are 18~22 pairs, small petioles are glabrous, often a long, middle lobule petiole is 1.5~2 cm long, 0.5~1 cm long, next to the panicle is long and narrow, often 30~36 cm long, base is 2.4~3 cm in diameter, calyx is without white pubescent, capsule shells are thinner, dry after only 1~2 mm thick, hilum is small, only about a third of the seed area. It is flowering in June, fruiting in October.

 Ecological environment: The tree grows (often cultivated) in southern Jiangsu, China. It grows in the jungle at an area with low altitudes.

(3).Aesculus wilsonii Rehd.

 Aesculus wilsonii Rehd.:growing tree Botanical description: The tree is commonly known as Tiān Shī Lì (literally it means "Chestnut of Taoist master"). Deciduous trees, grow up to 25 meters high. Palmately compound leaves are opposite; Petiole is 6~15 cm long, pubescent; Leaf blade 5~7, obovate-oblong or ovate-lanceolate, 10~20 cm long, 3~8.5 cm wide, apex is narrowly pointed, base is broadly cuneate or suborbicular, margin serrate, upper main veins are sparsely pilose, lower is densely pilose, petiole is pubescent. Panicles are terminal, 35 cm long; Pedicels are 10 cm long, pedicels are covered with fine pilose; Male flowers and bisexual flowers of the same plant are sparse; Flowers are white, 1~1.5 cm long; Flowers are simple form, 5 lobed irregularly, lobes are nearly round, face is densely fine pilose; 4 petals, elliptic, upper 2 narrower, outer and margin are densely pilose; 6~8 stamens; Ovary is superior, ovate of bisexual flowers. The gourd is obovate or obovate, apex is protruding, and apex dense with yellow-brown spots. 1~2 seeds, globose, umbilicus about 1/3 of the base. Its flowering period is from May to July, the fruiting period is from July to September.

 Aesculus wilsonii Rehd.:growing tree Ecological environment: The tree grows in broad-leaved forests at an area with altitudes of 1,000-1,800 meters above sea level. It is distributed in the west part and middle reaches of the Yangtze River, north part of the Zhujiang river area, southwest area of China.

 Aesculus wilsonii Rehd.:fruits Characters of herbs: The dried fruit of Aesculus wilsonii Rehd is similar to the above one, with the main differences as follows: the fruit is oval or obovate, the spots on the surface are sparse, and the shell is about 1 mm thick after drying.
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