Introduction of Mu Li:Oyster Shell or Concha Ostreae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Oyster Shell, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its source three shellfish species, ①.Ostrea gigas Thunberg., ②.Ostrea talienwhanensis Crosse., ③.Ostrea rivularis Gould., and a fourth usable shellfish species, ④.Ostrea denselamellosa Lischke., with a detailed introduction to the features of these four shellfish species, the life habits, and ecological environment of these four shellfish species, the features of the herb Oyster Shell, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Concha Ostreae(Oyster Shell).

Concha Ostreae Pin Yin Name: Mǔ Lì.
 English Name: Oyster Shell.
 Latin Name: Concha Ostreae.
 Property and flavor: slightly cold nature, tastes salty.

 Brief introduction: The herb Concha Ostreae is the shell of Ostrea gigas Thunb., Ostrea talienwhanensis Crosse, or Ostrea rivularis Gould(family Ostreidae), used (1).as a settling tranquilizer for the treatment of headache, dizziness, palpitation, and insomnia, and (2).to soften and disperse hard lumps in cases of scrofula. The herb is commonly known as Concha Ostreae, Oyster Shell, Mǔ Lì.

 Ostrea gigas Ostrea Shell Mussel Oyster Concha Ostreae Ostrea gigas Thunberg Source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Concha Ostreae(Mu Li) as the conch or shell of the Ostreidae family shellfish species (1). Ostrea gigas Thunberg., or (2). Ostrea talienwhanensis Crosse., or (3). Ostrea rivularis Gould. Other famous herbal classics noted a 4th source of the Concha Ostreae as the concha or shell of (4). Ostrea denselamellosa Lischke. There are many types of oysters. According to statistics, there are more than 100 kinds of species found in the world, distributes in tropical and temperate regions, along the coast of China, oysters widely distributes. In recent years, the cultivation of oysters develops rapidly. These 4 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Ostrea gigas Thunberg.


 Ostrea gigas Ostrea Shell Mussel Oyster Concha Ostreae Ostrea gigas Thunberg Description: The Ostrea gigas Thunberg., is a shellfish of the Ostreidae family and Crassostrea genus, it is commonly known as "Ostrea gigas", or "Long Oyster", or "Chang Mu Li"(literally it means "long oyster"), the local names are "Hao", "Bai Hao", "Hai Li Zi", etc. The Ostrea gigas shells are long and have relatively thin shells. The shell length is about 3 times the shell height. The right shell is relatively flat, the scales are thick, and the annular scales are corrugated and sparsely arranged. The ribs are not obvious. The left shell is deep and the scales are thick. The left shell has a small, fixed surface. The inner surface of the shell is white, and the inner surface of the shell has a large ligament groove. Closed shell marks.

 Ostrea gigas Thunberg. The mantle of the long oyster has two left and right mantle membranes; the larvae of the respiratory system are located in the iliac crest, one pair on left and right, a total of four, and the breathing are mainly done by cesium, and the mantle can also be used for air exchange; the digestive system includes lip, mouth, and esophagus. Gastric, digestive caeca, intestine, rectum, and anus; the circulatory system is open, consisting of the pericardial cavity, heart, accessory heart, blood vessels, and blood; kidney consists of renal tubules and renal perilymphatic duct, one on each side; During the breeding season, the visceral blocks of the oysters are filled with milky white substances. This is the gonads and is divided into three parts: the follicles, the genitals, and the reproductive ducts. The nervous system is composed of brains, visceral ganglia, and their connecting nerves.

 Ostrea gigas Thunberg. Ecological Environment: The Ostrea gigas Thunberg., inhabit at the bottom of rocky reefs in the intertidal zone and shallow sea, and are fixed on the rocks with their left shells. Geographical distribution: This species mainly distributes in the coastal areas of China, mainly in Guangdong province, one of the main cultured species on the southern coast. The Ostrea gigas inhabits in mudflats and silty sea bottoms that are more than 10 meters deep from the intertidal zone to the low tide line. Individuals living in normal seawater are small; individuals living in low salinity seawater are large. It distributes along the sea of China's coastal areas, are the finest breeds in the estuaries and inner bays.

 Oyster Shell:herb photo Characters of herbs: The shell of Ostrea gigas: The oyster is in the shape of a long plate, the back and abdomen edges are almost parallel, 10~50 cm long and 4~15 cm high. The right shell is small, the scales are thick and arranged in layers or lamellar. The outer shell is flat or has several concave, it is lavender, grayish-white, or yellowish-brown, the inner surface is porcelain white, and there are no small teeth on both sides of the apex of the shell. The left shell is deeply concave, the scales(squama) are thicker and bigger than the right shell, and the attachment surface on the apex of the shell is smaller. The texture of the shell is hard, the fracture surface is layered, pure white. The herb has a slight odor, it tastes slightly salty.

(2).Ostrea talienwhanensis Crosse.


 Ostrea talienwhanensis Crosse. Description: The Ostrea talienwhanensis Crosse. is a shellfish of the Ostreidae family and Crassostrea genus, it is commonly known as "Ostrea talienwhanensis", or "Dalianwan Mu Li", shells are slightly triangular shape with large and medium shells. The two shells are of different sizes, and the left shell is larger than the right shell. The right shell is flat and the left shell is thick and concave. The right shell flake rises slightly, the relief is wavy, the scales at the top of the shell heal, the edges are loose, and the radiating ribs are not obvious. The left shell began with several thick radiating ribs starting from the top of the shell and the scales on the ribs were erected. The shell is grayish-yellow with purple stripes or spots. The inside of the shell is white and shiny. The hinge is small and has no teeth. The inner ligament slot is long and deep, triangular.

 Ecological Environment: The Ostrea talienwhanensis Crosse., inhabits at the bottom of the high-salinity waters near the low-water line to a depth of about 20 meters. The foot is degraded and it lives permanently on rocks and other objects. The left shell is fixed and the right shell can be opened and closed. It likes to live together in clusters. Geographical distribution: This species mainly distributes in the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea of China, and mainly produced from the area nearby the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea. This species inhabits in the water of the intertidal zone and on rocky reefs about 20 meters below the low tide line. The salinity adaptability of the shellfish is high and the breeding period is from June to August.

 Characters of herbs: Shell of Ostrea talienwhanensis: The oyster is triangle-like, with a splayed abdomen and dorsal margin. The outside of the right shell is yellowish, with loose concentric scales, the scales undulate into waves, and the inner surface is white. The concentric scales of the left shell are hard and thick, with several radiating ribs from the apex of the shell, bright and gleaming, with the concave inner surface hinged, and the hinge surface is small. The thickness of the fracture surface is 0.3~13 mm, the stratum or layer is not obvious, the corneum overlap.

(3).Ostrea rivularis Gould.


 Ostrea rivularis Gould. Description: The Ostrea rivularis Gould., is a shellfish of the Ostreidae family and Crassostrea genus, it is commonly known as "Ostrea rivularis", or "Jin Jiang Mu Li", its local name is "Da Hao", etc. Shells are large and strong. It is generally round, long oval, or triangular. The right shell is slightly flat, smaller than the left shell, with a thin, straight scale on the surface. The shell surface is mixed with gray, blue, purple, or brown and other colors. The shell is thicker than the right shell, and the concentric scales are small and strong. The inside of the shell is white and the edges are grayish purple. Ligaments are long and broad, purple and black. The shell muscles are marked with large marks, usually ovoid or kidney-shaped, located in the dorsal part of the middle.

 Ostrea rivularis Gould. Ecological Environment: The Ostrea rivularis Gould., inhabit at the inner bay near the mouth of the estuary and the low tide line to the water depth of about 7 meters. It lives at a fixed temperature; the suitable temperature ranges from 10 to 33 degrees Celsius, the proper salt range is from 5 to 25, and the filter eats plankton. Geographical distribution: This species mainly inhabits in the inner bay near the mouth of rivers from south to north of China. It lives near the low tide line and reach water depths of about 7 meters are close to the sea, and the salinity is 10%-25%. Omnivorous, feeding on tiny plankton. Its breeding season is from May to September.

 Ostrea gigas Ostrea Shell Mussel Oyster Concha Ostreae Ostrea rivularis Gould Characters of herbs: The shell of Ostrea rivularis: The oyster is round, oval, triangular, etc. The left shell is concave, big, and thick; The right shell is flat, slightly smaller, the appearance is gray, purple, brown, yellow, and other colors, surrounded by concentric scales. The scales of larvae are thin and brittle, and after years of growth, the scales are thick and firm, layers are overlapping. The inner surface is white, and the edges are sometimes lavender(lilac). The texture is hard, the fracture surface is layered obviously, 2~10 mm thick. The herb is odorless, it tastes slightly salty.

(4).Ostrea denselamellosa Lischke.


 Ostrea denselamellosa Lischke. Description: The Ostrea denselamellosa Lischke., is a shellfish of the Ostreidae family and Crassostrea genus, it is commonly known as "Ostrea denselamellosa", or "Dense lamellosa Oyster", or "Slipper Oyster", or "Mi Ling Mu Li", shells are large and thick, round or oval. The two shells are the same size. The left shell is very deep and the right shell is relatively flat. The scales on the top of the right shell are healed and are relatively smooth. The other scales are thin and brittle, tongue-shaped, closely arranged in imbricate; the number of ribs ejected from the top of the shell was not obvious, and the ear was or not present; the base color of the shell was flesh or gray, mixed with purple, brown, and blue; the inside of the shell is mixed with gray; the top side of the shell has a single row of small teeth; the back teeth are usually more than the ventral edge, and the muscle marks are heart-shaped. The back of the center, from the front dorsal oblique to the ventral angle, mostly are flesh. The left shell surface is surrounded by dense concentric scales, the shell surface is purple, brownish, or grayish-blue; the attachment surface is mostly the top of the left shell; the hinge surface of the shell surface is narrow, the ligament groove is short, and the groove length is slightly longer than the groove width, forming a triangle.

 Ostrea gigas Ostrea Shell Mussel Oyster Concha Ostreae Ostrea gigas Thunberg Ecological Environment: The Ostrea denselamellosa Lischke., appears in the subtidal zone to a depth of about 30 meters. It lives in a shallow sea with a depth of about 15 to 30 meters. The shellfish sometimes appear in areas of several meters below the low tide line. Geographical distribution: This species mainly distributes in the South China Sea, Malaysia, and other areas.

 Life habit: This species inhabits rocky reefs with a water depth of about 15~30 meters below the low tide line, or the sandy bottom, sometimes seen several meters below the low tide line. The salinity fit for growth is 27%~34%, and the breeding season is from May to September. When the water temperature is 17~19 °C, spawning starts.

 Characters of herbs: The shell is round or oval, larger, the right shell is flat, the apex of the shell is smooth, and other parts are arranged with thin and brittle scales. The ventral margin of the left shell is surrounded by thick concentric scales, with thick and big radial ribs, and the shell surface is gray mixed with purple, brown, and cyan. The inner surface of the shell is white, slightly pearly. The scar of the adductor muscle is large and very obvious. The thickness of the fracture surface is 0.3-12 mm, and the laminated striation is obvious.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.calcium salt in the herb functions anti-acid, mild analgesia, anti-inflammation, reducing muscle excitement, and inhibiting convulsion; ②.polysaccharide extracted from oyster has the functions of lowering blood lipid, anticoagulant, anti-thrombus, promoting immune function and anti-leukocytopenia; ③.the herb also has astringent, sedative, interpretive and analgesic effects; ④.the acid extract of oyster has an inhibitory effect on poliovirus in vivo.

 Medicinal efficacy: Calm the liver and subdue yang(suppressing hyperactive liver and subsiding yang), tranquillization with heavy prescription, subdue yang and invigorating yin, collect Yin, antiperspirant action, collecting and inducing astringency, stopping seminal emission, dissolve phlegm, resolving hard lump(softening and resolving hard mass). It is indicated for palpitate with fear and insomnia, frightened epilepsy, dizziness and tinnitus(ringing in the ears), stranguria with turbid discharge, scrofula(lymphoid tuberculosis), gall, superficial nodule(sucutaneous nodule), abdominal mass, a lump in the abdomen. Calcined oyster shell collecting and stopping seminal emission, relieve pain, normally indicated for spontaneous perspiration and night sweat, spermatorrhea(nocturnal emission), night emission, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis(uterine bleeding), morbid leukorrhea, stomach pain and acid regurgitation, etc.

 Administration of Concha Ostreae(Mǔ Lì): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Concha Ostreae(Mǔ Lì)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:9~30 grams, decoct earlier; ②.Internally:water decoction,0.3~1 liang(about 9~30 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:prepare to finely ground herb powder, sprinkle apply, apply stick or apply powder as squelette; ③.Internally:water decoction, 15~30 grams, decoct earlier;or prepared to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, prepare to finely ground herb powder, sprinkle apply, or apply stick.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Concha Ostreae should not be combined with Ma Huang, Fructus Evodiae, Flos Magnoliae, etc.

 
herbs tranquilizers.

 Introduction: herbs tranquilizers: also known as tranquilizer or tranquilizing herbs, an agent or substance herbs that calms the mind and relieves mental tension.
 
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  • 1.Introduction of Mu Li:Oyster Shell or Concha Ostreae.

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