Introduction of Xie Cao:Valerian Rhizome or Rhizoma Valerianae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Valerian Rhizome, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its herbal classic book defined botanical source two plant species, ①.Valeriana officinalis L., ②.Valeriana amurensis Smir. Ex Kom., and other usable plant species, ③.Valeriana officinalis L.var.latifolia Miq., 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 Valerian Rhizome, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Rhizoma Valerianae(Valerian Rhizome).

Rhizoma Valerianae:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Xié Cǎo.
 English Name: Valerian Rhizome.
 Latin Name: Rhizoma Valerianae.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Rhizoma Valerianae is the dried rhizome of Valeriana officinalis L.(family Valerianaceae), used (1).as a tranquilizer for treating insomnia, and (2).to regulate the flow of Qi for relieving abdominal distension and pain. The herb is commonly known as Rhizoma Valerianae, Valerian Rhizome, Valerian Root, Xié Cǎo.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Rhizoma Valerianae(Valerian Rhizome) as the dry root of species (1). Valeriana officinalis L., or (2). Valeriana amurensis Smir. Ex Kom. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Rhizoma Valerianae(Valerian Rhizome) as the dry root of species (1). Valeriana officinalis L., or (2). Valeriana amurensis Smir. Ex Kom., or (3). Valeriana officinalis L.var.latifolia Miq. They are plants of the Valeriana Linn. Genus, the Valerianaceae family of the Rubiales order. These 3 commonly used species are introduced as:

(1).Valeriana officinalis L.


 Valeriana officinalis L.:growing plant Botanical description: The Valeriana officinalis L., is commonly known as "Xié Cǎo", it is a plant of the Valerianaceae family and Valeriana genus (some other system classified the plant to the Caprifoliaceae family), perennial herb, it grows up to 1~1.5 meters. Rhizome head is rough, fibrous roots, aroma. The stem is a hollow, coarse vertical edge, long shag. Creeping branches, basal leaves, and basal leaves often wilt during flowering. Stem leaves are opposite, ovate to broadly ovate, 2~9 pairs pinnately divided; central lobe and lobes on both sides of the same shape, but often with the first pair of lateral lobes into 3 cracks, lobes are lanceolate shaped or bar-shaped, apex narrowed, there is anaglyph, grow on both sides, and stem axis covered with hair. The inflorescence is terminal, into the umbrella properties to three parachutes panicles; bracts are feather, 1~2 cm long; bracteoles strip, ca. 1 cm; calyx inner volume; corolla is purplish-red or white, about 5 mm, the upper part is slightly broad, 5-lobed; 3 stamens, outside corolla; ovary at the lower part. Achenes are long ovoid, ca. 4 mm, the base is nearly flat cut, many calyxes grow on top, feathery. Its flowering period is from May to July, fruiting from June to October.

 Valeriana officinalis L.:flowering plants Ecological Environment: The Valeriana officinalis L. grows in areas with an altitude of 2,500 meters above sea level, in hillside grass, forest, ditch edge. Geographical distribution: This species mainly distributes in the north to southwest areas of China. This species is native to Europe and parts of Asia, has been introduced into North America.

 Growth characteristics: The plant valeriana officinalis prefers wet, should choose the land with high-level groundwater or low land for planting, and should have good irrigation condition, waterlogging resistance, drought resistance. Neutral or weakly alkaline sandy loam is the best soil.

 Characters of herbs: The rhizome is cylindrical, thick, and short, with a length of 0.5~2 cm and a diameter of 0.4~1.5 cm. The surface is yellowish-brown to brown, coarse and rough, with petiole residues, there is residual stem base grows at the upper end, hollow, with transverse branches at some roots and stems, residual stem base at the distal nodes, the length of internodes is 1~2 cm, and numerous thin roots clustered around and at the lower end of the rhizome, with slender ends. The texture of the herb is slightly tough, the outer layer of the fracture surface is yellow-brown or brown, yellow-white in the center. There is a special smelly odor, and the dried herb has a thicker odor. It tastes slightly spicy, then slightly bitter, and cool. The herb of better grade has thick roots, long roots, the surface is yellow-brown, strong odor.

(2).Valeriana amurensis Smir. Ex Kom.


 Valeriana amurensis Smir. Ex Kom.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Valeriana amurensis Smir. Ex Kom., is commonly known as "Hēi Shuǐ Xié Cǎo", literally "Hēi Shuǐ Xié Cǎo" means "black water valeriana", it is a plant of the Valerianaceae family and Valeriana genus (some other system classified the plant to the Caprifoliaceae family), it is also known as "black water valeriana", perennial herb, it grows up to 1.5 meters. The rhizome is slender hairy, irregular lumps. The upper part of the stem with trichomes. Leaves are opposite, odd-pinnately divided, 15~20 cm long; basal petiole is about 20 cm, stems petiole upward gradually short to sessile, with rough hair; basal 1~2 pairs of leaflets are smaller, the largest central lobes, broadly ovate, often connate with or obscurely to leaflets of the upper first, the apex is obtuse, base cuneate or broadly cuneate; the margin is coarsely toothed. Pedicels are covered with pomelo glandular hairs and coarse hairs; bracts are pinnately divided, 2 cm long; bracteoles are all-branched to striate, 1 cm long, glandular-hairy; calyx inside is curly; corolla is pale red, funnel-shaped, 3~5 mm long; 5-lobed; 3 stamens; Achene is narrow triangular oval, about 3 mm, apex hairy persistent calyx. Its flowering period is from June to July, the fruiting period from July to August.

 Ecological Environment: The Valeriana amurensis Smir. Ex Kom. grows in hillside meadow or larch and birch forest. Geographical distribution: This species mainly distributes in the north area of China. And it also grows and distributes in other areas.

 Growth characteristics: The plant valeriana amurensis prefers wet, should choose the land with high-level groundwater or low land for planting, and should have good irrigation condition, waterlogging resistance, drought resistance. Neutral or weakly alkaline sandy loam is the best soil.

 Characters of herbs: The root stem and leaves are head-shaped, with a length of 0.3~1.4 cm and a diameter of 0.3~1 cm. The surface is brownish yellow, and there are residues of brownish-yellow overground stems and petioles at the top, with many small fine roots around it. The texture of the herb is solid and firm, not easily broken, with gaps in the center of the fracture surface. The herb has a special smelly odor and a slightly bitter taste.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.sedative effect;②.effects on circulation and respiration system; ③.antimicrobial effect:total alkaloids derived from valerian have an antibacterial effect, especially on the gram-positive bacterium; ④. Other effects: the herb has some anti-diuretic effects.

 Medicinal efficacy: Peace the heart and tranquilizing mind, it is indicated for fidgets(restlessness,be ill at ease), palpitations and insomnia(heartthrob, lose sleep), mania(insane, demented), hysteria, rheumatic arthralgia pain, stomach weakness, lumbago(low back pain), irregular menstruation(menoxenia), dysmenorrhea(abdominal pain after menstruation), amenorrhea(menischesis), and traumatic injury, etc.

 Administration of Rhizoma Valerianae(Xié Cǎo): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhizoma Valerianae(Xié Cǎo)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:water decoction,1~1.5 qian(about 3~4.5 grams);prepare to finely ground herb powder, or infusing in wine; ②.Internally:water decoction,3~9 grams, or prepare to finely ground herb powder;or infusing in wine. Externally:proper amount, prepare to finely ground herb powder, apply stick.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Rhizoma Valerianae should be used cautiously in conditons Yin deficiency and physical weakness.

(3).Valeriana officinalis L.var.latifolia Miq.


 Valeriana officinalis L.var.latifolia Miq.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Valeriana officinalis L.var.latifolia Miq. the Valerianaceae family and Valeriana genus (some other system classified the plant to the Caprifoliaceae family), it is also known as "Kuān Yè Xié Cǎo", literally "Kuān Yè Xié Cǎo" means "broadleaf valeriana", it is a varietas of the valeriana officinalis L., the difference is that the leaf lobes are wider, larger in the middle lobes, lobes serrated wide oval, lobes number is less than the number of valerian, usually 5~7. The flowering and fruiting period is the same as the Valeriana officinalis L.

 Ecological Environment: The Valeriana amurensis Smir. Ex Kom. grows in forest or ditch side area with an altitude of under 1,500 meters above sea level. Geographical distribution: This species mainly distributes in the same area as the Valeriana officinalis L., and in mainly east of China.

 Characters of herbs: The traits of the herb are similar to the rhizome of Valeriana officinalis.
 
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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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Xie Cao:Valerian Rhizome or Rhizoma Valerianae.

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