Introduction of Bai Zi Ren:Chinese Arborvitae Seed or Semen Platycladi.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Chinese Arborvitae Seed, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco., 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 Chinese Arborvitae Seed, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Semen Platycladi(Chinese Arborvitae Seed).

Semen Platycladi:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Bǎi Zǐ Rén.
 English Name: Chinese Arborvitae Seed.
 Latin Name: Semen Platycladi.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Semen Platycladi is the kernel of the dried ripe seed of Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco, used (1).to nourish the heart and relieve mental strain for the treatment of palpitations and insomnia in deficiency of heart blood, and (2).as an aperient for constipation in debilitated patients. The herb is commonly known as Semen Platycladi, Chinese Arborvitae Seed, Bǎi Zǐ Rén.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Semen Platycladi (Bai Zi Ren) as the kernel of the dried ripe seed of the plant species (1).Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco. It is a plant of the Platycladus Spach genus, the Cupressaceae family (cypress family) of the Cupressales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco.


 Platycladus orientalis L.Franco.:growing tree Botanical description: Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco is a plant of the Cupressaceae family (cypress family) and Platycladus genus, it is also known as Thuja oreintalis L., Biota orientalis (L.) Endl., commonly known as Platycladus orientalis, Oriental Arborvitae, Chinese Arborvitae, Cè Bǎi, or Xiang Bai (means fragrant Thuja), Huang Bai, Bian Bai, Bian Song, Bian Hui, etc. Evergreen trees, grow up to 20 meters high, and their DBH (diameter at breast height) reaches 1 meter. The bark is thin, light grayish-brown, and longitudinally split into strips. The branchlets are flat and straight, stretched, and arranged on a flat surface. Leaves are scaly, decussate, 1~3 mm long, the apex is slightly obtuse, the exposed parts of the leaves on the upper surface and under surface of branchlets are obovate-rhombus or rhombic, the ambilateral leaves are folded over the base between the upper and lower leaves, and they are carinate (cariniform). There are glandular grooves in the middle of the leaf's back.

 Platycladus orientalis L.Franco.:fruiting tree The tree is monoecious; strobilus (strobile) is solitary and grows on the tip of short branches; Male strobilus is yellow, oval (egg-shaped), and about 2 mm long. Strobile matures in the same year, ovoid, 1.5~2 cm long, succulent (pulpose) before maturity, cyan (aquamarine blue), covered with white powders; turns ligneous at maturity, open, russet (reddish-brown); seminiferous scales (ovuliferous scales) are in 4 pairs, flat, the part near the apex on the back has a retroflexed tip, the central seminiferous scales have 1~2 seeds each.

 Seeds are ovoid or ovate-oblong, 4~6 mm long, taupe (dust color) or puce (purple-brown), wingless or ridged, and the hilum is big and conspicuous. Its flowering period is from March to April, and the strobiles mature from September to November.

 Platycladus orientalis L.Franco.:leaves Ecological Environment: Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco grows in moist, fertile land, also grows on limestone mountains, and moist, fertile slopes. This species is cultivated in most areas of China. It is widely distributed from the northern area to the south of the Zhujiang River area, west to the Hosi Corridor, and also to the southwest. This species was native to the northwest area of China. It is also now naturalized as an introduced species elsewhere in Asia.

 Platycladus orientalis L.Franco.:leaves and fruits Growth characteristics: The tree prefers sunlight, is slightly resistant to shade when young, is adaptable, is not strict with soil requirements, and can grow in acid, neutral, lime, and light saline soil. It is resistant to drought, has poor infertility, has strong germination capacity, is resistant to moderate coldness, high temperatures, and has weak wind resistance. It is only distributed in areas at altitudes below 900 meters above sea level, and it grows well in areas at altitudes below 400 meters above sea level.

 The tree grows in the wild or cultivated, prefers moist and fertile calcareous soil with good drainage, bears cold, has drought tolerance, saline-alkali, and can grow on flat ground or cliffs; In dry, barren mountains, its growth is slow, thin, it has a shallow root with developed lateral roots, germination is strong, resistant to pruning, has a long life, is smokeproof and it purifies sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, and other harmful gases.

 Chinese Arborvitae Seed:herb photo Characters of herbs: The kernel of Platycladus orientalis is oval (egg-shaped) to oblong oval, 3~7 mm long, and 1.5~3 mm in diameter. The fresh kernel is primrose yellow (pale yellow) or yellowish-white. If it is stored for a long time, the color turns dark and yellowish-brown, showing oiliness. The kernel is wrapped with membranous endotesta outside, the apex is slightly smooth, round-trigonous, has dark brown spots, and the base is blunt, and of a light color. The fracture surface is cream-white (milky white) to yellowish-white, the endosperm is developed, and there are 2 or more cotyledons, which are rich in oil. The herb has a slight fragrance, a mild taste, and is greasy. The herb of a better grade has full grains, yellow and white, oiliness, but no extensive diffusion of oil, and no impurities of hulls, etc.

 Chinese Arborvitae Seed:herb photo Pharmacological actions: ①.moistening intestines and relaxing the bowels; ②.sedative effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Nourishing the heart and calm the nerves (relieve uneasiness of mind and body tranquilization), moisten the intestines and relaxing the bowels. It is indicated for deficiency of blood and body fluid, dysphoria and insomnia, insomnia amnesia, palpitation and severe palpitation, palpitate with fear, spermatorrhea (nocturnal emission), dryness of the intestine, constipation, Yin deficiency and night sweat, etc.

 Administration of Semen Platycladi (Bǎi Zǐ Rén): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Semen Platycladi (Bǎi Zǐ Rén)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:3~10 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1~3 qian (about 3~9 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:fried and extract oil, and smear apply; ③.Internally:water decoction,10~15 grams;or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply stick, or mash fresh herb and apply stick.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Semen Platycladi should not be combined with Flos Chrysanthemi, Rumex root, stone herbs, wheat flour. Better be combined with Concha Ostreae, Cortex Cinnamomi, Melon Seeds, etc.

 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Bai Zi Ren:Chinese Arborvitae Seed or Semen Platycladi.

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