Introduction of Yin Yang Huo:Epimedium Herb, Horny Goat Weed or Herba Epimedii.
✵The article gives records of the herb Epimedium Herb, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its officially defined botanical source four plant species, ①.Epimedium brevicornum Maxim., ②.Epimedium sagittatum., ③.Epimedium pubesens Maxim., ④.Epimedium koreanum Nakai., and another usable plant species, ⑤.Epimedium wushanense., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these five plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these five plant species, the features of the herb Epimedium Herb, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
Herba Epimedii(Epimedium Herb).
Pin Yin Name: Yín Yánɡ Huò.
English Name: Epimedium Herb, Shortened Epimedium Herb, Horny Goat Weed.
Latin Name: Herba Epimedii.
Property and flavor: warm nature, tastes pungent, sweet.
Brief introduction: The herb Herba Epimedii is the dried aerial part of Epimedium brevicornum Maxim., Epimedium sagittatum(Sieb.et Zucc.) Maxim., Epimedium koreanum Nakai., Epimedium pubescens Maxim., or Epimedium wushanense T.S. Ying, used (1).to replenish kidney Yang for the treatment of impotence, sterility, and frequent micturition, and (2).to strengthen the tendons and bones and dispel wind-damp for rheumatalgia, contracture, and numbness. The herb is commonly known as Herba Epimedii, Epimedium Herb, Herb of Shorthorned Epimedium, Herb of Sagittate Epimedium, Herb of Pubescent epimedium, Yín Yánɡ Huò.
Botanical source: Common official herbal classics and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Herba Epimedii(Yin Yang Huo) as the stem and leaves of the Berberidaceae family plant species, including (1). Epimedium brevicornum Maxim., (2). Epimedium sagittatum., (3). Epimedium wushanense., (4). Epimedium pubesens Maxim., (5). Epimedium koreanum Nakai. The latest official herbal classics(2020 Edition) defined the herb as the dried leaves from botanical source (1),(2),(4),(5). They are plants of the Epimedium Linn. genus, the Berberidaceae family (barberry family) of the Ranales order. Although the herbal classics not defined the root as a useful part, the root of the Epimedium is also could be used. These 5 commonly used species are introduced:
(1).Epimedium brevicornum Maxim.
Botanical description: The Epimedium brevicornum Maxim., is commonly known as "Yín Yánɡ Huò" (literally it means horny goat weed), or "Horny Goat Weed", it is a plant of the Berberidaceae family (barberry family) and Epimedium L. genus, perennial herb, the plant grows up to 30~40 cm high. Rhizomes, horizontal walk, the diameter is 3~5 mm, hard quality, most of the fibrous roots. Stems are upright, angular, glabrous, usually without base leaves. 2 stem leaves, grow on the top of the stem; have long handle; three out of the compound leaves, 9 leaflets, broad egg-shaped or nearly circular, long 3~7 cm, wide 2.5~6 cm, apex is pointed or shortly acuminate, the basal part is deep heart-shaped, margin spines, green at the lower part, shiny, glabrous, pale, sparsely puberulous, with clear reticulate veins; terminal lobular basal lobes are rounded, equal, lobes are not symmetrical, medial rounded, lateral pointed. Panicles are terminal, narrow, long 10~35 cm; inflorescences and pedicels are glandular-hairy; pedicel base bracts are ovate-lanceolate, membranous; flowers are white and 1.5~50 mm in diameter, flowers are 5~20 mm long; 4 outer sepals, narrowly ovate, dark green, 1~3 mm long, 4 inner sepals, lanceolate, white or yellowish, about 1 cm long, 2~4 mm wide, 4 petals, small, 2~3 mm long, 4 stamens, 3-4 mm long, anther ca. 2 mm; 1 pistil, style long. Fruit length 1 cm, apex is beaked. 1~2 seeds, brown. Its flowering period is from May to June, the fruiting period is from June to August.
Ecological Environment: The plant grows in the shady slopes or valleys. It is mainly distributed in the middle and lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, northwest, west, southwest area of China.
Characters of herbs: The dried stem is thin cylindrical, hollow, about 20 cm or 20~30 cm long, the surface is yellowish-green or light yellow, glossy, and hairless. The leaves grow on the top of the stem, and the stem leaves grow alternately, mostly is one stem with three branches and one branch with three leaves; The leaflets are ovoid or ovate heart-shaped, 3~8 cm long, and 2~6 cm wide. The apex is slightly pointed, the base of the terminal leaflet is heart-shaped, the leaflets on both sides are smaller, eccentric shape, the outer side is larger, ear-shaped, and the edges are finely serrate with yellow prickles; The upper surface is yellow-green, smooth, the lower surface is gray-green, with 7~9 main major veins, there are sparse slender hairs at the base, the midrib and veinlets are protruding, reticulated veins are obvious. The petiolule is 1~5 cm long. The leaves are nearly leathery, and the leaves are as thin as paper and elastic. The herb has a grassy odor, it tastes slightly bitter. The herb of better grade has few stems, many leaves, yellow-green, complete, and not broken.
Botanical description: The Epimedium sagittatum., is commonly known as "Jiàn Yè Yín Yánɡ Huò" (literally it means sword-leaf epimedium), or "arrow leaf epimedium herb", it is a plant of the Berberidaceae family (barberry family) and Epimedium L. genus, perennial evergreen herb, the plant grows up to 25~50 cm high. The rhizome is stubby, slightly nodular, hard, brown skin, white cross-section. Stems are with ribs, glabrous. Basal leaves are 1~3 mm, one to three leaves are compound; petiole is thin, long 4~18 cm; cauline leaves 2, often grows in stem top, and basal leaves are isoforms; a leaflet is leathery, narrow egg to lanceolate, 15~19 cm long, 3~8 cm wide, apex is pointed or acuminate, the base is the heart-shaped, arrow-shaped, lobular base on both sides of the asymmetric heart-shaped, lobed, marginal fine hairy, lower part is glabrous, unilateral shorthair; terminal lobular basal lobes are subrounded, equal, basal lobular asymmetric lobes, medial lobes are smaller, larger lobes, lateral lobes, triangle, pointed tip. Panicles entry students. Upright, inflorescences and pedicels are usually glabrous, sometimes glandular-hairy; flowers are white, ca. 6 mm in diameter, 20~60 flowers; pedicel is ca. 1 cm; outer 4 sepals, oblong-ovate, 1.5~2 mm, with 4 purple inner sepals, ovate or ovate-triangular, ca. 4 mm, width 2 mm, apex is pointed, white; petals are as long as inner sepals, brownish-yellow; 4 stamens, about 5 mm long, arching defense, about 3 mm. The fruit is about 1 cm, beak. Seeds are kidney-shaped oblong, about 4 mm, dark brown. Its flowering period is from February to March, fruiting from May to June.
Ecological Environment: The plant grows in mountains, jungle, rock seams, creek next to or shade humid. It is distributed in the center to the west to the northeast area of China, mainly in the northwest, the lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, the Zhujiang river area, southwest area of China.
Characters of herbs: The leaves are compound leaves, three leaves grow from one branch, the leaves are long arrow-shaped ovoid to ovate-lanceolate, leathery, 4~12 cm long and 2.5~5 cm wide; The apex of the leaf is spinous, the base of the leaflets on both sides is obviously skewed, the outer side is arrow-shaped, and the leaf base is arrow-shaped. The undersurface is sparsely covered with thick short hairs or nearly glabrous. Leaves are leathery. The herb of better grade has few stems, many leaves, yellow-green, complete, and not broken.
Botanical description: The Epimedium wushanense., is commonly known as "Wūshān Yín Yánɡ Huò" (Literally it means Wushan Mountain Epimedium Herb), it is a plant of the Berberidaceae family (barberry family) and Epimedium L. genus, perennial evergreen herb, the plant grows up to 50~80 cm high. The rhizome is nodular, hard, the surface is brown scales, surrounded by more fibrous roots. One back three leaves, base or stems, with long stems; 3 leaflets, leaflets with handles. Leaf-blade is leathery, lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, 9~23 cm long, 1.8~4.5 cm wide, apex is acuminate or long acuminate, base is cordate, margin ragged, the base of terminal leaflets equally rounded slices, basal lobes are oblique, medial lobes are small, rounded, lateral lobes are large, triangular, bare stem with 2 pairs of leaves. The panicle is terminal, 15~30 cm long, dapper 50 cm, with numerous flowers, inflorescences are glabrous; flowers are sparsely glandular trichomes or glabrous; flowers are yellowish, diameter 35 cm; 4 outer sepals, suborbicular, long 2~5 mm, 1.5~3 mm wide, inner sepals are broadly elliptic, 3~15 mm long, 1.5~8 mm wide, apex is obtuse; petals are angular, yellowish, sometimes purple, 0.6~2 mm long; 2~4 mm; carpels are obliquely cylindrical, with long styles, containing 10~12 ovules. The fruit is about 1.5 cm. Its flowering period is from April to May, fruiting in June.
Ecological Environment: The plant grows in streams, valleys. It is mainly distributed in the west reaches area of the Zhujiang River, southwest area, northwest area of China.
Characters of herbs: The small leaves are lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, 9~23 cm long and 1.8~4.5 cm wide; The apex is acuminate or long acuminate, the edge is barbed, the lobes at the base of lateral leaflets are oblique, the inner lobes are small and round, the outer lobes are large, triangular and tapered. The undersurface is woolly or glabrous. The herb of better grade has few stems, many leaves, yellow-green, complete, and not broken.
(4).Epimedium pubesens Maxim.
Botanical description: The Epimedium pubesens Maxim., is commonly known as "Róu Máo Yín Yánɡ Huò" (Literally it means Soft-hair Epimedium), or "Flocculent Epimedium Herb", is a plant of the Berberidaceae family (barberry family) and Epimedium L. genus, perennial herb, the plant grows up to 20~60 cm high. The rhizome is short, diameter is 3~5 mm. Stems are slightly ribbed, glabrous, or petiolate with pilose. Stems and leaves are 2 opposite; a leaflet is leathery, ovate to lanceolate, 3~20 cm long and 2~8 cm wide, apex is short acuminate or acuminate, the base is deep or light heart-shaped, lobes are often round, with spines on the edges, shiny above, densely gray pilose or volute below, especially along veins and petioles. Panicles are terminal or axillary, inflorescences and pedicels are glandular-hairy; flowers are white, diameter is l cm; pedicel length is 1~2 cm; 4 outer sepals, broadly ovate, 2~3 mm long, purplish, inner sepals are lanceolate, length is 5~7 mm, width is 1.5~3.5 mm, white, a few pulses; petals are small, shorter than the inner calyx, about 2 mm, bundles; stamens are 4 mm long, about 2 mm anthers. The fruit is oblong, apex has a long beak. Its flowering period is from April to May, fruiting from May to July.
Ecological Environment: The plant grows on the hillside, under the forest grass, high moisture zone. It is mainly distributed in the middle and lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, northwest, southwest, northern areas of China.
Characters of herbs: The undersurface of leaves and petioles are densely hairy villous. The herb of better grade has few stems, many leaves, yellow-green, complete, and not broken.
(5).Epimedium koreanum Nakai.
Botanical description: The Epimedium koreanum Nakai., is commonly known as "Dōng Běi Yín Yánɡ Huò" (Literally it means northeast epimedium), it is a plant of the Berberidaceae family (barberry family) and Epimedium L. genus, perennial herb, the plant grows up to 20~40 cm high. Rhizome horizontally spread, long and hard, with numerous fibrous roots. Stems are upright, slightly ascending, ribbed, basally wrapped with 2~3 pieces of nearly national scales. Basal leaves are usually absent, rarely 1~2, nearly as long as stem; cauline leaves 2, 3, 2, 1, grow on top of the stem with long stems, connected with stems and joints; 9 leaflets, the petiole is shorter. The small leaf blade is ovate, flower petals are about 5 cm long, width is about 3 cm, after anthesis increased, about 10 cm, width is 7 cm, the base is deep heart-shaped, often skewed, apex is pointed, margin is with hairy serrate, glabrous at the upper part. Racemes are shorter than leaves, stems and leaves grow on both sides of stems, single or divided by the base, with long stems, joint, glabrous, basally with 2 small bracts, 4~6 terminal flowers; small pedicle is about 1 cm, flowers are larger, diameter is about 2 cm; 8 sepals, ovate needle-shaped, length is 3~4 mm, with lavender, outer 4, smaller, inner 4, larger, 6~9 mm long; 4 petals. Pale yellow or yellowish-white, suborbicular, 7~8 mm long, apex is pointed; 1 ovary, style is elongate, stigma is capitate. Fruit is fusiform, ca. 6 mm (with style), 2-fissured, small flap loosen, large ones, 6~8 seeds inside. Its flowering period is in late April to mid-May, fruiting in May.
Ecological Environment: The plant grows under a bright forest or shrubs, prefers to rich with hummus and more moist soil. It is distributed in the northeast and other areas of China.
Characters of herbs: The leaflets are large, 4~10 cm long, and 3.5~7 cm wide, leaf apex is long and tapered. The leaves are thin. The herb of better grade has few stems, many leaves, yellow-green, complete, and not broken.
Pharmacological actions: ①.increase semen secretion and stimulate sensory nerves; ②.increasing androgen; ③.thicken seminal fluid, increase the volume of semen and increase the level of testosterone in plasma; ④.effect on the cardiovascular and endocrine systems; ⑤.antitussive; ⑥.expectorant; ⑦.anti-asthmatic effect; ⑧.anti-hypoxia protection effect; ⑨.lowering blood lipid and blood sugar; ⑩.anti-pathogenic microorganisms (significantly inhibit Staphylococcus albus, Staphylococcus aureus, mild inhibition of Neisseria catarrhalis, Diplococcus lanceolatus, Hemophilus influenza, inhibition of tubercle bacillus in vitro, inhibit poliovirus, Coxsackie virus A9, B4, B5 type and ECHO virus 6, 9 types.), etc.
Medicinal efficacy: Tonifying kidney yang, invigorate the kidney and to strengthen yang, strengthen muscle tendon and bones, expelling wind-damp. It is indicated for decline and weakness of kidney-Yang, impotentia and could not erect, asynodia and spermatorrhea (impotence and nocturnal emission), deficiency cold and infertility, kidney deficiency and dyspnea cough(dyspnea and cough due to deficiency of the kidney), flaccidity of muscles tendons and bones, contracture and spasm of muscles tendons and bones, dribbling urination, polyuria and uroclepsia (frequent urination and urinary incontinence), hemiplegia (half-paralyzed), weakness and feebleness of waist and knees (weakness and lack of strength in waist and knees), aching softness of waist and knees, rheumatic arthralgia pain, numbness of limbs (numbness of arms and hands, legs and feet), numbness and muscular constricture, etc.
Administration of Herba Epimedii (Yín Yánɡ Huò):
Administration Guide of Herba Epimedii (Yín Yánɡ Huò)
①.Internally:6~10 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1~3 qian (about 3~9 grams);infusing in wine, prepare an ointment, or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:wash with water decoction; ③.Internally:water decoction, 3~9 grams, big dosage could be up to 15 grams;or infusing in wine, prepare an ointment, or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, mouthwash with water decoction.
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1.Introduction of Yin Yang Huo:Epimedium Herb, Horny Goat Weed or Herba Epimedii.