Introduction of Xu Duan:Himalayan Teasel Root or Radix Dipsaci.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Himalayan Teasel Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Dipsacus asperoides C.Y. Cheng et T.M.Ai., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Himalayan Teasel Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Radix Dipsaci (Himalayan Teasel Root).

Radix Dipsaci:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Xù Duàn.
 English Name: Himalayan Teasel Root.
 Latin Name: Radix Dipsaci.
 Property and flavor: slightly warm nature, tastes pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Radix Dipsaci is the dried root of Dipsacus asperoides C.Y.Cheng et T.M.Ai., used (1).to tonify the liver and kidney and strengthen the tendons and bones for the treatment of aching back and joints, rheumatic pain in the lumbar region, (2).to improve the healing of fractures, and (3).to stop bleeding and prevent miscarriage, for treating functional uterine bleeding and threatened abortion. The herb is commonly known as Radix Dipsaci, Himalayan Teasel Root, Xù Duàn.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Radix Dipsaci (Himalayan Teasel Root) as the dried root of the species (1).Dipsacus asperoides C.Y.Cheng et T.M.Ai.. It is a plant of the Dipsacus genus, the Dipsacaceae family of the Rubiales order. This commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Dipsacus asperoides C.Y.Cheng et T.M.Ai.

 Dipsacus asperoides C.Y.Cheng et T.M.Ai.:flowering plant Botanical description: The plant, Dipsacus asperoides C.Y.Cheng et T.M.Ai is also known as Dipsacus asper Wall.ex Henry., commonly known as Chuān Xù Duàn. A perennial herb, it grows up to 60~90 cm tall, or 60-200 cm high. Roots are cylindrical or long conical, one root or several roots, taproots are distinct, or several roots connate, bark is tawny, slightly succulent, slightly succulent, sparse lateral roots are thin and long. The stem is upright, many-branched, has 6–8 ridges, and shallowly grooved, ridges have bristles. Basal leaves are sparse and tufty, have long petioles, leaf blades are lyrate pinnate, 15-25 cm long, 5-20 cm wide, ambilateral lobes are in 3–4 pairs, the pair of lobes near the center is bigger, gradually turns smaller downward, lateral lobes are obovate or spatulate, the biggest lobe is 4-9 cm long, 3-4.5 cm wide, the upper surface is covered with pubescence, the under surface is covered with bristles; cauline leaves are pinnately parted on the middle and lower part, central lobes are very long, lanceolate, reaches 11 cm long, 5 cm wide, the front end is acuminate, sparse coarsely serrated, ambilateral lobes are in 2–4 pairs, lanceolate or oblong, smaller, has long petioles, petioles upward gradually turn short; leaves on the upper part are lanceolate, indehiscent or the base is 3-lobed.

 Dipsacus asperoides C.Y.Cheng et T.M.Ai.:flowering plant Inflorescences are capitate and spherical (globular shape), 2-3 cm in diameter; peduncles are up to 55 cm long; 5-7 phyllary, inserted on the base of inflorescence, leaf-like, lanceolate or long linear, 1-4.5 cm long, 2-5 mm wide, covered with hirsute; bracteoles (bractlets) are obovate cuneate, 7-11 mm long, the widest part is 4-5 mm wide, front end is slightly truncated, pubescent, the central point tip is slightly flat, 2-3 mm long, each sides of bractlet has two shallow grooves, tip is 4-lobed, apex of lobe is sharp-pointed, there are irregular fine cracks between lobes; calyx is 4-ridged utensil-like, about 1mm long, indehiscent or 4-lobed to deeply 4-parted, outside is covered with short hairs, hairs on front end are longer; corolla is pale yellowish white, corolla tube is narrow funnelform (funnel-shaped), 9-11 mm long, 1/4-1/3 part of the base narrowly constricted to fine tube, front end is 4-lobed, lobes are obovate, one lobe is slightly bigger, outside is pubescent;4 stamens, inserted on the upper part of the corolla tube, noticeably beyond the corolla, filaments are flat, anthers are purple, elliptic; styles are shorter than stamen, stigma is short clavate (short rod-shaped), ovary is inferior, wrapped inside involucel (involucellum).

 Achenes are long cylindrical, about 4 mm long, and only the front end exposes outside involucel. Its flowering period is from August to September, the fruiting period is from September to October.

 Dipsacus asperoides C.Y.Cheng et T.M.Ai.:flowering plant  Ecological Environment: The plant grows wild on hillsides and mountain slopes, grassland with fertile soil. It is mainly distributed in the southwest, the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, and other areas of China.

 Himalayan Teasel Root:herb photo Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a cool and moist climate, cold resistance, and avoiding high temperature. It is appropriate to choose fields with deep soil layers, and fertile and loose soil for cultivation. Cultivation in dry areas or soil with viscous heavy clay and poor drainage, growth is poor, easy to catch disease and died. In summer when the temperature is over 35 °C (Celsius, or 95 degrees Fahrenheit), stems and cauline leaves shrink and wither, pendulous, stop growing, and easily hurt from drought. In rainy or humid environments, the underground part is easily affected by disease and rot. The temperature suitable for seed germination is 20-25 °C (Celsius, or 68–77 degrees Fahrenheit), high temperature of 30 °C (Celsius, or 86 degrees Fahrenheit) has obvious inhibition in the seed germination. In general, each inflorescence contains 2–4 seeds, sometimes up to 7–8 grains.

 Root of Dipsacus asperoides:herb photo Characters of herbs: The root is long cylindrical, slightly flat, some are slightly curved, the length is 5~15 cm, 0.5~2 cm in diameter. The surface is tan (chocolate brown), taupe (grayish-brown), or yellowish-brown, and has many conspicuous and tortuose (contorted) longitudinal wrinkles and grooves, with visible elongated lenticels and a few fibrous root marks. The texture of the herb is slightly soft, turns hard after long-term storage, easy to break, the fracture surface is uneven, the cortex is olive-green (greenish-brown) or hazel (pale brown), the outer edge is brown or light brown, the xylem (wood part) is yellowish-brown, often has radial patterns. The herb has a slight fragrance, it tastes bitter, slightly sweet, and then turns puckery.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.inhibitory effect on diplococcus pneumoniae; ②.effect of relieving vitamin E deficiency; ③.effect of hemostasis; ④.effect of apocenosis; ⑤.promote the regeneration.

 Medicinal efficacy: Tonifying the liver and kidney, strengthen the tendons and bones, repair fracture injury, regulating blood vessels, stop uterine bleeding. It is indicated for liver and kidney deficiency, soreness and pain of waist and back, soreness and softness of waist and knees, rheumatic arthralgia pain, weakness and feebleness of knees and feet, flaccid paralysis of limbs and joints, uterine bleeding, threatened abortion, morbid leukorrhea, spermatorrhea (seminal emission), traumatic injury, fracture and injury of tendon and muscle, incised (metal-inflicted) wound, anal fistula. Wine prepare herb is mostly indicated for rheumatic arthralgia pain, traumatic injury, fracture and injury of tendon and muscle. Salt prepared herb is mostly indicated for soreness and softness of waist and knees. 

 Administration of Radix Dipsaci (Xù Duàn): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Dipsaci (Xù Duàn)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:9~15 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 2~4 qian (about 6~12 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:mash the herb and apply stick; ③.Internally:water decoction,6~15 grams;or prepared to pill, powder. Externally:fresh herb proper amount, mash the herb and apply stick.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions: The herb Radix Dipsaci should not be combined with Omphalia.




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  • 1.Introduction of Xu Duan:Himalayan Teasel Root or Radix Dipsaci.

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