Introduction of Tian Men Dong:Asparagus Root or Radix Asparagi.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Asparagus Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Asparagus cochin-chinensis(Lour.) Merr., 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 Asparagus Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Radix Asparagi(Asparagus Root).

Radix Asparagi:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Tiān Mén Dōnɡ.
 English Name: Asparagus Root.
 Latin Name: Radix Asparagi.
 Property and flavor: cold in nature, tastes sweet, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Radix Asparagi is the steamed peeled and dried tuberous root of Asparagus cochinchinensis(Lour.)Merr., used to replenish Yin and promote fluid production for the treatment of dipsosis, dry throat, cough with sticky phlegm, bloody sputum, and constipation. The herb is commonly known as Radix Asparagi, Asparagus Root, Cochinchinese Asparagus Root, Tiān Mén Dōnɡ.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Asparagus Root(Tian Men Dong) as the rhizome of the Liliaceae family plant species (1). Asparagus cochin-chinensis(Lour.) Merr. It is a plant of the Asparagus L. genus, the Liliaceae family (lily family) of the Liliales order. This commonly used species and Asparagus officinalis are introduced:

(1).Asparagus cochin-chinensis(Lour.) Merr.

 Asparagus cochin-chinensis Lour.Merr.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Asparagus cochin-chinensis(Lour.) Merr., is a plant of the Liliaceae family (lily family) and Asparagus genus, a perennial climbing herb, the whole plant is glabrous. Roots are fleshy, clustered, oblong or spindle-shaped, 4~10 cm long, grayish-yellow. Stems are thin, it grows up to 2 meters long, branches are with ribs or narrow wings; leafy branches are usually clustered every 3, flat, 1~3 cm long, 1~2 mm wide, apex is pointed.

 Asparagus cochin-chinensis Lour.Merr.:growing plants Leaves degenerate into scales, the apex is long pointed, apex is with woody spurs, stalks are 2.5~3 mm long on stalks, shorter or not conspicuous on branches.

 Flowers 1~3 clusters of leaf axils, unisex, dioecious, pale green; stalks are 2~6 mm long; male flower's perianth segments 6, stamens are slightly shorter than perianate, filaments are not attached to perianth segments, anthers are ovate, it is about 0.7 mm long; the female flower is similar in size to the male flower and has 6 staminodes.

 Asparagus cochin-chinensis Lour.Merr.:growing plants Berry is globose, 6~7 mm in diameter, red when mature; 1 seed. The flowering period is from May to July, the fruiting period is in August.

 Identification and traits of the Herb: The roots are long spindle-shaped or cylindrical, slightly curved, 4~18 cm long and 0.5~2 cm in diameter. The surface is yellowish-white or yellowish-brown, translucent, with longitudinal grooves and fine wrinkles. Tough or soft, with yellow-white cross-section, corneous, sticky, wide skin, and prominent middle column. The herb has a slight odor, tastes sweet, slightly bitter. It is better to be plump, dense, yellowish-white, and translucent.

 Ecological Environment: The Asparagus cochin-chinensis(Lour.) Merr., grows in the wet forests, grass or bushes, on roadsides, hillsides, valleys, sparse forests, and wasteland, is often distributed in mountainous areas at an altitude below 1,000 meters above sea level. It has not been artificially introduced and cultivated. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in east, north, central south, northwest, southwest, Taiwan, and other areas of China.

 Asparagus cochin-chinensis Lour.Merr.:flowers Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a warm and humid climate, not resistant to severe cold, avoid drought, and stagnant water. It should be selected from deep, fertile, humus-rich, well-drained loam or sandy loam; it should not be planted in clay or thin soil and poor drainage.

 Asparagus Root:herb photo Characters of herbs: The root tuber is long spindle-shaped or cylindrical, slightly curved, 4~18 cm long and 0.5~2 cm in diameter. The surface is yellowish-white or yellowish-brown, translucent, with longitudinal grooves and fine wrinkles of different depths. The texture of the herb is flexible or soft, the fracture surface is yellow and white, keratinous, sticky, the cortex is wide, the stele is obvious, yellow-white. The herb has a slight odor, it tastes sweet and slightly bitter. The herb of better grade is big and full, dense, yellow-white, and translucent.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.In vitro inhibit the dehydrogenase of leukocytes in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and acute monocytic leukemia; ②.inhibit the respiration of leukocytes in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

 Medicinal efficacy: Nourish Yin, moistening dryness, clearing away the lung-heat and promote the secretion of saliva or body fluid, lower fire. It is indicated for pulmonary dryness and dry cough, dryness-heat and cough, whooping cough and sticky phlegm, waist and knee pain aching, bone steaming and hectic fever, Yin deficiency and fever, Yin deficiency and over-strained cough, endogenous heat and wasting thirst (internal heat and consumptive thirst), febrile disease and injury of body fluid, febrile disease and Yin hurt, cough and hematemesis (cough, spitting blood), dry pharynx and thirst, swelling and pain in throat, atrophic lung disease, abscess of lung, wasting thirst (consumptive thirst), constipation, dryness of the intestine and constipation, etc.

 Administration of Radix Asparagi (Tiān Mén Dōnɡ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Asparagi (Tiān Mén Dōnɡ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:6~12 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 2~4 qian (about 6~12 grams);prepare an ointment, or prepare to pill, powder; ③.Internally:water decoction,6~15 grams, prepare an ointment, or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, mash fresh herb and apply stick, or extract juice and smear apply.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions: the herb Radix Asparagi should not be combined with azurite ore.

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