Introduction of Sang Ji Sheng:Mulberry Mistletoe or Ramulus Taxilli.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Mulberry Mistletoe, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its officially defined botanical source one plant species, ①.Taxillus chinensis (DC.) Danser., and other three usable plant species, ②.Taxillus sutchuenensis (Lecomte) Danser., ③.Scurrula parasitica L., ④.Taxillus nigrans (Hance) Danser., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these four plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these four plant species, the features of the herb Mulberry Mistletoe, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Ramulus Taxilli(Mulberry Mistletoe).

Ramulus Taxilli:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Sānɡ Jì Shēnɡ.
 English Name: Mulberry Mistletoe.
 Latin Name: Ramulus Taxilli.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, tastes bitter, sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Ramulus Taxilli is the dried leaf-bearing stem and branch of Taxillus chinensis(DC.) Danser, used (1).to replenish liver and kidney Yin, strengthen the sinews and bones and dispel wind-damp for the treatment of arthralgia with aching back and limbs, and (2).to nourish the blood and prevent miscarriage for the treatment of menorrhagia and threatened abortion. The herb is commonly known as Ramulus Taxilli, Mulberry Mistletoe, Sānɡ Jì Shēnɡ.

 Botanical source: Common official herbal classics defined the herb Ramulus Taxilli(Mulberry Mistletoe) as the dried leaf-bearing stem and branch of the species (1). Taxillus chinensis (DC.) Danser. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Ramulus Taxilli(Mulberry Mistletoe) as the dried leaf-bearing stem and branch of the species (1). Taxillus chinensis (DC.) Danser., (2). Taxillus sutchuenensis (Lecomte) Danser., (3). Scurrula parasitica L., (4). Taxillus nigrans (Hance) Danser. They are plants of the Loranthaceae family(Loranthaceae Juss family) of the Santalales order. The officially defined species and other commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Taxillus chinensis (DC.) Danser.


 Taxillus chinensis DC.Danser.:drawing of plant Botanical description: The plant, Taxillus chinensis (DC.) Danser is also known as Loranthus chinensis DC., commonly known as Sāng Jì Shēng. A plant of the Taxillus Van Tiegh genus, the Loranthaceae family (Loranthaceae Juss family) of the Santalales order. Shrubs, the plant grows up to 0.5~1 meter high; Branchlets, leaves are densely covered with brown or reddish-brown, rust-colored stellate hairs, sometimes has scattered overlapping stellate hairs, later turn glabrescent; branchlets (twigs) are taupe (dust color), glabrous, with scattered fine and small lenticels. Leaves are opposite or subopposite; petioles are 8-10 mm long; leaf blades are thick chartaceous (papery), oval (egg-shaped) to ovate-oblong, 2.5~6 cm long, 1.5~4.0 cm wide, the apex is obtuse, the base is cuneate or broadly cuneate; Lateral veins are in 3~4 pairs, slightly conspicuous.

  Taxillus chinensis DC.Danser.:growing plant 1~3 racemes, axillary or grow in leaf axils of deciduous branchlets, has 1~4 or 2–5 flowers, usually 2 flowers, inflorescence and flowers are densely covered with brown stellate hairs, peduncles are 2-4 mm long; Pedicels are 6~7 mm long; Bracts are scaly, about 1 mm long; Flowers are red or brown, receptacles are elliptic or ovoid, 2~3 mm long; calycle (accessory calyx) is annular (annulate), 4-dentate; Corolla buds are tubular, 2.2~2.8 cm long, or 2.5-2.7 cm long, slightly curved, the lower part is swollen, the tip is ovoid, 4 lobes, spatulate, 6~9 mm long, reflexed, hairs are sparse after flowering; Filaments are about 2 mm long, 2/3 shorter than anthers, flowers are about 3-4 mm, anther cell often has transverse septum; floral disc (flower disc) is calathiform (cuplike); Style is linear, stigma is capitate.

 Taxillus chinensis DC.Danser.:growing plant The fruit berries are elliptic or subsphaeroidal (near-spherical), the pericarp has dense tubercles, covered with sparse hairs, mature fruits turn pale yellow, 6~7 mm long, or up to 1 cm long, 3~4 mm in diameter, both ends are obtuse, yellowish-green, the pericarp is granular, sparsely piliferous. Its flowering period and fruiting period are from June to August, to January of the following year.

 Taxillus chinensis DC.Danser.:growing plant Ecological Environment: The plant grows in plain or low mountain evergreen broad-leaved forest, in areas at altitudes of 20~400 meters above sea level, parasitic on mulberry, peach, plum, longan, litchi, Carambola, oil tea camellia, tung tree, rubber tree, banyan, ceiba, Masson pine or water pine (Glyptostrobus lineatus Druce), and other plants. The herb is produced in the northwest area, the Zhujiang River area, the southwest area, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Taiwan, and other areas of China.

 Mulberry Mistletoe:herb photo Characters of herbs: The stems and branches with leaves are cylindrical, have branches, 30~40 cm long, thick branches are 0.5~1 cm in diameter, and thin branches or branch tips are 2~3 mm in diameter. The surface is coarse and rough, the tip of the fresh twig is covered with rust-colored trichomes, russet (reddish-brown) or taupe (dust color or grayish brown), has many dot-shaped, tawny (yellow brown) or sallow (grayish yellow) lenticels and longitudinal fine wrinkles, the surface of the thick branch is russet or taupe, has protruding branch marks and leaf marks. The texture of the herb is hard and crisp, easily broken, the fracture surface is uneven, the cortex is thin, dark brown, easily separated from the xylem (wood part); the xylem (wood part) is wide and broad, accounting for most part of the stem, pale reddish-brown; The medullar rays are conspicuous and radial; The pith is small and slightly darker. Leaves are easy to fall off (deciduous), only on a few are residual on stems, and leaves are often curled and broken. The intact leaves are oval (egg-shaped) to long oval, 3~6 cm long and 2.5~4 cm wide, the apex is blunt and round, the base is round or broadly cuneate, tea brown or tawny, entire, 3~4 pairs of lateral veins, slightly distinct, and the young leaves have rust-colored villi, which are more or less coriaceous and crisp, easily broken. The petioles are 0.5~1 cm long. Flowers and fruits typically fall off; Flower buds are tubular, and slightly curved, the top part is oval (egg-shaped), covered by rust-colored fluff; Berries are oblong, russet, and densely tuberculose (have dense tubercules). The herb has a slight odor, it tastes mild and slightly puckery. The herb of a better grade has thin branches, the texture of the herb is tender, russet (reddish-brown), and foliose (leafy).

 Pharmacological actions: ①.reduce the myocardial oxygen consumption and myocardial oxygen utilization; ②.increase the coronary blood flow; ③.anti-arrhythmic effect; ④.prevention and treatment of acute myocardial infarction; ⑤.inhibit platelet aggregation; ⑥.alleviate the degree of myocardial ischemia by influencing the ischemic myocardial cyclic nucleotide (cAMP); ⑦.relieve arrhythmia; ⑧.affect the immune system, etc.

 Medicinal efficacy: Expelling wind-damp, invigorate liver and kidney, strengthen bone and muscle, free collaterals, nourish blood, miscarriage prevention, etc. It is indicated for rheumatic arthralgia pain, aching softness pain of waist and knees, weakness and feebleness of muscle and bones, hemiplegia, beriberi, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis (uterine bleeding), uterine bleeding during pregnancy, threatened abortion, lack of lactation after delivery, dizziness and dazzled, etc.

 Administration of Ramulus Taxilli (Sānɡ Jì Shēnɡ): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Ramulus Taxilli (Sānɡ Jì Shēnɡ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:9~15 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 3~6 qian (about 9~18 grams);prepare to powder, infusing in wine, or extract juice and take; ③.Internally:water decoction, 10~15 grams; or prepared to pill, powder, or infusing in wine, or extract juice and take. Externally:proper amount, mashed and apply stick.

(2).Taxillus sutchuenensis (Lecomte) Danser.


 Taxillus sutchuenensis Lecomte Danser.:growing plant Botanical description: The plant, Taxillus sutchuenensis (Lecomte) Danser is also known as Loranthus sutchuenensis Lecomte, commonly known as Sì Chuān Jì Shēng, or Chuān Sānɡ Jì Shēng. A plant of the loranthus genus, the Loranthaceae family (Loranthaceae Juss family) of the Santalales order. A semiparasite epiphyte, shrub, that grows up to 0.5~1 meter high; Young shoots, and leaves are densely covered with brown or reddish-brown stellate hair, sometimes have sparse overlapping stellate hairs; Branchlets are black, glabrous, have scattered lenticels. Leaves are subopposite or alternate, coriaceous, oval (egg-shaped), ovate-oblong or elliptic, 5~8 cm long, 3~4.5 cm wide, the apex is obtuse, the base is orbicular (suborbicular), the upper surface is glabrous, the under surface is covered with fluff (tomentose); lateral veins are in 4–5 pairs, conspicuous on the upper surface of leaves; Petioles are 6~12 mm long, glabrous.

 1–3 Racemes, grow in leaf axils or axils of branchlet, have 2~5 flowers, flowers are densely umbellate, inflorescence and flower are densely covered with brown stellate hairs; peduncle and inflorescence axis are 1~2 mm or 3 mm long; pedicels are 2-3 mm long; Bracts are ovate-triangular; Flowers are red, receptacles are elliptic; calycle (accessory calyx) is annular (circinal or ring-shaped), has 4 teeth; Corolla buds are slightly curved, tubular, 2.2~2.8 cm long, the lower part is swollen, the apex is elliptic, 4 lobes, lanceolate, 6-9 mm long, reflexed, hairs are sparse after flowering; Filaments are about 2 mm long, anthers are 3~4 mm long, anther cell often has septum; style is linear, stigma is conical.

 The fruit is elliptic, yellowish-green, 6~7 mm long, 3~4 mm in diameter, pericarp has granules, and sparsely piliferous. Its flowering period is from June to August.

 Ecological Environment: The plant grows in the montane broad-leaved forests, in areas at altitudes of 500~1,900 meters above sea level, parasitic on mulberry trees, pear trees, plum trees, oil-tea camellia, Ternstroemia gymnanthera, lacquer trees (Rhus verniciflera), Juglans, Quercus, Lithocarpus and Fagaceae plants, Birch and Corylus. It is distributed in the southwest to southeast areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The stems and branches with leaves are cylindrical, and have branches, 30~50 cm long, the diameter of thick branches is about 1 cm, and the diameter of slender branches and branch tips is 2~3 mm. The surface is coarse and rough, dark brown (black brown) or taupe (dust color or grayish brown), has longitudinal fine wrinkles, cracks, and punctate tawny (yellowish-brown) lenticels; And branchlet and twig tips are densely covered with tawny or russet (reddish-brown) fluff. The texture of the herb is firm and hard, easy to break, the fracture surface is uneven, the cortex is thin, tan (chocolate-brown), and easy to separate from the xylem (wood part); the xylem (wood part) is wide and broad, accounting for most of the stem, tawny or yellowish-white; the medullary ray is obvious; The pith color is slightly darker. Most of the leaves have fallen off (deciduous), and most of the leaves are broken or curled. The intact leaves are oblong oval, ovate-oblong or oval (egg-shaped), 5~8 cm long, and 3~4.5 cm wide. The apex is blunt, the base is round, the upper surface is smooth, dark brown or tawny, rarely greenish-brown, and the under surface is densely covered with tawny (yellow brown) to russet (reddish-brown) manicate hairs, or hazel (pale brown) to ash gray manicate hairs (variety), entire, leaf veins are pinnate, 4~5 pairs of lateral veins, slightly distinct on the upper surface, coriaceous and crisp, easily broken; petioles are 0.5-1 cm long, or already fall off, densely covered with tawny to russet fluff. Occasionally it has flowers and fruits that do not fall off; flower buds are tubular, and slightly curved, the lower half part is enlarged, the tip part is narrowly oblong, and the apex is sharp-pointed; berries are oblong (long circular), pericarp has granular small protrusions. The herb has a slight odor, it tastes mild and puckery. The herb of a better grade has a black brown out layer, strips are in uniform, and foliose (leafy).

(3).Scurrula parasitica L.


 Scurrula parasitica L.:growing plant Botanical description: The plant, Scurrula parasitica L is also known as Loranthus scurrula L., Loranthus parasiticus (L.) Merr., commonly known as Hóng Huā Jì Shēng. A plant of the Scurrula L. genus, the Loranthaceae family (Loranthaceae Juss family) of the Santalales order. Shrubs, grow up to 0.5~1 meters high. Young shoots and leaves are densely covered with rust-colored stellate hairs, and later the hairs completely fall off and turn glabrescent. Branchlets are taupe (grayish brown or dust color), lenticellate (have lenticels). Leaves are opposite or subopposite, thickly chartaceous(papery); Petioles are 5~6 mm long; Leaf blades are oval (egg-shaped) to ovate-oblong, 5~8 cm long, 2~4 cm wide, the apex is obtuse, the base is broadly cuneate; Lateral veins are in 5~6 pairs, both sides are conspicuous.

 1-2 or 3 Racemes, axillary or grow in the axil of branchlets where leaves fall off, each part is covered with brown hairs, peduncle and inflorescence axis are 2-3 mm long, has 3–5 flowers or 6 flowers, flowers are red, dense; Pedicels are 2~3 mm long; flower bracts are triangular; receptacles are turbinate, 2-2.5 mm long; calycle (accessory calyx) is annular (circinal), entire; Corolla buds are tubular, 2~2.5 cm long, slightly curved, the lower half is swollen, apical part is elliptical shape, tip is 4-lobed in anthesis (flowering period), lobes are lanceolate, 5~8 mm long, reflexed; Style is linear (filate), stigma is capitate.

 Berries are pyriform (pear-shaped), about 10 mm long, and about 3 mm in diameter, the lower half is suddenly narrowing and long stalk shape, reddish-yellow, pericarp is smooth. Its flowering period and fruiting period are from October to January of the following year.

 Scurrula parasitica L.:flowering plant Ecological Environment: The plants are parasitic on grapefruit trees, tangerine trees, lemon trees, peach trees, pear trees, apricot trees, pomegranate trees, etc. It is mainly distributed in the southwest areas and the Zhujiang River area, the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Taiwan, and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The stems and branches with leaves are cylindrical, many-branched, 3~5 cm long, and about 1 cm in diameter, and the thin twigs and branch tips are 2~3 mm in diameter. The surface is coarse and rough, old branches are russet (reddish-brown) or dark brown; Branchlets and branch tips are ochre red, and some young branches have tan (chocolate brown) stellate hairs; There are many punctate and tawny (yellowish-brown) or taupe (grayish-brown) transverse lenticels on the surface, as well as irregular, thick and dense vertical striations. The texture of the herb is firm and crisp, easy to break, the fracture surface is uneven, the cortex is thin, ochre brown, easy to separate from the xylem (wood part), the xylem is wide, faint yellow (pale yellow) or khaki, with radial veins, the pith is deep yellow. Leaves are opposite or subopposite, easy to fall off; The leaves are mostly broken and curled; intact leaves are oval (egg-shaped) to ovate-oblong, 5~8 cm long, and 2~4 cm wide, tawny (yellow-brown) or tea brown (dark brown), lateral veins are distinct, smooth and glabrous on both surfaces, entire, thick chartaceous (papery) and crisp, and some young leaves have tan (chocolate brown) stellate hairs; petioles are about 5 mm long, some of which have flowers and fruits that have not fallen off, the flower buds are tubular, the tip is oblong and sharp-pointed, the apex is 4-lobed in flowering, the lobes are reflexed, and 4 stamens and styles are visible; the berries are pyriform (pear-shaped), the tip is blunt, and the lower part is attenuated and in long-stalk shape. The herb has a delicate fragrance, it tastes slightly puckery and bitter.

(4).Taxillus nigrans (Hance) Danser.


 Taxillus nigrans Hance Danser.:flowering plant Botanical description: The plant, Taxillus nigrans (Hance) Danser is also known as Loranthus nigrans Hance., is commonly known as Máo Yè Dùn Guǒ Jì Shēng, Máo Yè Jì Shēng. A plant of the Taxillus Van Tiegh genus, the Loranthaceae family (Loranthaceae Juss family) of the Santalales order. A shrub, it grows up to 0.5-1.5 meters high. Fresh twigs, leaves, inflorescences, and flowers are densely covered with sallow (grayish yellow), yellowish-brown, or brown overlapping stellate hairs and stellate hairs; Branchlets are taupe (grayish-brown) or furvous (dark black), glabrous, with scattered lenticels. Leaves are opposite or alternate, coriaceous, oblong oval, long circular or ovate-oblong, 6~11 cm long, 3~5 cm wide, the apex is blunt or sharp-pointed, the base is cuneate to round, the upper surface is glabrous, turns furvous or tawny (yellow-brown) when it is dried, the under surface is tomentose; Lateral veins are in 4~5 pairs, slightly convex at the upper surface of leaves; Petioles are 5-8 mm long, tomentose.

 Racemes, 1~5 clustered in leaf axils or axil of deciduous branchlets, have 2 flowers or 3–5 flowers, densely arranged in umbelliform (umbellate shape), total length of peduncles and inflorescence axis is 2~4 mm. Pedicels are 1~1.5 mm long; Bracts are triangular, about 1 mm long; flowers are reddish yellow, receptacles are ovoid, about 2 mm long; calycle (accessory calyx) is annular, entire, slightly involute (rolled inward); Corolla buds are tubular, 1.2~1.8 cm long, slightly curved or suberect (nearly upright), the corolla tube is slightly swollen, tip is ovoid, 4 lobes, spatulate, 4~6 mm long, slightly explanate or reflexed; Filaments are 1.5~3 mm long, anthers are about 1.5 mm long; Style is linear, stigma is capitate. The fruit is elliptic, about 7 mm long, and about 4 mm in diameter, both ends are blunt, pale yellow (yellowish), the pericarp is coarse and rough, and has sparsely stellate hairs. Infructescence stalk is 3-5 mm long; carpopodium (fruit stalks) are 2~3 mm long. Its flowering period is from August to November, the fruiting period is from April to May.

 Ecological Environment: The plant grows in broadleaf forests of mountain, hill, or valley basins, in areas at altitudes of 300~1,300 meters above sea level, and parasitizes on camphor tree, mulberry tree, oil-tea camellia, plants of Quercus L, and Salix. The plant is mainly distributed in the southwest, the Zhujiang River area, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the Hanjiang River area, Taiwan, and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: It is the dry branches and leaves of Taxillus nigrans, with cylindrical stems and branches, the thickness of the lower part is 0.5~1 cm, and the thickness of the branch's end tip is 2~3 mm; The surface is tan (chocolate-brown) with slightly purplish red, has many tiny light-colored lenticels, and the slender branches have irregular fine longitudinal lines. The leaves are oval (egg-shaped), the undersurface is yellow-brown, coriaceous, and crisp, and most of them fall off and leave only leaf marks. Occasionally, there are dried flowers and fruits. The texture of the herb is firm and hard, the fracture surface is yellow-white. The herb has no odor, it tastes puckery. The herb of a better grade has fine branches and a brown bark surface.
 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Sang Ji Sheng:Mulberry Mistletoe or Ramulus Taxilli.

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