Introduction of Sha Yuan Zi:Flatstem Milkvetch Seed or Semen Astragali Complanati.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Flatstem Milkvetch Seed, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its herbal classic book defined botanical source one plant species, ①.Astragalus complanatus R.Brown., and other two usable plant species, ②.Astragalus sinensis L., ③.Astragalus adsurgens Pall. with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these three plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these three plant species, the features of the herb Flatstem Milkvetch Seed, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Semen Astragali Complanati(Flatstem Milkvetch Seed).

Semen Astragali Complanati:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Shā Yuàn Zǐ.
 English Name: Flatstem Milkvetch Seed.
 Latin Name: Semen Astragali Complanati.
 Property and flavor: warm in nature, tastes sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Semen Astragali Complanati is the dried ripe seed of Astragalus complanatus R. Br., used to replenish liver and kidney Yin for the treatment of dizziness, blurred vision, seminal emission, premature ejaculation, impotence, frequent micturition, and leukorrhagia. The herb is commonly known as Semen Astragali Complanati, Flatstem Milkvetch Seed, Shā Yuàn Zǐ.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Semen Astragali Complanati(Sha Yuan Zi) as the dry ripen seeds of the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, Papilionaceae, legume, pea family) plant species (1). Astragalus complanatus R. Brown. Other famous herbal classics defined the herb Semen Astragali Complanati(Sha Yuan Zi) as the dry ripen seeds of the Leguminosae family plant species (1). Astragalus complanatus R.Brown., or (2). Astragalus sinensis L., or (3). Astragalus adsurgens Pall. These 3 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Astragalus complanatus R.Brown.

 Astragalus complanatus R.Brown.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Astragalus complanatus R.Brown., is a plant of the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, Papilionaceae, legume, pea family) and Astragalus L genus, it is commonly known as "Astragalus complanatus", "Man Huang Qi", or "Bian Jing Huang Qi (literally it means flat stem Astragalus)", etc. Lanceolate; petiole is short, the leaf blade is elliptic, 6~14 mm long, 3~7 mm wide, apex is obtuse or emarginate, apiculate, base is obtuse to obtusely rounded, entire, the upper part is green, glabrous, the lower part is gray-green.

 Astragalus complanatus R.Brown.:drawing of plant parts Racemes are axillary; pedicels are slender; 3~9 florets, pedicel base has 1-linear-lanceolate bracts; the calyx is bell-shaped, green, apex 5-lobed, laterally black short stiff, calyx tube basal part with 2 ovate bracteoles, abaxially densely hirsute; corolla is butterfly shape, yellow, flag leaf is suborbicular, apex is retuse, base is clawed, ca. 10 mm, width 8 mm, winged shorter, keel and flag flap are equal in length; 10 stamens, 9 connate, 1 separate; pistil beyond stamens, ovary is superior. Densely white pilose, ovary has handle, style is glabrous, stigma with brush white mane.

 Astragalus complanatus R.Brown.:growing plant with pods The capsularfruit is spindle-shaped, 3~4 cm long, with a long pointed tip at the tip of the abdomen, slightly flattened abdomen, black short stiff hair, containing 20~30 seeds. The seed is round kidney shape. Its flowering period is from August to September, the fruiting period is from September to October.

 Astragalus complanatus R.Brown.:drawing of plant parts Ecological Environment: The Astragalus complanatus R.Brown., grows in the mountains and wild fields. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in north-central and northwest to southwest areas and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant Astragalus complanatus prefers a warm climate, resistant to cold, drought, afraid of high temperature and waterlogging. The soil requirements are not strict, sandy loam, clay loam are suitable for cultivation. Avoid continuous cropping.

 Flatstem Milkvetch Seed:herb photo Characters of herbs: The dried seeds of Astragalus complanatus are kidney-shaped and slightly flat, about 2~2.5 mm long, about 1.5~2 mm wide, and less than 1 mm thick. The surface is grayish brown or greenish-brown, smooth. One side is slightly concave inward. There is an obvious hilum in the concave. The texture of the herb is firm and hard, not easily broken. It has 2 cotyledons, pale yellow, slightly oval, with curved radicle, about 1 mm long. The herb is odorless, it has a mild taste, and bean smell when chewed. The herb of better grade has full and even grains.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.improve the immune function; ②.adaptogen-like effect; ③.improve the hemorheology index; ④.inhibit platelet aggregation; ⑤.anti-inflammatory; ⑥.analgesic; ⑦.lipid-lowering; ⑧.hepatoprotective; ⑨.diuretic effect, and other effects.

 Medicinal efficacy: Reinforce the kidney yang (tonify the kidney and support yang), invigorating the liver, replenish the kidney, controlling nocturnal emission and stopping polyuria, nourishing the liver and brighten the eyes. It is indicated for kidney deficiency and lumbago (kidney deficiency, low back pain), deficiency of liver and kidney, aching pain of waist and knees, spermatorrhea and premature ejaculation, frequent urination, enuresis (bed-wetting), hematuria (passing blood in urine), tinnitus (ringing in ears), dizziness, blurred vision (cloudy vision), dim eyesight, gonorrhea (white tubidity), morbid leukorrhea, white leukorrhea, etc. 

 Administration of Semen Astragali Complanati (Shā Yuàn Zǐ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Semen Astragali Complanati (Shā Yuàn Zǐ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:9~15 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 2~3 qian (about 6~9 grams), or prepare to pill, powder; ③.Internally:water decoction,6~9 grams;or prepare to pill, powder;or prepare an ointment.

(2).Astragalus sinensis L.

 Astragalus sinensis L.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Astragalus sinensis L., is a plant of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) family and Astragalus L genus, it is commonly known as "Astragalus sinensis", "Hua Huang Qi", perennial herb, it grows up to 20~100 cm tall. Stems are upright, ribbed, subglabrous. The single pinnate compound, 8~12 cm long; 21~31 leaflets, elliptic or ovate-elliptic, 1.5~2 cm long, 5~9 mm wide, apex is obtuse, shortly beaked, the base is rounded or attenuate, it is glabrous at the upper part, sparsely pubescent at the lower part. Racemes are axillary; flowers are numerous; the calyx is campanulate, membranous, the calyx is triangular-lanceolate, subglabrous; corolla is yellow, ca. 1.5 cm long, wing valves ca. 2/3 of the keel; ovary is with a long handle.

 Astragalus sinensis L.:growing plant Capsularfruit is elliptic, 1~1.5 cm long, 8~10 mm wide, leathery, swollen, densely grained, cracked when mature. 10~12 seeds, kidney-shaped, deep nuchal depression, brown.

 Ecological Environment: The Astragalus sinensis L., grows on hillside, roadside, sand, riverside. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in the middle reaches area of the Yellow River, north area, and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The dried seeds of Astragalus sinensis are regular kidney-shaped, grains are full, 2~2.8 mm long and 1.8~2 mm wide. The surface is dark green or brown-green, smooth. There is a hilum at the slight concave part in the center of the seed abdomen. The texture of the herb is hard and firm, not easily broken. The herb has a slight odor, a mild taste.

(3).Astragalus adsurgens Pall.

 Astragalus adsurgens Pall.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Astragalus adsurgens Pall., is a plant of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) family and Astragalus L genus, it is commonly known as "Astragalus adsurgens", "Zhi Li Huang Qi", "Bo Di Qiang", "Sha Da Wang", perennial herb, it grows up to 20~100 cm tall. The roots are thick, dark brown, and sometimes have long main roots. Stems are numerous or clustered, upright or oblique, hairy or subglabrous. Pinnate compound leaves are with 9-25 leaflets, the petiole is shorter than leaf; stipules are triangular, acuminate, base is slightly connate or sometimes dissected, 3~7 mm long; leaflets are oblong, suborbicular or narrowly oblong, length is 10~35 mm, width is 2~8 mm, the base is round or near-circular, sometimes slightly pointed, with sparse hairs at the upper part, densely at the lower part.

 Astragalus adsurgens Pall.:flowering plant The racemes are long-cylindrical, spicate, scarcely capitate, with many flowers arranged densely and sometimes sparsely; peduncles grow on the upper part of the stem, longer than the leaves or equal in length; pedicels are very short; sepals are narrowly lanceolate shaped to triangular, apex is pointed; the calyx is tubular-shaped or bell-shaped, 5~6 mm long, dark brown or white hair, or sometimes mixed with black and white hair, calyx teeth are narrowly lanceolate, as long as 1/3 of calyx tube; corolla is near blue or reddish-purple, 11~15 mm long flap, obovate, the apex is slightly dimpled, the base is gradually narrowed, wing valve is shorter than the flag, lobes are oblong, equal to petal stalk length, keel length is 7~10 mm, the flap is slightly shorter than the stalk; the ovary is densely covered, with a very short stalk.

 Capsularfruit is oblong, 7~18 mm long, slightly flattened on both sides, recessed into a groove in the back seam, with a short beak at the top and mixed with black, brown, or white, 2 false rooms. Its flowering period is from June to August, fruiting from August to October.

 Ecological Environment: The Astragalus adsurgens Pall., grows on sunny slopes and forest margins, sunny grass, and wild sunny hillside. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in the northwest area and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The roots are strong, most of them have obvious roots, and many lateral roots are long; there are numerous nodules on the roots. Numerous roots are concentrated in 15~40 cm soil layers. In barren sand, fibrous roots are mostly distributed in 30~100 cm soil layers.
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