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 chinensis L.f., 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).

brownish herb seeds of Semen Astragali Complanati are piled together 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 chinensis L.f., or (3). Astragalus adsurgens Pall. These 3 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Astragalus complanatus R.Brown.


 a flowering plant of Astragalus complanatus R.Brown. with many pendulous yellow flowers and green leaves grow in field Botanical description: The plant, Astragalus complanatus R.Brown is a plant of the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, Papilionaceae, legume, pea family) and Astragalus L genus, is commonly known as Astragalus complanatus, Man Huang Qi, or Bian Jing Huang Qi (means flat stem Astragalus), etc. A perennial, tall herb. The plant grows up to over 1 meter high, and the whole plant is covered with short hirsute. The taproot (main root) is thick and long. Stems are decumbent, have corners and ridges, mostly ramificate at the base, imparipinnate leaves (odd-pinnate compound leaves), alternate; with short stipitate; stipules (peraphyllum) are narrow-lanceolate, about 3 mm long, 0.5 mm wide, piliferous; 9–21 lobules (lobelets), leaf blades are elliptic, 6–14 cm long, 3–7 mm wide, apex is blunt or emarginate, has a thin tip, base is blunt to obtuse, entire, the upper surface is green, glabrous, the under surface is celadon (sage green).

 a colorful drawing of Astragalus complanatus R.Brown.,green stem and leaves,small flowers and seeds Racemes are axillary, 3–9 flowers; peduncles are thin and long, piliferous (hairy); the base of small pedicels has 1 linear-lanceolate bracteole (bractlet); the calyx is campanulate (bell-shaped), green, apex is 5-lobed, outside is covered with black short hirsute, the base of hypanthium (calyx tube) has 2 oval (egg-shaped) bracteoles (bractlets), outside is densely covered with short hirsute; corolla is papilionaceous, yellow, vexilla is orbicular, the apex is emarginate, the base has claws, about 10 mm long, about 8 mm wide, alae (winged stem) is slightly short, tropis (keel pelals) is the equal length as vexilla; 10 stamens, disomic, (9)+1; pistil grows beyond stamen, the ovary is superior, densely covered with white pilose, has podogynium (gynophore), style is glabrous, stigma is penicillate and covered with beard hair.

 fruiting plants of Astragalus complanatus R.Brown. with purple reddish pods and green leaves grow in field Legumes (pods) are fusiform (spindle-shaped), 3~4 cm long, have a long pointed rostrum (beak) at the tip, the ventral surface and back surface are slightly flattened, covered with black short hirsute, and contain 20–30 seeds. The seed is rounded reniform. Its flowering period is from August to September, and the fruiting period is from September to October.

 a colorful drawing of Astragalus complanatus R.Brown.,plant parts,green leaves and stems,pods and seeds Ecological Environment: The plant grows in the mountains, ditch sides, and barren lands. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in north-central and northwest-to-southwest areas and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers a warm climate, is resistant to cold, and drought, and is afraid of high temperatures and waterlogging. Its soil requirements are not strict, sandy loam, and clay loam are suitable for cultivation. Avoid continuous cropping, better to choose Gramineous crops as previous crops.

 many brownish seeds of Flatstem Milkvetch Seed are piled together Characters of herbs: The dried seeds of Astragalus complanatus are rounded reniform and slightly flat, about 2~2.5 mm long, about 1.5~2 mm wide, and less than 1 mm thick. The surface is taupe (grayish brown, dust color) or greenish-brown, smooth. The concave part of one side has a faint color hilum. There is an obvious hilum in the concave. The texture of the herb is firm and hard, not easily broken. It has two cotyledons, pale yellow, slightly oval, and a curved radicel, about 1 mm long. The herb is odorless, has a mild taste, and has a bean smell when chewed. The herb of a better grade has full and big grains, greenish-brown.

 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 chinensis L.f.


 a flowering plant of Astragalus chinensis L.f. grows in field Botanical description: The plant, Astragalus chinensis L.f is a plant of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) family and Astragalus L genus, it is commonly known as Astragalus sinensis, Huá Huáng Qí, Dì Huáng Qí. A perennial herb, it grows up to 20–100 cm tall, or 30-90 cm tall. Stems are upright, usually simple, ribbed, or have deep grooves, glabrous or subglabrous. Imparipinnate leaves (odd-pinnate leaves), has 17–25 lobules (leaflets), 5–12 cm or 8–12 cm long; petioles are 1-2 cm long; stipules(peraphyllum) are separate (free), base slightly adnate with petioles, lanceolate, 7–11 mm long, glabrous or the undersurface has white pubescence; lobules (leaflets) are elliptic to oblong, 1.5–2.5 cm long, 4–9 mm wide, the apex is blunt, has a small pointed tip, base is broadly cuneate or orbicular (suborbicular), the upper surface is glabrous, the under surface is sparsely covered with white appressed hairs, rarely glabrate (glabrescent).

 Racemes have many flowers, slightly dense; peduncles are axillary at the upper part, shorter than leaves; bracts are lanceolate, membraneous, 2-3 mm long; pedicels are 4-5 mm long, white pilose scattered on pedicels and inflorescence axis; the calyx is tubular-campanulate, 6-7 mm long, outside is sparsely covered with white appressed hairs, calyx teeth are triangular-lanceolate, about 2 mm long, the inner surface is covered with appressed white pubescence; bracteoles (bractlets) are lanceolate; corolla is yellow, vexilla (vexil) are broadly elliptical or orbicular (subrotund), 12-16 mm long, the apex is emarginate, the base is attenuated and turns petal stalk, alae (winged stem) is small, 9-12 mm long, alae lobes are oblong, about 2 mm wide, the apex is blunt point, base has short ears, petal stalks are 4-5 mm long, tropis (keel pelals) are nearly equal length as vexilla, lobes are semiovoid, petal stalks are about 1/2 length of lobes; ovary is glabrous, has long stalks.

 plants of Astragalus chinensis L.f. grow in field Legumes (pods) are elliptic, 1~1.5 cm long, 5~6 mm wide, enlarged, apex has a curved rostrum (beak) with length about 1 mm, glabrous, densely covered with mold wrinkles, fruit valves are firm and thick, pseudo 2-loculed, fruit neck is about 6-9 mm long; the seeds are reniform, 2.5–3 mm long, brown. Its flowering period is from June to July, and the fruiting period is from July to August.

 Ecological Environment: The plant grows on hillsides and mountain slopes, roadsides, sandy ground, grassland, and riversides. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in the middle reaches of the Yellow River, the northern area, and other areas of China.

 Characters of herbs: The dried seeds of Astragalus chinensis are regular reniform, and the grains are full, 2~2.8 mm long, and 1.8~2 mm wide. The surface is dark green or brownish-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 and a mild taste.

(3).Astragalus adsurgens Pall.


 flowering plant of Astragalus adsurgens Pall. with many purple flower spikes grow in arid field Botanical description: The plant, Astragalus adsurgens Pall is a plant of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) family and Astragalus L genus, it is commonly known as Astragalus adsurgens, Astragalus laxmannii, Zhi Li Huang Qi, Xié Jīng Huang Qi, Bo Di Qiang, Sha Da Wang. A perennial herb, it grows up to 50–70 cm high, or 20–100 cm tall, the whole plant is covered with T-shaped fuzz. The taproots (main roots) are thick and long, lateral roots are many, and mainly distributed in soil layers of 20–30 cm depth, root width reaches about 150 cm, root has inserted brown root nodules. Stems are upright or slope upward, cespitose (in tufts), have many branches, and the main stem is inconspicuous, usually, with 10–25 main stems. Leaves are imparipinnate leaves (odd-pinnate compound leaves), have 3–27 lobules (lobelets), are oblong, and stipules (peraphyllum) are membraneous, oval (egg-shaped).

 flowering plants of Astragalus adsurgens Pall. with purple flower spikes and green leaves grow in woods Racemes, mostly axillary, long cylindrical, spiciform (spicate), rarely subcapitate, each inflorescence has 17–79 flowerets (floscules), densely arranged, sometimes are sparse; peduncles grow on the upper part of the stem, longer than leaves or equal length as leaves; pedicels are very short; flower bracts are narrowly lanceolate to triangular, the apex is pointed; calyx is tubular-campanulate, 5-6 mm long, is covered with dark brown (black brown) or white hairs, sometimes is covered with black and white mixed hairs, calyx teeth are narrow-lanceolate, length is about 1/3 length of the hypanthium (calyx tube); corolla is nearly blue or reddish violet, vexilla is 11-15 mm long, obovate, apex is slightly emarginated (retuse), base is attenuated, alae (winged stem) is shorter than vexilla, lobes are oblong, equal length as petal stalk, tropis (keel pelals) are 7-10 mm long, lobes are slightly shorter than petal stalk; ovary is covered with dense hairs, has very short stalk.

 Legumes (pods) are oblong, 7–18 mm long, both sides are slightly flat, the dorsal suture is concave and forms grooves, the tip has a recurved short rostrum (beak), covered with black, brown, or white mixed hairs, pseudo 2-loculed. Its flowering period is from June to August, and the fruiting period is from August to October.

 Ecological Environment: The plant grows on sunny hillsides or mountain slopes, forest margins, sunny grass, and wild sunny hillsides. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in the northwest area and other areas of China. It is also distributed in North Asia, Northeast Asia, and the temperate zone of North America.

 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.
 

 
  

 

 QR codeURL QR code:
 Website Address QR-code 

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

 Last edit and latest revision date:
   cool hit counter