Bu Gu Zhi

Botanical Name : Psoralea corylifolia
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Psoralea
Species: P. corylifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name: Babchi , Bu Gu Zhi,Psoralea Seed, Malay Tea, Cot Chu, Ku Tzu Malaysia, Scurf-pea, Malaysian Scurfpea, P’o Ku Chih, Pha Cot Chi

Habitat :Asia, from Iran to China, Africa and the Middle East. Warm valleys in Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, China

Description:
A herbaceous annual, is about 1 m in height. The leaves are arranged in racemes.The purple seed pods contain dark elongated seeds. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information for this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil. Requires a well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants are very intolerant of root disturbance, they are best planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early to mid spring in a greenhouse. Either sow the seed in individual pots or pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible in order to avoid root disturbance. Grow them on in the pots until planting out in their final positions. It is usually impossible to transplant this species without fatal damage to the root. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. It is virtually impossible to divide this species successfully

Edible Uses; Seeds are known to be eaten.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic;  Antibacterial;  Aphrodisiac;  Astringent;  Cardiac;  Cytotoxic;  Deobstruent;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Infertility;  Kidney;  Odontalgic;  Skin;  Stimulant;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

Bu Gu Zhi is valued in Chinese herbal medicine as a tonic remedy and is used to improve general vitality. Modern research has shown that it is also of value in the treatment of skin disorders, including vitiligo. Some caution should be employed when applying the herb externally, however, since it can sensitise the skin and cause an allergic reaction to sunlight. The one-seeded fruits (or the seed plus the seedpod) are highly regarded as an aphrodisiac and tonic to the genital organs. The seed is anthelmintic, antibacterial, aphrodisiac, astringent, cardiac, cytotoxic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. It is used in the treatment of febrile diseases, premature ejaculation, impotence, lower back pains, frequent urination, incontinence, bed wetting etc. It is also used externally to treat various skin ailments including leprosy, leucoderma and hair loss. The seed and fruit contain psoralen. This causes the skin to produce new pigment when exposed to sunlight and is used for treating vitiligo and psoriasis. The antibacterial action of the fruit inhibits the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculos. The fruit is gathered when ripe in the autumn and can be dried for later use. The root is used for treating dental caries. The plant yields a useful medicinal oleoresin, it treats kidney disorders, impotence, premature ejaculation, lumbago etc

It is an important plant in the Indian Ayurveda too in Tamil Siddha systems of medicine. The seeds of this plant contain a variety of coumarins including psoralen. The seeds have a variety of medicinal uses, but the specific role (if any) of psoralen in these uses is unknown. Psoralen itself has a number of commercial uses. An extract of the plant’s fruit Fructus psoraleæ has been shown to act as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

One study in rats suggested that bakuchiol and ethanol extracts of P. corylifolia could protect against bone loss. Bakuchiol isolated from the Chinese medicinal plant, Psoralea corylifolia (Fabaceae), has shown activity against numerous Grampositive and Gram-negative oral pathogens. It was able to inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans under a range of sucrose concentrations, pH values and in the presence of organic acids in a temperature-dependent manner and also inhibited the growth of cells adhered to a glass surface. It may be of assistance in treating prostate cancer.

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Very high concentrations of the anticancer chemical, genistein, have been found in the leaves of Psoralea corylifolia

Psoralea Corylifolia has been shown to inhibit mitochondrial complex I and may therefore increase susceptibility to oxidative stress.

The one-seeded fruits (or the seed plus the seedpod) are highly regarded as an aphrodisiac and tonic to the genital organs.  It is used in the treatment of  debility and other problems reflecting “kidney yang deficiency”, such as febrile diseases, premature ejaculation, impotence, lower back pains, frequent urination, incontinence, bed wetting etc. It is also used externally to treat various skin ailments including leprosy, leucoderma and hair loss. The seed and fruit contain psoralen. This causes the skin to produce new pigment when exposed to sunlight and is used for treating vitiligo and psoriasis. This has been supported by Chinese studies.  In Vietnam, a tincture of the seeds is used to treat rheumatism.   It is antifungal and for most skin diseases should be taken internally and externally.  For the latter, the seeds are crushed and topically applied in a poultice.  Research has been done on using the seeds for alopecia. An injection of psoralea extracts and exposure to ultraviolet light were used in 45 cases. Within six months hair was completely resored in 36% of the cases and there was a significant restoration in another 30%.  In Ayurveda it is used as an anti-pitta herb, for skin diseases and hair loss.  The antibacterial action of the fruit inhibits the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculos. The plant yields a useful medicinal oleoresin, it treats kidney disorders, impotence, premature ejaculation, lumbago etc.

Precautions:
May increase Pitta when taken alone; do not take with low body fluids; do not use with licorice root.

The essential oil varies enormously in its effects on different persons. With the majority (95 per cent) of people, it causes only redness of the leucodermal patches. But in a small number (5 per cent) there is extreme sensitiveness to the oil. It may even cause blistering of the skin. The strength of the oil should therefore be varied in such a way as not to allow its action to go beyond the state of redness of the leucodermic patches.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://search.myway.com/search/GGcached.jhtml?pg=AJmain&ord=4&action=click&searchfor=Psoralea%2Bcorylifolia&curl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pfaf.org%2Fuser%2FPlant.aspx%3FLatinName%3DPsoralea%2520corylifolia&isDirResults=false&tpr=sbt&cid=iJusjo6y_3wJ&st=site&ct=GC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psoralea_corylifolia

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.motherherbs.com/psoralea-corylifolia.html

http://www.hillgreen.com/herbs_o1_p3.html

http://www.dadimakanuskha.com/psoraleacorylifolia.php

http://www.mdidea.com/products/new/new10102.html

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