Herbs & Plants

Cynanchum glaucescens

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Botanical Name :Cynanchum glaucescens
Family: Asclepiadaceae

Common Name ;

Habitat : Cynanchum glaucescens is native to  E. Asia – China. It grows in  Mountains, riversides; 100-800. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang

Cynanchum glaucescens is a perennial Climber growing to 0.6m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from June to October, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

The Herbs is rhizomatous, roots fibrous, fascicled at nodes. Stems erect, to 60 cm, pubescent along 2 lines. Leaves opposite, subsessile; leaf blade glabrous, elliptic, oblong-lanceolate, or oblong, 1-7 cm × 7-12 mm, base cuneate or rounded, apex rounded to ± acute; lateral veins 3-5 pairs, obscure. Inflorescences umbel-like, sometimes with 2 cymules separated by a short rachis, shorter than leaves, glabrous or puberulent. Sepals oblong-lanceolate, ca. 2.3 × 1 mm, glabrous, basal glands 5. Corolla yellow, rotate, ca. 8 mm in diam.; lobes ovate-oblong, ca. 3.5 × 2.3 mm, obtuse. Corona shallowly cupular, 5-lobed; lobes ovate, fleshy, incurved, slightly shorter than anthers and adnate to them. Pollinia ovoid. Stigma head convex. Follicles fusiform, 4.5-6 cm × 6-10 mm. Seeds oblong, ca. 5 mm; coma ca. 2 cm. Fl. May-Nov, fr. Jul-Dec.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. It probably does not have any special cultivation requirements and will probably succeed in most soils in a sunny position.

Seed – sow spring in the greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.

Medicinal Uses:

Antitussive; Expectorant.

The fragrant root is used in Chinese medicine.  The roots and stems are used to treat coughs, pneumonia, uneasy breathing, and lung diseases.  They are also used in the treatment of asthma with profuse sputum, coughs etc.

The dried root and stem are antitussive and expectorant. They are used in the treatment of asthma with profuse sputum, coughs etc.

Known Hazards:There are some reports of toxins in this genus

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


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Herbs & Plants

Xu Duan

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Botanical Name : Dipsacus asper

Common Names: Xu Duan

Habitat :Xu Duan is  native to east Asia, it is grown in mountains in Japan and wild places and roadsides in China. In China, dipsacus is produced mainly in Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Yunan and Guizhou provinces.

Xu Duan is a perennial plant. It grows to about 1 m high. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs). The plant can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Medicinal Uses:
Properties: Bitter, sweet and pungent in flavor, mildly warm in nature, it is related to the liver and kidney channels.

Tonifys the liver and kidney, promotes reunion of fractured bones and prevents abortion.

Being sweet and warm, it can strengthen yang and tonify the liver and kidney; owing to the pungent and warm nature, it can also promote blood circulation. As a tonic, it functions mildly and without sticky property in tonifying the kidney, preventing abortion, promoting blood circulation and curing trauma. Thus, it serves to treat syndromes of deficiency of chong and ren meridians, threatened abortion, traumatic ecchymoma and injury of muscles and bones.

The plant is used in the treatment of rheumatism. It also has a long history of folk use in the treatment of breast cancer.  The root is used to strengthen the bones and tendons and liver, stimulate blood circulation, treat weakness of the limbs, for arthritis and rheumatic complaints, and to prevent miscarriage.  Roots also used to treat lumbago, trauma as a result of a fall, rheumatic pain, excessive menstrual bleeding

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


Click to access OL2006-TianXiaoyan.pdf

Herbs & Plants

Dryopteris crassirhizoma

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Botanical Name:Dryopteris crassirhizoma
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus: Dryopteris (dry-OP-ter-iss) (Info)
Species: crassirhizoma
*Dryopteris buschiana
*Dryopteris filix-mas (L.) Schott, misapplied
*Dryopteris buschiana Fomin
*Dryopteris setosa Kudo

Common Name :Guan Jung, Crown Wood-Fern

Habitat : Dryopteris crassirhizoma is native to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, and Siberia.It grows on mountains all over Japan. A terrestrial fern, growing on the humus-rich floor of temperate forests, often in colonies . Grows in  wooded slopes. Hardy to -25°C, USDA Zone 5.

Dryopteris crassirhizoma is a very beautiful fern. It is very vase-shaped, though the semi-evergreen leaves lie flat in the winter, then die back as the new fronds emerge.


Rhizome: stout, 10 cm across, erect, bearing more than ten ascending fronds in a beautiful whorl, scales lanceolate to linear, larger ones more than 4 cm long.

Frond: 100 cm high by 20 cm wide, deciduous, monomorphic, blade/stipe ratio: 4:1.

Stipe: grooved, straw colored, densly scaly, lanceolate to linear, brown, lustrous, vascular bundles: 3-7 in a c-shaped pattern.


Blade: almost 2-pinnate, deltate-ovate to lanceolate, widest at the middle, herbaceous , linear to ovate scales below, absent above.

Pinnae: catadromous; costae grooved above, continuous from rachis to costae; segments oblong, rounded; margins crenate; veins free, forked, immersed on upper surface.

Sori: round, confined to upper pinnae, indusium: reniform, at a sinus, sporangia: brownish.

Prefers an acid to neutral soil, succeeding in ordinary fertile soil in a shady position. Prefers a moist soil, but is drought tolerant when well established. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Spores – can be sown at any time of the year in a greenhouse. Surface sow on a sterilised compost and keep moist, possibly by placing the pot in a plastic bag. Germinates in 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Division in spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring


Edible Uses:  Young fronds are sometimes eaten.  No further details are found, but we would advise caution. See the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
The root contains ‘filicin’, a substance that paralyses tapeworms and other internal parasites and has been used as a worm expellant for humans and also in veterinary medicine. It is one of the most effective treatments known for tapeworms – its use should be immediately followed by a non-oily purgative such as magnesium sulphate in order to expel the worms from the body. An oily purge, such as caster oil, increases the absorption of the fern root and can be dangerous. The root is also taken internally in the treatment of internal hemorrhage, uterine bleeding, mumps and feverish illnesses. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use, it should not be stored for longer than 12 months.  Externally, the root is used in the treatment of abscesses, boils, carbuncles and sores.
In recent times this herb has been prescribed as a preventive measure during influenza epidemics. Guan zhong preparations strongly inhibit the flu virus in vitro. In one clinical trial, 306 people took twice-weekly doses of guan zhong and 340 served as controls. In the treatment group, 12 percent became ill versus 33 percent of the controls. Local versions of guan zhong from Guangdong, Hunan, and Jiangxi provinces have mildly inhibitory effects in vitro against many pathogenic bacteria. Guan zhong also is effective against pig roundworms in vitro, and it expels tapeworms and liver flukes in cattle.
In other studies, decoctions and alcohol extracts of dong bei guan zhong strongly stimulated the uterus of guinea pigs and rabbits. It increased the frequency and strength of contractions. Intramuscular injections of dong bei guan zhong preparations were used with more than 91-percent success to treat postpartum, post miscarriage, and postsurgical bleeding. Guan zhong is usually combined with other anti-infection herbs, like isatis, and provided in prepared remedies for both treating and preventing respiratory tract infections. For example, a folk practice in southern China is to treat drinking water with this herb to ward off common cold. Disease spread is also prevented by burning guanz hong with moxa (Artemisia argyi) as a fumigant.
Known Hazards : Although we have found no reports for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. The fresh plant contains thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. However, there have been reports for other species of ferns suggesting that even cooked fronds can have a long term harmful effect. Some caution is therefore advised.

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.


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