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

Xiang Ru

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Botanical Name : Elsholtzia splendens
Family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribes: Elsholtzieae
Genus: Elsholtzia
Species: Elsholtzia splendens
Order: Lamiales

Common Names : Xiang Ru,Elsholtzia angustifolia (Loesener) Kitagawa; E. cristata Willdenow var. angustifolia Loesener; E. haichowensis Sun ex C. H. Hu; E. loeseneri Handel-Mazzetti; E. lungtangensis Sun ex C. H. Hu; E. pseudocristata H. Léveillé & Vaniot var. angustifolia (Loesener) P.Y. Fu.

Korean Name: Kot-hyang-yoo
English Name: Shiny elsholtzia/Aromatic madder

Pharmaceutical name: Herba Elsholtziae seu Moslae
Taxonomic name: Elsholtzia splendens, Mosla chinensis

Habitat :Native to Korea & northern China. Grows in hills, grassy areas; 200-300 m. Guangdong, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shandong, Zhejiang [Korea]

Elsholtzia splendens is a perennial/annual plant. Stems are erect 30-50cm long, much branched above base, tawny purple; branches erect-patent; internodes 2-12 cm, with 2 rows of pilose hairs. Petiole 0.5-1.5 cm, gradually shorter upward, adaxially pubescent; leaf blade ovate-triangular to oblong-lanceolate, 3-6 × 0.8-2.5 cm, sparsely fine pilose, densely impressed glandular abaxially, base cuneate, decurrent, margin remotely serrate, apex acuminate. Spikes dense, 3.5-4.5 cm, secund; rachis pubescent; bracts subcircular to broadly ovate, ca. 5 × 6-7 mm, caudate-cuspidate, glabrous, sparsely glandular, tinged purple, margin ciliolate, apex 1-1.5 mm. Pedicel less than 1 mm, subglabrous. Calyx 2-2.5 mm, white hispidulous, glandular; teeth triangular, subequal, margin ciliate, apex spinescent. Corolla rose-purple, 6-7 mm, slightly incurved, subfunnelform, throat less than 2 mm wide, upper lip emarginate; middle lobe of lower lip circular, margin entire; lateral lobes truncate or subcircular. Nutlets dark brown, oblong, ca. 1.5 mm, tuberculate. Fl. and fr. Sep-Nov.

Chemical components: Thymol (1,2), -phellandrene (2), -bisabolene (3), -trans-bergamotene (4), monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes (5,6).

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and flowers of this aromatic plant have long been used as herb and seasoning. Also, the plant has been used in domestic folk medicine, due
to its diaphoretic and diuretic effects, and in Korea as a remedy for headache and cough.

A decoction of this herb is a traditional Chinese remedy for halitosis.  For this purpose, it should be taken internally and used as a gargle and mouthwash. Its use is said to relieve the effects of excess alcohol. It is used in the treatment of common colds, edema and oliguria. The plant has a broad-spectrum antibacterial action.

Cautions and Contraindications:
•Contraindicated for exterior deficiencies with sweating. This herb is referred to as “summer ma huang” and has a similar diaphoretic function.
•Drink it cool to avoid vomiting (per some herbal sources…mostly that means Bensky.)

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

Schizonepeta tenuifolia

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Botanical Name : Schizonepeta tenuifolia
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Schizonepeta
Kingdom:     Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names:Schizonepeta or Japanese Catnip.
Its Chinese name is Jing Jie , ( pronounced as  pinyin).
Other Names: Pharmaceutical name: Herba seu Flos Schizonepetae Tenuifoliae Japanese: keigai, Korean: hyonggae

Habitat :Schizonepeta tenuifolia is cultivated chiefly in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Jiangxi, China.

Herbs, sometimes subshrubs or shrubs , annual or perennial , usually aromatic . Stems and branches usually 4-angled. Leaves opposite, rarely whorled or alternate, simple to pinnately dissected or compound , without stipules. Inflorescences generally compound, sometimes flowers solitary and axillary ; verticillasters 2- to many flowered, subtended by leaves or bracts. Flowers bisexual , zygomorphic, rarely subactinomorphic, bracteolate or not. Calyx persistent , 5-toothed, 2-lipped; upper lip 3-toothed or entire (deciduous in Scutellaria) ; lower lip 2- or 4-toothed; tube sometimes hairy annulate inside. Corolla limb usually 2-lipped; upper lip 2-lobed and lower 3-lobed, rarely upper lip entire and lower 4-lobed, also rarely limb (4- or) 5-lobed; tube hairy annulate inside. Stamens epipetalous , 4 or 2, free , rarely filaments connate , sometimes one staminodial; anther 1- or 2-celled, usually dehiscing longitudinally; disc persistent. Ovary superior, 2-celled and each cell 2-ovuled and style subterminal , or ovary 4-parted and each lobe 1-ovuled and style gynobasic (from bases of ovary lobes) with 2-cleft apex. Fruit usually 4 dry nutlets . Seeds with or without endosperm.

You may click to see  pictures of Schizonepeta tenuifolia:
Approximately 3500 species in 220 genera, distributed worldwide, but mostly in the Mediterranean region and SW Asia. China has 807 species in 96 genera

Medicinal uses:

Its uses include:

*Used alone as a carminative, diaphoretic, and antipyretic. Clears pathogenic Heat and Wind, fever, and treats throat complaints. Induces sweating.

*For affection by exopathogenic wind-cold shown as aversion to cold, fever, headache and anhidrosis, it is often used with ledebouriella root and notopterygium root, as in Anti-phlogistic Powder of Schizonepeta and Ledebouriella (Jing Fang Baidu San).

*For exterior syndrome due to pathogenic wind-heat with symptoms and signs of fever, headache, bloodshot eyes, and sore throat, often in combination with Honeysuckle flower, Forsythia fruit, Peppermint, Platycodon Root and other herbs, as in Powder of Lonicera and Forsythia (Yin Qiao San).

*For German measles, pruritus, and measles without adequate eruption, it is often used with peppermint, cicada slough, arctium fruit, etc. For various suppurative infections on the body surface at their initial stages accompanied with exterior syndrome, it is often used together with ledebouriella root, Honeysuckle flower,  Forsythia fruit and other herbs.

*For hematemesis, epistaxis, hemafecia, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis, carbonized schizonepeta is used in combination with other hemostatics.

Schizonepeta tenuifolia extracts exhibit immunomodulation of the inflammatory response by regulating cytokine release, specifically the release of Th1 and Th2 cytokines from T cells as well as the unprimed CD4 T cells from differentiating into Th1 and Th2 cells.[

In the Chinese tradition, jing jie is valued as an aromatic and warming herb.  It is taken to alleviate skin conditions such as boils and itchiness.  It also induces sweating and is used to treat fever and chills and as a remedy for measles.  It is often combined with bo he.  Chinese studies have confirmed jing jie’s ability to increase blood flow in the vessels just beneath the skin.  Jing Jie is valued in Chinese medicine as an aromatic and warming herb. It is taken to alleviate skin conditions such as boils and itchiness. It is often combined with Mentha haplocalyx. Used in Chinese medicine in the treatment of hemorrhages, especially post-natal bleeding and excessive menstruation, colds, measles and nettle rash. Relieves wind cold, antispasmodic. Can be used for the onset of the common cold and influenza when they are accompanied by a headache and sore throat. Also used for hastening the ripening and termination of eruptive skin diseases, such as measles and abscesses, as well as to alleviate itching. Also useful for blood in stools or uterine bleeding.  In vitro it inhibits the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Modern Uses:
During the modern times, it has been found that the Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb contains carminative, antipyretic and diaphoretic properties. In traditional Chinese medicine, this herb is classified as able to clear heat and wind effectively. It treats fever, even fever that is due to unknown causes through inducing sweating. It is paired with Ledebouriella Divaricata Root, notopterygium root and other herbs to treat colds, fevers and headaches. It can also help relieve sore throats and to remedy blood shot eyes.

It has been used to treat German measles; it relieves the itch of German measle lesions preventing the occurrence of skin infections when scratched. Studies have shown that Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb also retards the production of histamine which is of great importance in the treatment of severe itching.

The Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb is also a promising cure for the common cold and other upper respiratory illnesses. This herb also has antibacterial properties that can control infections in skin and mucous membranes.
Side Effects:
Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb preparations that are marketed as creams and lotions are very effective in the treatment of skin itching. However, it must not be applied to broken or wounded skin. Open sores and lesions must not come in contact with Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb preparations.
Oral supplements and herbal remedies prepared with Schizonepeta tenuifolia and other herbs must not be taken by pregnant and breastfeeding women. People with anemia and other blood related illnesses must consult their doctor regarding taking Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb. It may cause severe adverse reactions with the medication they are currently taking.

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

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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Herbs & Plants

Stephania tetrandra

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Botanical Name :Stephania tetrandra S. Moore,  (han fang ji, fen fang ji), Aristolochia fangchi, Wu; (guang fang ji, guang dong mu fang ji),Aristolochia westlandi, Hemsl.,Cocculus trilobus DC. (mu fang ji)
Family: Menispermaceae
Genus: Stephania
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Species: S. tetranda
Common Name: stephania
Common Chinese Name :Han-fang-chi or Fen-fang-qi.
Pharmaceutical name: Radix Stephania tetrandra (han fang ji), Radix aristolochiae fangchi (guang fang ji), Radix cocculus trilobus (mu fangji)
Japanese: boi
bang gi
Cantonese: fong ke

Habitat :Han fang ji (fen fang ji) is distributed in Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei provinces.
Guangdong mu fang ji (guang fang ji) is distributed in Guang Dong and Guang Xi provinces.

Stephania tetrandra S. Moore is a species of flowering plant. It is a herbaceous perennial vines growing to around 4 m tall, with a large, woody caudex. The leaves are arranged spirally on the stem, and are peltate, with the leaf petiole attached near the centre of the leaf.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES.……...(1)..……..…(2).……..(3)....…….

Medicinal Uses:
Guang fang ji contains toxic amounts of aristolochic acid and can cause renal failure and even death; it is used in TCM only with great caution. In May of 2000 the FDA started detaining any plants or medicines suspected of containing aristolochic acid unless laboratory testing indicates the substances test negative for aristolochic acid. (Ony tests which use liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry [LC/MS/MS] method with a precision of less than 0.5 parts per million (PPM) are acceptable.) The traditional way of using guang fang ji is via water decoction. Since aristolochic acid has low water solubility this is believed to much safer than taking the herb as an uncooked powder.

Fen fang ji is of low toxicity (standard dose is: 4.5 to 9g, overdose can occur at 30-100g) and is traditionally used to dispel wind and dampness to relieve pain and to promote diuresis. It is acrid, bitter and cold. The part used is the root. The main active alkaloids are: tetrandrine (12 to 23 grams / kg) and fangchinoline (0.3-3 mg/kg). Also present are: cyclanoline, menisine, menisidine, oxofangchirine, stephenanthrine, stepholidine and bisbenzylisoquinoline

You may click to learn more   :

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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