Monday, October 6, 2008


The herb Schizonepeta is the above-ground part of ''Schizonepeta tenuifolia'' Briq., grown chiefly in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Jiangxi, collected in autumn, or early winter, dried in shade, and used unprepared or stir-baked to charcoal.

Its uses include:

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

Schisandra chinensis

Schisandra chinensis is a deciduous woody vine hardy to and is dioecious, meaning individual plants are either male or female, thus both male and female plants must be grown if seeds are desired. It is very tolerant to shade. Its Chinese name comes from the fact that its berries possess all five basic flavors: salty, sweet, sour, pungent , and bitter. Sometimes it is more specifically called ''běi wǔ wèi zi'' to distinguish it from another traditionally medicinal schisandraceous plant ''Kadsura japonica'' that grows only in subtropical areas.

Its are used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the . They are most often used in dried form, and boiled to make a tea. Medicinally it is used as a tonic and restorative adaptogen with notable clinically documented liver protecting effects. The primary hepatoprotective and immuno-modulating constituents are the lignans schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisins, and pregomisin, which are found in the seeds of the fruit. It should not be used by pregnant women.

In China, a is made from the berries.

In the berries are known as ''omija'' , and the tea made from the berries is called ''omija cha'' . In , they are called ''gomishi''.

In 1998, Russia released a postage stamp depicting ''S. chinensis''.

Use in traditional Chinese medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, ''Schisandra chinensis'' is believed to:

#Astringe Lung Qi and nourish the Kidneys
#Restrain the essence and stop Diarrhea--astringe Kidneys
#Arrest excessive sweating from Yin or Yang deficiency
#Calm the Spirit by tonification of Heart and Kidney
#Generate body fluids and alleviate thirst

''Wu wei zi'' is believed to enter the Lung, Heart and Kidney meridians and its properties are considered to be sour and warm. The typical dose is between 1.5 and 9 grams.

Contraindications include: Internal Excess Heat with External Syndrome, early stage cough, rash, rubella, or peptic ulcer, epileptic seizure, hypertension, and intercranial pressure.

Salvia miltiorrhiza

Salvia miltiorrhiza , also known as Red sage, Chinese sage, tan shen, or dan shen, is a shade-growing flowering plant in the genus ''Salvia'', highly valued for its roots in traditional Chinese medicine .


In traditional Chinese medicine, danshen has been used to prevent and treat heart conditions and strokes. Results from animal and human studies support these uses of danshen to some extent because danshen is known to decrease the blood's ability to clot in at least two ways. First, it limits the stickiness of blood components known as platelets. It also decreases the production of fibrin--threads of protein that trap blood cells to form clots. Both these effects help to improve blood circulation. In addition, chemicals in danshen may relax and widen blood vessels, especially those around the heart. In animal studies, chemicals in danshen may also have protected the inner linings of arteries from damage. Some other research suggests that danshen potentially may increase the force of heartbeats and slow the heart rate slightly. All these effects potentially could improve heart function and help to restore functioning after a stroke, but they need more study before danshen can be recommended.

In animal studies, danshen has appeared to interfere with the development of liver fibrosis--the formation of scar-like fibers in the liver. Because the non-functioning fibers crowd out active liver tissue, liver function decreases gradually as the amount of fibrous tissue increases. Having chronic hepatitis and habitually drinking large amounts of alcoholic beverages are the major causes of liver fibrosis, which could also result from exposure to chemicals or certain drugs. Danshen may also increase blood flow into the liver, so the length of time that potentially damaging substances stay in the liver may be reduced, also reducing the possible injury they may cause. Results from a few animal studies show that it may also protect kidney tissues from damage caused by diabetes. In China, danshen has also been studied for treating acute pancreatitis, painful and possibly dangerous inflammation of the pancreas. All of danshen's possible organ-protective actions need further study.

Recently, initial results from laboratory studies show that danshen may have some activity against human cancer cells and HIV . Danshen may stop the spread of several different cancer cells types by interrupting the cell division process and also by causing cancer cells to disintegrate. For HIV, chemicals in danshen may block the effectiveness of an enzyme, HIV-1 integrase, that the virus needs to replicate. Neither of these potential uses of danshen has been tested in humans.


Rehmannia is a genus of six species of flowering plants in the order Lamiales, to China.

The genus was included in the family Scrophulariaceae or Gesneriaceae in some older classifications. The current placement of the genus is uncertain; it belongs to neither Scrophulariaceae s.s. nor Plantaginaceae s.l. , nor does it seem to belong with any of the other major clades of Lamiales. Molecular studies suggest that its closest relatives are the genera '''' and ''Mazus'' , which have been included in Phrymaceae .

Sometimes known as Chinese Foxglove due to its superficial resemblance to the genus ''Digitalis'', the species of ''Rehmannia'' are perennial herbs. The plants have large flowers and are grown as ornamental garden plants in Europe and North America, and are used medicinally in Asia. Known as dìhuáng or gān dìhuáng in , ''R. glutinosa'' is used as a medicinal herb for a variety of ailments such as anemia, dizziness and constipation. ''Rehmannia'' contains the vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as other useful compounds.

The name "Rehmannia" has also been given to a genus of Jurassic ammonites belonging to the Reineckeidae family.

Selected species

*''Rehmannia chingii''
*''Rehmannia elata''
*''Rehmannia glutinosa''
*''Rehmannia henryi''
*''Rehmannia piasezkii''
*''Rehmannia solanifolia''

Prunella (plant)

Prunella is a genus of seven species of herbaceous plants in the family Lamiaceae, also known as self-heals or "allheal" for their use in herbal medicine. Most are native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but ''Prunella vulgaris'' is Holarctic in distribution, occurring in North America as well, and is a common lawn weed.

Self-heals are low-growing plants, and thrive in moist wasteland and grass, spreading rapidly to cover the ground. They are members of the mint family and have the square stem common to mints.

The common name "self-heal" derives from the use of some species to treat a range of minor disorders. It is reported to have an antiseptic and antibacterial effect, and to be particularly good in cases of food poisoning. In the Pacific Northwest, its juice was used by the and the Quileute on boils. They also used the whole plant to treat cuts and inflammations. Ointments can be made by fixing the plant with grease. Dried ''Prunella'' is used to make a herbal drink to help restore the body to a natural state after eating too many fried foods. It is also used in the treatment of high blood pressure.

While most of the traditional uses are of unknown efficacy, ''Prunella vulgaris'' has been shown to be an antioxidant, immune stimulant, viral replication inhibitor and an anti-inflammatory agent.

The mildly bitter leaves are also good as salad greens.

''Prunella'' species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including ''''.

Self-heal can be grown from seed, or divide clumps in spring or autumn.

Polygonum multiflorum

''Polygonum multiflorum'', better known as Chinese knotweed or Flowery knotweed, is a widely used . It is said to the body, and is also commonly known as fo-ti, fo-ti-teng, ho shou wu, or he shou wu . He Shouwu, a Chinese man who is reputed to have lived until the age of 132, is the first consumer of this herb to be reported.

The Chinese patent medicine called Shou Wu Chih has ''Polygonum multiflorum'' as one of its primary ingredients.

As a herb specimen, it is a quickly spreading vine that will cover anything rapidly. There are delicate flowers that appear in the fall.

Medicinal use

In traditional Chinese medicine , ''P. multiflorum'' is believed to:

* the kidneys
* Balance a fragile ''yin''.
* Treat weak bones and premature graying of hair
* Protect the skin against UVB damage

When taken internally, ''P. multiflorum'' also has a laxative effect.

''P. multiflorum'' contains stilbene glycosides similar to resveratrol and with superior antioxidant activity.

Resveratrol is extracted from ''P. multiflorum'''s close relative, Japanese knotweed . Resveratrol has been suggested to extend lifespan by a variety of mechanisms.

Phellodendron amurense

Phellodendron amurense is a species of tree in the family Rutaceae. It is one of the used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it has the name ''huáng bǎi'' .