05-06-2012, 07:35 PM
Pulsatillae Root (白头翁)
Chinese pulsatilla root is the root of the perennial plant Pulsatilla chinensis (Bunge) Regel, of the Ranunculaceae family. Native to East Asia, it is grown from east Siberia to Inner Mongolia, the northeast and north of China. A related herb, Pulsatilla nigricans, is native to northern Europe and England. This wild plant grows in sunny meadows, pastures, and fields.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. A crown of leaves forms on the ground, from which a single flower grows in March and May. The stem reaches a height of about 10-40 cm and has downy hairs that grow on it. The flower is colored blue violet.
The root is harvested in spring. When used, remove leaves and residual flower stems and fibrous roots from the roots, retaining the white tassels at the root heads, dry them in the sun and use when raw.
Also called Anemone Root, Wood Anemone, Wild-flower Root, Pasque Flower Root.
Bitter in flavor, cold in nature, it is related to the large intestine channel.
Clears away heat to expel toxic substances, removes heat from the blood and arrests diarrhea.
The plant was used medicinally during ancient times as an external remedy for ulcers and eye inflammation. During the 19th century, European physicians had noted pulsatilla's use in the treatment of melancholy, swelling of the knees, and nervous system disorders.
1. For treating dysentery with bloody stools due to toxic heat:
This herb can be used alone or in combination with Chinese goldthread rhizome (Rhizoma Coptidis), cork tree bark (Cortex Phellodendri) and ash bark (Cortex Fraxini), e.g., Baitouweng Tang. In recent years, it has produced good results in the treatment of bacillary dysentery and amoebic dysentery.
2. For treating vaginal itching and malaria:
A) Vaginal itching (trichomonal vaginitis):
This herb is decocted together with ash bark (Cortex Fraxini) for external washing.
It is used with Chinese thorowax root (Radix Bupleuri), skullcap root (Radix Scutellariae) and betel nuts.
Dosage and Administration:
Decoct the ingredients for drinking. Use an adequate amount externally.
Cautions on Use:
This herb should be avoided by anyone who suffers from diarrhea due to cold of the insufficiency type.
When chewed, a caustic substance contained in the plant burns the tongue and throat. When applied topically, it may cause blisters on the skin.
Shen Nong's Herbal Classic : "To treat pyrexial malaria, mania, chills and fever, masses in the abdomen, goiter, etc."
"Eliminating blood stasis, killing pain and healing incised wounds."
On Drug Properties : "Abdominal pain, dysentery with bloody stools, toothache, ... general arthralgia."
Toxic or Side Effects:
The plant contains lactones protoanemonin, saponins, anemone camphor, tannins, and a volatile oil. It is antispasmodic and antibacterial and acts on the nervous system.
The fresh herb is a cardiac and nervous sedative, producing a hypnotic state with a diminution of the senses followed by a paralizing action.
A constituent similar to digitalis can be extracted from the whole herb with the roots removed. This is cardiotonic.
The Chinese pulsatilla root has clear antimicrobial effects on Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus pyocyaneus, Bacillus subtilis and salmonella. Its decoction and the saponin contained therein can resist amoebae to a marked degree. This herb has notable results in killing Trichomonas vaginalis. It also has a mild inhibitory effect on influenza virus.
The root is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent and sedative. The root is an effective cure for bacterial and amoebic dysentery. It is also used in the treatment of malaria, epistaxis and haemorrhoids and is used externally to treat trichomonas vaginitis.
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