Rhizoma Atractylodis


The rhizome of Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC. or A. chinensis (DC.) Koidz., family Cornpositae.

A. Lancea. Rhizome irregularly catenulate or nodular, slightly curved, occasionally branching, 3-10 cm long, 1-2 cm in diameter. Cork grey-brown, with wrinkles and fibrous root scars, stem base or scars remaining at the tip. Prepared by crosscutting; section yellow-white, showing numerous orange oil spots, named 'cinnabar spots'. White trichomatic crystals separating out on long exposure. Strongly aromatic. A. chinensis: Similar to the former, but oil spots lesser and odour lighter. Both are acrid and bitter in taste, warm in nature, and attributive to spleen and stomach channels.

1. Deprive dampness and activate the spleen: For domination of dampness and dampness-retention syndrome involving spleen-yang with fatigue, sleepiness, feeling of fullness and oppression in the chest and abdomen, abdominal distension and turbid, thick and greasy fur; for domination of dampness with watery diarrhea, usually used together with Pericarpiurn Citri Reticuiatae, Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis, such as Powder for Regulating the Function of Stomach. Also for downward attack of dampness with leucorrhagia and stranguria with turbid urine.
2. Expel wind and eliminate dampness: For arthralgia of dampness type with swelling and pain of joints, usually used together with Cortex Phellodendri (Powder of Phellodendri and Atractylodis), for those with prominent heat and together with Herba Asari and Radix Aconiti for those with prominent cold.
3. Promote sweating to expel cold from the body surface: For affection of exogenous wind-cold-dampness with chilliness, fever, heaviness and pain of the head and anhidrosis, usually used together with Rhizorna seu Radix Notopterygli, Radix Ledebourieliae, etc.; also for darnpness toxin attacking the superficies, such as eczema and pustulosis.
4. Remove nebula to improve the visual acuity: For night blindness, cataract, internal and external oculopathy.

Pharmacological Action
1. Gastric perfusion of its decoction lowers the level of blood sugar in rabbits with alloxan diabetes.
2. Gastric perfusion of its decoction increases excretion of sodium and potassium in rats without diuresis.
3. Its volatile oil and other two active components, eudesmol and hinesol, inhibit the growth of esophageal cancer cells in vitro.
4. Clinically effective for the treatment of night blindness and keratomalacia resulting from lack of vitamin A

Administration Decoction: 3-10g.


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