Radix Linderae Origin: Lindera root
is the root of the evergreen shrub Lindera aggregata (Sims) Kosterm., of the family Lauraceae. Native to east Asia, it is grown in shrub thickets along mountainsides in mainly China, Japan and Korea.
The plant grows to about 9 m high. It is in leaf all year. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). The plant can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It requires moist soil.
In China, it is mainly produced in the provinces Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, etc. Reaped all year round, the fine roots are first removed from the root; then the root is sliced when fresh and dried in the sun for use when raw or after being parched with bran. Properties:
Pungent in flavor, warm in nature, it is related to the lung, spleen, kidney and urinary bladder channels. Functions:
Activates the flow of qi
, relieves pain, warms the kidneys and dispels cold. Applications:
1. To treat various pains in the chest and abdomen due to retention of cold and stagnation of qi
a) Tightness and pain in the chest and hypochondria (extreme depression):
This herb can be used together with onion bulb, Mongolian snakegourd peel (Pericarpium Trichosanthis), yanhusuo (Rhizoma Corydalis), etc.
b) Distending pain in the epigastrium and abdomen:
This herb can be used together with nutgrass flatsedge rhizome
(Rhizoma Cyperi), aucklandia root
, dried tangerine peel
c) Abdominal pain with cold hernia:
This herb is mostly used together with fennel (Fructus Foeniculi), dried green orange peel, lesser galangal (Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum), etc., e.g., Tiantai Wuyao San.
d) Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation):
This herb can be used together with Chinese angelica, nutgrass flatsedge rhizome
(Rhizoma Cyperi), aucklandia root
, etc., e.g., Wuyao Tang in the book 'The Compendium of Therapies for Women's Diseases'.
2. To treat frequent urination and enuresis (involuntary discharge of urine):
This herb is often used together with galangal (Fructus alpiniae Oxyphyllae), yam, etc., e.g., Suo Quan Wan. Dosage and Administration:
Decoct this herb for oral administration. Cautions on Use: Reference Materials: Supplement to the Compendium of Materia Medica
: "Abdominal pain with nausea, indigestion, epidemic diseases, attacks on the back by pathogenic cold from between the urinary bladder and kidneys, stagnation of blood and qi
in women and infantile parasites in the abdomen." The Compendium of Materia Medica
: "Beriberi, hernia, headache, fainting due to disorders of qi
and headache, generalized edema with abdominal distention and dyspnea (difficult or labored respiration), frequent urination and gonorrhea (contagious inflammation of the genital mucous membrane)." Toxic or Side Effects: Modern Researches: Lindera root
contains alkaloids and an essential oil (volatile oil) with lindernane, linderane, linderenol, linderic acid, linderalactone, etc., as its main ingredients.
For self protection, the outer skin (bark) of many plants contains essential oil, which in turn has elements that serve as an immediate chemical defense against herbivores and pathogens. How? There is an element called hydroxynitrile glucoside in essential oil. This element will release toxic hydrogen cyanide by endogenous plant glucosidase upon tissue disruption (see Anne Vinther Morant, Kirsten Jorgensen, Charlotte Jorgensen, Suzanne Michelle Paquette, Raquel Sanchez-Perez, Birger Lindberg Moller, and Soren Bak, "beta-Glucosidases as Detonators of Plant Chemical Defense," Phytochemistry
Vol. 69, Issue 9 (June 2008), pp. 1,795-1,813).
Glucosidase is a catalyzing enzyme that improves healthy functions of our body. It is a lipase that decomposes fat; it can also check inflammation and improve memory (see Mikako Sakurai, Masayuki Sekiguchi, Ko Zushida, Kazuyuki Yamada, Satoshi Nagamine, Tomohiro Kabuta and Keiji Wada, "Reduction in memory in passive avoidance learning, exploratory behaviour and synaptic plasticity in mice with a spontaneous deletion in the ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 gene," European Journal of Neuroscience
Vol. 27, Issue 3 (February 2008), pp. 691-701).
With its two-way regulatory effects in the stimulation and inhibition of the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract, the three-nerved spicebush root can promote the secretion of digestive juice. The oral administration of its volatile oil can stimulate the cerebral cortex, promote respiration, stimulate cardiac muscles, accelerate blood circulation, raise blood pressure and induce diuresis. Its external application can dilate local blood vessels, accelerate blood circulation and palliate muscle spasms and pains.