What is Jiang Huang?
(scientific name: Curcuma longa L.), is a perennial herbaceous plant, belonging to the ginger family, also known as turmeric
. It is widely cultivated in China, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. The plant grows up to 1-1.5m tall with a developed root system and thick, bulbous roots. Its leaves are long and oval-shaped, leaf apex short and acuminate, while the bracts are egg-shaped or long oval and light green in color, with a blunt tip and a pale yellow corolla. The flowering period is in August. The dried rhizome is used as medicine, and it likes to grow in sunny places.
Turmeric is irregularly oblong, cylindrical or spindle-shaped and is often bent or has short forked branches. It is 2-5cm long and 1-3cm in diameter with a dark yellow, rough surface, wrinkled texture, obvious nodes and circular branching and root tendril marks. It has a solid quality and is not easy to break. It is brownish yellow or goldenish yellow in color at the cross-section, with a horny texture, and a wax-like luster. On the inner layer, obvious are the ring patterns, with vascular bundles scattered throughout. It has a distinctive aroma with a bitter and spicy taste.
Growth environment of Jiang Huang
Jiang Huang prefers a warm and humid climate condition with abundant sunlight and rainfall to severe cold and frost, drought and stagnant water.
It grows in regions like Taiwan, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, and Tibet in China, as well as in many areas of East and Southeast Asia.
Harvest and processing of Jiang Huang
Jiang Huang is harvested in winter, by digging up the roots, clensing, boiling or steaming until thoroughly through, drying in the sun, and removing the fibrous roots.
Remove impurities, soak slightly, clense and moisten thoroughly, cut into thick slices, and get dried up.
Stored in cool and dry places.
Jiang Huang TCM
The dried rhizome of Curcuma longa is used as medicine.
Acrid and bitter in taste, warm in nature, non toxic.
Enter spleen, liver meridians.
Jiang Huang has the effects of dispelling blood and promoting qi circulation, promoting menstrual flow and relieving pain.
Jiang Huang is used to invigorate blood, promote qi, alleviate dysmenorrhea and regulate menstruation, relieve chest and heart pain as well as other rheumatism-related pains or the ones caused by tumblings and falls.
Decoction, 3-10g, or applied externally in appropriate amount.
(1)Those with blood deficiency, stagnation, or stagnation caused by blood stasis should use the turmeric powder with great caution.
(2)Pregnant women should avoid using it, as turmeric powder has a blood-activating effect and may cause heavy bleeding or miscarriage.
(3)Those with yin deficiency and excessive inner heat may experience symptoms like insufficient yin-fluid and flaring up of deficient fire. If they take turmeric powder which is warm in nature, their symptoms may worsen.
(4)People with wind-heat colds should not take turmeric powder as it may exacerbate their symptoms like fever, sore throat, and dry mouth and throat.
(5)Women during their menstrual period may experience increased menstrual flow or lingering bleeding after taking turmeric powder.
(6)Turmeric powder should not be taken together with alcohol or mung beans. Both turmeric and alcohol are spicy and stimulating, and taking them at the same time may cause abdominal pain or diarrhea. On the other hand, turmeric has the effects of invigorating blood and promoting the circulation of qi, while mung beans are a cool food, so taking them together may reduce the efficacy of Jiang Huang.
(7)During the use of turmeric, it is important not to take tonic medicines like ginseng or angelica, as there may be some chemical reactions between drugs, which could reduce the efficacy of the drug and affect the therapeutic effect.
(1) Compendium of Materia Medica, Jiang Huang is used to treat wind arthralgia and arm pain.
(2) Compendium of Materia Medica Elicitation, Jiang Huang is used to treat heart, liver and spleen disorders, swellings caused by damp-heat accumulating in the body, as well as childbirth pain caused by blood stasis, or pain inflicted by injury-caused blood stasis. It can also help to treat abscess and promote menstrual flow.
(1)For phlegm obstruction causing arm pain
Mix Tian Xian Teng, Bai Zhu, Qiang Huo and Bai Zhi Shao 3 qián each, and 6 qián of turmeric slices, 5 qián of processed Ban Xia. Take 5 qián per serving with 5 pieces of ginger, decocting in water and serving. Also take Qian Jin Wu Tao Wan intermittently. (Yang Renzai's Direct Indication Formula)
(2)For postpartum fainting due to blood stasis
Mix lotus leaf, safflower, and turmeric in equal parts, grind together. Take 2 qián with child's urine. (Pang Anchang's "Discussion of Cold Damage")
Turmeric contains 4.5% to 6% volatile oil. The volatile oil contains 58% curcumin, 25% turmerone, 1% elemene, 1% eucalyptol, 0.5% caryophyllene, 0.5% camphor, and demethoxycurcumin. It also contains 0.3%, 1.1%, and 4.8% curcumin and 1.1% arabinose, 12% fruit sugar, 28% glucose, fatty oil, starch, oxalate, etc.
Jiang Huang benefits
Jianghuang is a traditional Chinese medicine made from the dried roots of the ginger family plant, turmeric. It is harvested during the winter when stems and leaves wither, and then the plant is boiled or steamed until thoroughly through, dried in the sun, cut into thick slices, and used fresh. It is widely distributed in Jiangxi, Fujian, Taiwan, Guangdong, Sichuan, Yunnan and other places of China. It has the effects of promoting blood circulation and qi flow, warming meridians, and relieving pain.
(1) Jiang Huang promotes blood circulation and qi flow, which makes it good at alleviating pain. So it is usually used to treat chest and abdominal pain caused by blood stasis and qi stagnation, and bruises, swelling and pain, abscesses by the method of decocting in water or alcohol.
(2) Jiang Huang warms meridians. Turmeric is warm in nature and bitter in taste. It is normally used to dispel external wind-cold related dampness, and treat conditions like menstrual pain and amenorrhea.
Jiang Huang side effects
The side effects of Jiang Huang are not very obvious. However, since it is some kind of drug used for blood activating and stasis resolving, overuse would end up speeding the flow of Qi and blood in the human body, and thus causing symptoms like fatigue and loss of appetite.
In addition, turmeric's warm nature may lead to the rise of the inner-heat inside the stomach if used excessively, resulting in symptoms like dry mouth, thirst, and bad breath.
Long-term use of turmeric powder may cause a significant decrease in endometrial thickness or testosterone levels, which would cause a decrease in sexual desire and premature ejaculation.
Eating turmeric powder with spicy and irritating food would stimulate the gastrointestinal mucosa, cause abdominal pain, and lead to gastrointestinal problems.
Therefore, when using turmeric, it is necessary to use it under the guidance of a qualified TCM doctor, strictly control the dosage to avoid adverse effects.
How to take Guan Zhong?
Oral administration, 1-3 qián of turmeric in decoction, or take in pills or powder form.
External use, grind into powder and apply to the affected area.
Jiang Huang has the effect of promoting blood circulation and Qi, dispelling wind, dissolving stasis and relieving pain. It is often used in cooking in folk.
Grind appropriate amount of turmeric into powder and put it in a pot, add milk, and simmer over low heat. Take it out and drink it.
Grind appropriate amount of turmeric into powder and set it aside. Take some rice, add an appropriate amount of water, bring it to boiling, and then add the turmeric powder. Cook until it becomes thick and eat it.
How to choose Jiang Huang?
Medical property distinguish
Turmeric root is irregularly shaped, with an oval, cylindrical or spindle-like structure that is often bent. Its surface is deep yellow, rough, with wrinkles and obvious nodes, circular branches and root tendrils. The texture is tough and not easy to break, with a brownish-yellow to golden-yellow keratin-like surface and a waxy shine. The inner layer has obvious ring patterns, with vascular bundles scattered throughout. It has a distinctive aroma with a bitter and spicy taste.
It is ideal to choose turmeric roots with a strong aroma, tough texture and a golden-yellow keratin-like surface when making a selection.
(2)Under microscopic examination
The cross section of the root shows a column of 4-10 cork cells along the outer edge, which often occurs in the cortical area. Sometimes, the epidermis and cortical cells are visible on the outer layer. The cortex is broad, with leaf vein vascular bundles, and the inner layer is obvious. The central column sheath consists of 1-2 rows of cells; vascular bundles are limited to the outer part, with more near the central column sheath which gradually decreases towards the inner part. Thin-walled cells within the root contain starch granules and brown pigments. Oil cells are scattered throughout the thin-walled tissue.
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