What is Ma Chi Xian?
Ma Chi Xian
, scientifically known as Portulaca oleracea L.
, is an annual herb of the order Staphylinidae
, family Amaranthaceae, with the whole plant glabrous. The stems are prostrate and spread out, and the branches are light green or dark red. Leaves are alternate, flattened, plump, Horsetooth-like, dark green above, light green or dark red below; petiole is thick and short. Flowers sessile, blooming at noon; bracts leaflike; sepals green, helmet-shaped; petals yellow, obovate; staminal anthers yellow; ovary glabrous. Capsule ovoid; seeds minute, obliquely globose, black-brown, glossy. May-August, June-September.
It is produced in all parts of China from north to south. It is a common weed in vegetable gardens, farmlands, and roadsides. Widely distributed in temperate and tropical areas around the world. The whole grass is used for medicinal purposes, and has the effect of clearing heat and dampness, detoxifying and swelling, anti-inflammatory, thirst-quenching and diuretic; the seeds are good for eyesight; it can also be used as veterinary medicine and pesticide; the young stems and leaves can be used as vegetables, tasting sour, and also good forage.
Morphological characteristics of Ma Chi Xian
Ma Chi Xian is an annual herb, the whole plant is glabrous. Stems procumbent or slanting, ambulatory and scattered, much branched, cylindrical, 10-15 cm long light green or dark red. Stems purplish red, leaves alternate, sometimes subopposite, leaf blade flattened, plump, obovate, horsetooth-like, 1-3 cm long, 0.6-1.5 cm wide, apically rounded or flat-truncated, sometimes retuse, base cuneate, entire, dark green above, light green or dark red below, midrib slightly elevated; petiole thick and short.
Flowers sessile, 4-5 mm in diameter, often in clusters of 3-5 at the ends of branches, blooming at noon; bracts 2-6, leaflike, membranous, nearly whorled; sepals 2, opposite, green, helmet-shaped, compressed from side to side, ca. 4 mm, acute apically, keeled dorsally, connate basally; petals 5, sparsely 4, yellow, obovate, 3-5 mm long, retuse apically, connate basally; stamens usually 8, or more, ca. 12 mm long anthers yellow; ovary glabrous, style slightly longer than stamens, stigma 4-6-lobed, linear.
Capsule ovoid, ca. 5 mm, dehiscent; seeds minute, mostly obliquely globose, black-brown, glossy, less than 1 mm in diameter, with small warty projections. May-Aug, fr.
Growth habit of Ma Chi Xian
Ma Chi Xian likes high humidity, tolerates drought and waterlogging, is sunny, and is suitable for cultivation in various fields and slopes, with neutral and weakly acidic soil. Its germination temperature is 18℃, and the optimal growth temperature is 20-30℃. When the temperature exceeds 20℃, the seeds can be sown in stages and marketed one after another. Cultivation in protected areas can be done for annual production.
How to reproduce Ma Chi Xian?
Ma Chi Xian seeds
The seeds used by Ma Chi Xian for seed propagation are collected from the field in the first year or left in cultivation. The seeds are very small, so it is important to prepare the ground carefully and keep the soil moist after sowing, so that the seedlings can emerge in 7-10 days.
Ma Chi Xian cuttings
Cuttings are collected from seedlings or wild seedlings of the year, from strong plants with more branches and vigorous growth is good, each section should have 3-5 nodes. Cuttings before fine soil preparation; combined with the preparation of the ground to apply sufficient well-rotted farmyard manure. Cuttings density (row spacing) 3 cm × 5 cm, the spike into the Shi depth of about 3 cm, inserted to maintain a certain level of humidity and appropriate shade, a week later can be viable.
Cultivation techniques of Ma Chi Xian
Ma Chi Xian herb
can be transplanted into the field 15-20 days after sowing or cutting, or cuttings can be taken directly into the field when the cultivation area is small. Before transplanting, plow the field and apply 1500 kg of well-rotted human manure or 15-20 kg of ternary compound fertilizer per mu, then open the compartment according to 1.2 m width, plant the plants at 12 cm x 20 cm spacing, and water thoroughly after planting. In order to ensure the survival rate, transplanting is best to choose cloudy days, such as in sunny days transplanting, shade measures should be taken within 2 days after planting, and watering once a day in the evening, transplanting according to the requirements of the bottom fertilizer, the first period may not chase fertilizer, after 1-2 times every harvest chase a thin human manure water, the formation of flower buds should be removed in time to promote the extraction of nutrient branches. Ma Chi Xian
has very few pests and diseases during the entire reproductive period, and generally does not need to be sprayed.
Ma Chi Xian commercial vegetables are harvested from shoots 10-15 cm long before flowering. If the harvest is too late, not only the shoots become old and have poor food value, but also it affects the next branching and annual production. Harvesting once after 15-20 days can be harvested again. In this way, it can be extended until mid to late October. Production generally uses a phased and rotating harvesting.
Ma Chi Xian seed plots should be set aside from the production of commercial vegetables from the outset, cultivation management measures and commercial vegetable production, the difference is that the seed plots are not harvested commercial vegetables, allowing them to naturally sprout, flowering, seed. 25-30 days after flowering, the capsule (seed shell) is yellow, the seeds are mature, should be harvested in time, otherwise they will be scattered on the ground. In addition, can also be in the production of commercial vegetables in the field at intervals to select part of the plant, let its natural flowering and seeds scattered on the ground, the second spring to wait for its natural sprouting seedlings and then move the dense replacement thin production.
Ma Chi Xian effects
Portulaca oleracea L.
Ma Chi Xian is sour in taste, cold in nature, can enter the large intestine, liver and spleen meridians, has the effect of clearing heat and detoxifying, cooling the blood to stop dysentery, dispersing blood and eliminating swelling, as well as, removing dampness and water, etc. It can treat fire and poisonous sores, various bleeding disorders, hemorrhoids, urinary disorders, etc.
Clearing heat and detoxifying
Ma Chi Xian is cold and slippery and can enter the large intestine meridian. It has the effect of clearing heat and detoxifying the toxins, which can treat various kinds of fire and sores, improve the intestinal inflammation and diarrhea caused by excessive dampness and heat, and can be used externally to treat dermatitis, as well as carbuncles, swelling and poison and insect and snake bites.
Cooling the blood to stop dysentery
Ma Chi Xian herb enters the large intestine to cool the blood and stop dysentery. It is often used to treat red and white dysentery and to relieve blood in the stool or urine caused by blood fever. Amaranthus is sour and cold, with astringent effect. It enters the blood part of the liver meridian, cools the blood and stops bleeding, and can treat female leakage.
Dispersing blood and reducing swelling
Ma Chi Xian TCM is also effective in dispersing blood and eliminating swelling. It is often used in anorectal medicine to treat hemorrhoids and anal fistula, which can shorten the course of the disease and promote recovery.
Removing Dampness and Promoting Water
Ma Chi Xian can also remove dampness and promote water circulation. It can remove dampness from the body and improve the symptoms of unhealthy urination, sticky stools, heavy limbs, dizziness and swelling, as well as relieve body edema.
Ma Chi Xian side effects
Ma Chi Xian has a high medicinal value, but when using Ma Chi Xian herb, then some of the possible side effects should not be ignored as well, such as people who often have diarrhea caused by cold in the abdomen, and pregnant women are not allowed to use Ma Chi Xian TCM.
a. Do not use it if you have a cold spleen or stomach, or if your intestines are slippery and leaky; do not use it with turtle nails.
b. Ma Chi Xian can be used as food. The decoction has no obvious toxicity when taken orally. The decoction is not toxic if taken orally, but it can cause nausea when given in large doses. It is important to eat a small amount of amaranth at the beginning, and gradually adapt to eat more, only put white sugar, not brown sugar. Because brown sugar is warm, it is contrary to the direction of treatment.
c. Ma Chi Xian is a cold product, so there are three types of people who should avoid eating it.
a) People with diarrhea caused by cold in the abdomen should not eat Ma Chi Xian by mistake if it is a general diarrhea caused by mere cold.
b) Pregnant women should be prohibited from eating Ma Chi Xian, which is slippery and has the effect of slipping the fetus.
c) If you are taking Chinese medicine and there is turtle nail in the prescription, be aware that Ma Chi Xian and turtle nail are compatible and should not be taken together.
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