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AKEBIA QUINATA FRUIT [八月札, BA YUE ZHA]

Name : Akebia Quinata Fruitakeb-fruit-septe_opt

Chinese Name : 八月札

Latin Name : Fructus Akebiae

Overview

This herb is the ripe fruit of Akebia quinata (Thunb.) Decne., A. trifolia (Thunb.) Koidz., or A. trifoliate (Thunb.) Koidz. Var. australis (Diels) Relid. Of the family Lardizabalaceae. Akebia quinata fruit is also called bai mu tong. It is mainly grown in the Anhui, Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, and Zhejiang provinces of China, collected in the late summer and dried for use.

The fruit is three to four inches long, has a white pulp with black kernels, is edible, and of an agreeable sweet taste. The fruit traditionally was used as a tonic, stomachic, and diuretic. The dried stem of the herb is bitter and is used as a stimulant, diaphoretic, laxative, diuretic, stomachic, and vulnerary drug ; it quickens all of the senses and faculties. This species of plant is a Qi-regulating diuretic, and an antitumor agent. It is used today as a potent diuretic for all sorts of edema, urinary tract infections, and amenorrhea.

Use Akebia Quinata Fruit in TCM

Bitter and slightly sweet in taste and cool, it acts on the stomach and liver meridians.

Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combinations

  1. Antitumorous : for cancer, particularly breast cancer, and cancer of the digestive tract, akebia quinata fruit is used alone in a decoction or with other antitumor herbs, such as prunella, frittilaria, and patrinia in a decoction.
  2. Regulates the circulation of Liver-Qi and relieves pain : for pain in the chest, hypochondrium region, and the abdomen, akebia quinata fruit is combined with cyperus, bitter orange, and melia. It is combined with fennel seed, tangerine seed,and litchi seed to treat inflammation of the testes, testicular pain, and hernia pain.
  3. Removes stagnation and obstruction of blood and dissolves blood stasis : to treat amenorrhea, dysmenorrheal, and other symptoms due to blood stagnation, akebia quinata fruit can be mixed with salvia and leonurus.
  4. Relieves edema : akebia herb made into an injectable form with alisma and prunella has provided good results clinically for ascites caused by cirrhosis, nephritic edema, and cardiac edema.

Dosage

In a decoction of 9 to 15 g.

Precautions

People with history of kidney disorders and the elderly should not take any species of this group of herbs. It is not recommended during pregnancy.

Side Effects and Toxicity

No undesirable side effects or toxicity were reported at the therapeutic dose in classical Chinese material medica. Note :The Chinese herb mu tong has many species and causes great confusion. The most commonly used is guan mu tong (Caulis Aristolochiae manshuriensis), the next is chuan mu tong (Caulis Clematidis armandii). These two species of the plant are protent (dose in a decoction, 3 to 9 g). overdoses causes kidney function impairments.

Chemical Constituents

Akebia quinata fruit contains poly sugars, akebine, herderagenin, oleanolic acid, glycosides, and a large amount of potassium salts.

The wood part of the herb contains triterpenes. Their main ingredients are alpha-amyrin, beta-amyrin, friedelin, and clementanosides A and B.

Pharmacological Findings

Akebia fruit is antimicrobial and diuretic, and is an antitumor agent. The 50 percent methanolic extract of the herb is diuretic and relieved adema in mice with experimental edema.