Chinese Name : 罗布麻
Latin Name : Herba Apocynum Venetum
This herb is the dried leaves, aboveground parts, and root of red hogbene, Apocynum venetum L. of the family Apocynaceae. It is mainly grown in the Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Jilin, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, and Xinjiang provinces of China, and Inner Mongolia. Apocynum was traditionally used for fevers, dropsy, malaria, and as an athelmintic. Today, the plant is used as a sedative to tranquilize the mind and to clear up Heat in the liver, treat hypertension, headache, and dizziness.
Use of Apocynum in TCM
Sweet and bitter in taste, and cool, it acts on the liver meridian.
Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combinations
- Calms the liver and tranquilizes the mind to lower high blood pressure: as a sedative and antihypertensive, apocynum is used alone in tea or as a decoction with prunella spike, wild chrysanthemum, and gambir for hypertension. This recipe also relieves headaches, dizziness, fidgetiness, insomnia, palpitations, and restlessness due to liver yang hyperactivity.
- Relieves coughs and reduces the severity of asthmatic attacks: for coughs, fever, and Wind-Heat-type colds, it is taken as a tea or a decoction.
- Induces diuresis and reduces edema: apocynum is also effective as a diuretic, and is prescribed to reduce edema of a cardiac, nephrotic, or hepatic nature, and from pregnancy. For these conditions, the roots of the herb (10 to 15 g per day) are taken in a decoction, divided into two to four doses.
- For relief of acute and chronic heart failure symptoms the root can be used alone in a decoction.
In a decoction, or other dosage forms, 3 to 15 g. the leaves can be used for a tea.
People with Cold in the stomach and spleen, and pregnant women should avoid this herb or take with caution. Avoid long-term use.
Side Effects and Toxicity
At the recommended dosage, the herb is safe. However, certain people may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or borborygmus at high dosages due to the herb’s strong stimulation of the intestinal mucous membranes.
Apocynum contains cymarin, strophanthidin, k-strophanthin, rutin, d-catechin, and neo-isorutin.
- Antihypertensive in dogs and cats, caused directly by blood vessel dilation and the diuretic effect of the herb’s decoction.
- Cardiac tonic.
- Sedative and diuretic.