Chinese Name: 合欢皮
Latin Name: Cortex Albizzia
This herb is the dried bark and flowers of an auspicious tree, Albizzia julibrissin Durazz, or A. kalkora Prain of the family Leguminosae. It is mainly grown in the Hebei, Henan and Hubei provinces of China, and harvested in the spring and summer seasons. The bark is stripped from the tree, cut into sections, dried in the sun, and used unprocessed.
Albizzia bark was traditionally used as a sedative, anthelmintic, and discutient. A gummy extract is used as a plaster for carbuncles and swelling. Today, it is used for the treatment of palpitations and insomnia due to anxiety. Albizzia flower, the dried flower heads of A. julibrissin, is used the same way as albizzia bark to treat restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia.
Use of He Huan Pi or Albizzia Bark in TCM
Sweet in taste and neutral, it acts on the liver and heart meridians.
Effects and Medicinal Uses
- Tranquilizes the mind and relieves anxiety: for palpitations and insomnia caused by anxiety, albizzia bark is used alone in a decoction or combined with biota, turmeric, polygala root, and polygonatum stem.
- Invigorates blood circulation, and relieves swelling and pain:it is used to treat painful swellings caused by injuries, furuncles, or carbuncles.
In a decoction of 10 to 15 g.
The bark and flower are mild in action. This herb should not be used by pregnant women as a large dose may cause abortion.
Side Effects and Toxicity
No undesirable side effects or toxicity were reported at the therapeutic dose in classical Chinese materia medica.
He Huan Pi contains triterpene saponins and tannin. A number of lignans, together with some phenol glycosides, have also been isolated
- Sedative, hypnotic, and antidepressant
- Analgesic, anthelmintic, and diuretic
- Induces intensive uterine contractions