Cortex Acanthopanacis

Cortex Acanthopanacis is also named Wu Jia Pi, 五加皮
Wu Jia Pi
Wu Jia Pi

Naming

Wu Jia Pi (Cortex Acanthopanacis)——Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nong’s Herbal)

Origin

The root bark of shrubby plant Acanthopanax gracilistylus W. W. Smith of family Araliaceae.

Location

Hubei, Henan, Anhui provinces, etc. of China

Harvest

Collected in summer and autumn.

The actual smell and taste

Slightly fragrant, slightly spicy and bitter.

Best quality

Long and thick root with thick bark, fragrant smell and no duramen.

Processing

Dried in sunlight, cut into thick pieces, and unprocessed.

Property

Pungent, bitter and sweet, warm; liver and kidney meridians entered.

Actions

Dispel wind-damp, tonify liver and kidney, strengthen tendons and bones, induce diuresis.

Indications

A. Arthralgia syndrome due to wind-damp

Its nature of pungent can dispel wind, bitter can remove dampness and warm can expel cold. It is suitable for treating arthralgia syndrome due to wind, dampness and cold, pain of joints and difficulty in flexing and extending. Since the combined actions of tonifying liver and kidney and strengthening tendons and bones, it is rated as tonic antirheumatics and suitable for old and weak patients with chronic diseases. It can be used alone or combined with liver-kidney tonics, and blood-activating and collaterals-unblocking herbs, for example, Niu Xi and Dang Gui, as in Wu Jia Pi wine from Ben Cao Gang Mu.

B. Deficiency of liver and kidney, paralysis and weakness of tendons and bones

With the actions of warming and tonifying, it can tonify both liver and kidney, strengthen tendons and bones, and is often indicated for deficiency of liver and kidney, paralysis and weakness of tendons and bones, weakness of feet and waist pain; and other liver-kidney tonics are often used in coordination, such as Du Zhong and Niu Xi, as in Wu Jia Pi San from Wei Sheng Jia Bao (A Precious Manual for Home Use). For congenital deficiency of child with weak bone and walk retardation, it can be combined with Gui Jia, Niu Xi and Mu Gua, etc.

C. Edema

It can warm kidney and induce diuresis to further alleviate edema. For edema and difficulty in micturition, it is often combined with diuresis-inducing and edema-alleviating herbs, for example, Chen Pi, Da Fu Pi and Sheng Jiang Pi, as in Wu Pi San from Tai Ping Hui Min He Ji Ju Fang.

Dosage and Administrations

Decoct 5~10 g; or soaked in wine, made into pill or powder.