Stemona Root is the dried root tuber of Stemona sessilifolia (Miq.) Miq., Stemona japonica (Bl.) Miq. or Stemona tuberosa Lour. (Fam. Stemonaceae). The drug is collected in summer and autumn, removed from rootlet, washed clean, treated with boiling water for a moment or steamed until the centre of the cut surface is devoid of a white core, and dried in the sun.
Description Root of Stemona sessilifolia Fusiform, the upper end relatively slender, shrunken and curved, 5-12 cm long, 0.5-1 cm in diameter. Externally yellowish-white or pale brownish-yellow, with irregular longitudinal deep furrows, and occasionally transverse wrinkles. Texture fragile, easily broken, fracture even, horny, pale yellowish-brown or yellowish-white, bark broad, stele compressed. Odour, slight; taste, sweet and bitter.
Root of Stomona japonica Two ends slightly thinned. Externally mostly with irregular longitudianl folds and transverse wrinkls.
Root of Stemona tuberosa Long fusiform or long slatshaped, 8-24 cm long, 0.8-2 cm in diameter. Externally yellowish-brown to greyish-brown, with shallow longitudinal wrinkles or irregular longitudinal furrows. Texture compact, fracture yellowish-white or dark brown, stele large, pith whitish.
Identification (1) Transverse section:
Root of Stemona sessilifolia Velamen of 3-4 layers of cells, walls suberized and lignified with dense and fine striations. Cortex relatively broad. In stele phloem bundles and xylem bundles 19-27, respectively, arranged altenatively, with a few non-lignified fibres in the inner side of phloem bundles; xylem bundles with 2-5 vessels, xylem fibres and tracheids, vessels subpolygonal, 48 mm in diameter, radially, occasionally penetrating into the pith. A few small fibres scattered in pith.
Root of Stemona japonica Velamen of 3-6 layers of cells. Phloem fibres lignified. Vessels up to 184 mm in diameter, radially, usually penetrating into pith, arranged in 2-3 whorls.
Root of Stemona tuberosa Velamen of 3 layers of cells, walls without fine striations, the inner walls of the inner layers heavily thickened. Fibres scattered in the outer part of cortex, subsquare, with slightly lignified walls. In stele phloem bundles 36-40. Vessels in xylem bundles rounded-polygonal, up to 107 mm in diameter. The inner sides of xylem bundles linked up with xylem fibres and slightly lignified parenchymatous cells into a ring.
(2) Heat under reflux 5 g of the powder with 50 ml of 70% ethanol for 1 hour, filter, evaporate the filtrate for removing ethanol. To the residue add strong ammonia TS, adjust to pH 10-11, extract by shaking with 5 ml of chloroform. Evaporate the chloroform solution to dryness, dissolve the residue in 5 ml of 1% hydrochloric acid solution and filter. Devide the filtrate into two portions. To one protion add 1 drop of potassium iodobismuthaste TS, an orange-red precipitate is produced; to another portion add 1 drop of silicotungstic acid TS, a milky-white precipitate is produced.
Extractives Carry out the hot extraction method described under the determination of water-soluble extractives (Appendix X A), not less than 50.0%.
Processing Radix Stemonae Eliminate foreign matter, wash clean, soften thoroughly, cut into thick slices, and dry.
Occurring in irregular thick slices or irregular slat-shaped oblique slices; externally greyish-white or brownish-yellow, deep wrinkled longitudinally; cut surface greyish-white, pale yellowish-brown or yellowish-white, horny; bark relatively thick, stele compressed. Texture flexible and soft. Odour slight; taste sweet and bitter.
Radix Stemonae (Stir-baked with honey) Stir-bake the slices of Radix Stemonae as described under the method for stir-baking with honey (Appendix II D) until it is not sticky to fingers, using 12.5 kg of refined honey for 100 kg of Radix Stemonae.
The form is similar to the slice of Radix Stemonae, but externally brownish-yellow or brown, with less burnt specks, slightly sticky. Taste sweet.
Action To moisten the lung and relieve cough, and to kill insects and worms.
Radix Stemonae (Stir-baked with honey) To moisten the lung and relieve cough.
Indications Acute and chronic cough, cough in phthisis, whooping cough; external use: for pediculosis capitis, pediculosis corporis, oxyruiasis, pudendal itching.
Radix Stemonae (Stir-baked with honey) Cough in phthisis.
Usage and dosage 3-9 g; for external use, appropriate quantity to be decocted with water or infused in liquor.
Storage Preserve in a ventilated dry place, protected from moisture.