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Black Plum
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Black Plum
Black Plum
Black Plum

     Astringents

    Black Plum

    Latin:

    Fructus Mume

    Origin:

    The nearly ripe fruit of Prunus mume Siebold. et Zucc., a deciduous arbor of the family Rosaceae. Native to China and Japan, the plant is grown in thickets at an altitude of 300 - 2500 metres in China, Japan and Korea.
, 百拇医药
    The decidious tree grows to about 9 m by 6 m. It is in flower in April. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. The plant can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

    In China, black plum is mainly produced in the provinces Zhejiang, Fujian, Yunnan, etc. Picked and harvested when the fruit nearly becomes ripe in summer, the fruit is baked at low heat until dry and covered tightly in a container until its peel is wrinkled and turned black. Core it for use when raw or after being charred.
, 百拇医药
    Also called Japanese Apricot.

    See also Food, Fruits, Prune.

    Properties:

    Sour and astringent in flavor, mild in nature, it is related to the liver, spleen, lung and large intestine channels.

    Functions:

    Astringes the lungs to arrest coughing, astringes the intestines to arrest diarrhea, relieves colic caused by ascarids to kill pain and promotes the production of body fluid to quench thirst.
, 百拇医药
    Applications:

    1. Treats prolonged coughing with scanty phlegm or dry coughing without phlegm due to deficiency of the lungs:

    Sour and astringent in taste, smoked plum can astringe the lungs to arrest coughing.

    This herb is often used together with poppy shell (Pericarpium Papaveris), apricot kernel, etc., e.g., Yifu San.

    2. Treats prolonged diarrhea or prolonged dysentery:
, 百拇医药
    This herb can astringe the intestines to arrest diarrhea or dysentery.

    This herb is often used together with poppy shell (Pericarpium Papaveris), myrobalan fruit (Fructus Chebulae), etc., e.g., Guchang Wan.

    3. Treats colic and vomiting caused by ascarids with cold limbs, abdominal pain caused by ascarods:

    Ascarids are promptly vanquished by an acid. Being extremely acidic, this herb can relieve colic caused by ascarids to relieve pain and normalize the functioning of the stomach to arrest vomiting.
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    It is often used together with wild ginger (Herba Asari), zanthoxylum, Chinese goldthread rhizome (Rhizoma Coptidis), monkshood root (Radix Aconiti), etc., e.g., Wumei Wan.

    4. Treats diabetes with fever of the deficiency type:

    Sour in taste and secretion-promoting in property, this herb can promote the production of body fluid to quench thirst.

    It can be decocted alone for oral administration or used together with Chinese trichosanthes root (Radix Trichosanthis), ophiopogon root, ginseng, etc., e.g., Yu Quan San.
, 百拇医药
    5. Miscellaneous:

    In addition, the herb can also arrest bleeding when taken orally, so it is used for the treatment of metrorrhagia and metrostaxis and hematochezia. It can relieve ulcers with pyogenic infections when used externally and it is employed for the treatment of protrusion of pterygium.

    Dosage and Administration:

    3-10 g.

    30 g. for large dosage.
, 百拇医药
    Decoct for oral administration.

    Use an adequate amount externally by mashing the herb or charring it and grinding it into powder for external application. It should be charred to arrest diarrhea and bleeding.

    Cautions on Use:

    This herb should be avoided by anyone who is attacked by pathogens on the exterior or who has an accumulation of heat of the excess type in the exterior.
, 百拇医药
    Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavor. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten.

    In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
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    Reference Materials:

    'Supplement to the Compendium of Materia Medica' :

    "Diarrhea or dysentery due to deficiency of the intestines. This herb is ground into powder and taken with boiled soup."

    'The Compendium of Materia Medica' :

    "Astringing the lungs to remove fire, removing gastrointestinal fluid retention, arresting coughing, treating conjunctival congestion with marginal blepharitis, relieving pyogenic infections, astringing ulcers and incised wounds and restoring a prolapsed anus and uterus. Sour and salty in taste, this herb can astringe the lungs, arrest bleeding, resolve phlegm, quench thirst and astringe sweating. Cold in nature, it can resolve pyogenic infections due to toxic heat. Astringing in property, it can relieve watery diarrhea or dysentery."
, 百拇医药
    "Treats diabetes, night sweat, vomiting, loss of blood, prolonged dysentery and inflammation of the throat."

    Toxic or Side Effects:

    Modern Researches:

    This herb primarily contains citric acid, malic acid, succinic acid, carbohydrates, sitosterols, waxy substances and oleanolic substances.

    Its water decoction can inhibit a variety of pathogenic bacteria and dermatomyces in vitro.

    Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being., 百拇医药
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