Akebia quinata, commonly known as chocolate vine, five-leaf chocolate vine, or five-leaf akebia, is a shrub that is native to Japan, China and Korea, and invasive in the eastern United States from Georgia to Michigan to Massachusetts. In its native habitat, it is often found on hills, in hedges, on trees, along forest edges and streams, and on mountainous slopes.
== Description ==
Akebia quinata is a climbing evergreen shrub that grows to 10 m (30 ft) or more in height and has palmately compound leaves with five elliptic or obovate leaflets that are notched at the tip. The woody stems are greyish-brown with lenticels. The flowers are clustered in racemes and are chocolate-scented, with three or four sepals. The fruits are sausage-shaped pods which contain edible pulp. The gelatinous placentation contains seeds surrounded with white pulp, that has a sweet flavor.
== Uses ==
The fruit contains a sweet soft pulp resembling a white dragonfruit, eaten primarily in Japan as a seasonal delicacy. The rind, with a slight bitter taste, is used as vegetable, e.g., stuffed with ground meat and deep-fried. The vines are traditionally used for basket-weaving.The stem contains approximately 30% potassium salts thus causing a diuretic action.
Let’s share with you a blind Chinese medicine-Mutong. Mutong is a commonly used traditional Chinese medicine. “Shen Nong’s Materia Medica” is listed as top grade. Formerly known as “Tongcao”, the original plant of the commercially available product is chaotic. But the products are mainly divided into two categories: Guanmutong and Chuanmutong. The former is mainly sold in Northeast, North and East China; the latter is mainly sold in Central South, Southwest and other regions. There is also Mutongke Mutong. Real estate sales.
The source of Guanmutong: It is the dry cane of Aristolochia aristolochia, a winding vine plant of the family Aristolochiaceae. All are wild.
Producing area of Guanmutong: Mainly produced in Fusong, Ji’an, Jilin, Ning’an, Heilongjiang, Hulin, Liaoning Xinbin, Fengcheng and other places.
Character identification of Guanmutong: Guanmutong is a long cylindrical shape, ranging from tens of centimeters to several meters in length. The diameter is 1 to 5 centimeters, the outer skin is smooth, pale yellowish brown or grayish-yellow. Traditional Chinese medicine doctors, a few of them have brown patchy cortex. There are micro-uplifted nodes, solid and light, the skin of the fractured surface is yellow and white, the wood is yellow and broad, the duct holes are arranged neatly, the rays are obvious like a wheel, and the pith is not obvious. Bitter taste.
The strips are thin and even, with a diameter of 2 to 3 cm, and the yellow color is the best.
The main ingredient of Guanmutong: Contains aristolochic acid.
The efficacy and role of Guanmutong: 1. Diuretic. Experiments have proved that its diuretic effect is stronger than that of bamboo leaves, but weaker than Polyporus umbellatus.
2. Antibacterial and antifungal. In vitro tests have inhibitory effects on Gram-positive bacilli, Shigella, and pathogenic dermatophytes.
The processing of Guan Mutong: slices for raw use.
The nature and flavor of Guan Mutong: bitter and cold.
Guan Mutong’s return meridian: Entering the heart, small intestine, bladder meridian.
The functions of Guan Mutong: Difficulty in urination, edema, irritated heat in the chest, dizziness and sore throat.
Clinical application of Guanmutong: 1. It is used for the treatment of heartburn (sores in the mouth and tongue, sore throat, sore throat, irritability. Poor sleep), whichever has diuretic and anti-inflammatory effects. It can be used to clear away heat and troubles. It can be used with light bamboo leaves and raw land.
2. It is used to treat stagnant urination, painful urination, and frequent urination (such as acute urethritis), whichever has diuretic and antibacterial effects. Daochi powder can be used, or it can be used with Psyllium, Twig, Poria, etc.
3. It is used to treat edema (both beriberi edema and nephritis edema), as an auxiliary medicine. Served with Polyporus and Poria cocos, the square is like a wood.
Caution for use: Mutong is extremely bitter and cold. Predecessors once said that it can greatly vent the heart and kidney qi, so it should not be rushed. Although the use of modern team Mutong has become more common, the dosage should be controlled and should not be too large. It has also been clinically observed that taking more than two doses of Mutong 2 at a time can cause renal failure. Therefore, we must be vigilant. Pregnant women should use it with caution. When using Mutong as a medicine for the elderly and the infirm, Codonopsis and Atractylodes should be added as appropriate.
Prescription example: Mutongsan (“Zhengsheng for Syndrome and Treatment”): Mutong 4.5g, Su Ye 9g, Mulberry Bark 6g, Polyporus 6g, Tuckahoe 9g, Betel Nut 9g, ground powder, ginger, scallion white, Decoction in water.
2. Chuanmutong (Shanmutong, Huaimutong)
The source of Chuanmutong: It is the dry stem of Ranunculaceae Xiaomutong, wild.
The origin of Chuanmutong: It is mainly produced in the southwest and central-south regions, with more provinces such as Sichuan and Hunan.
Character identification of Chuanmutong: The stem is cylindrical, 30-70 cm long, 1-22 cm diameter, gray-yellow outer skin, and obvious regular longitudinal grooves on the whole. There are nodes on the stem, and the nodes are enlarged, with a distance between nodes of 16 to 27 cm. Lightweight, tough and not easy to break. The cross-section showed a radioactive cracked skin. The lobes are full of small holes. Slightly bitter taste. There is also a kind of Hydrangea, rattan, and wood.
It is better to have uniform strips, yellow inside and outside, and no black hearts.
The utility of Chuanmutong: Same as Guanmutong.
3, Bai Mutong
The source of Bai Mutong: It is the dried stems of Bai Mutong, a deciduous woody vine plant of the Akebia family. All are wild.
The origin of Baimutong: Sichuan, Hubei, Guangxi, Yunnan, Jiangxi, Guizhou, Jiangsu and other provinces.
Character identification of Bai Mutong: The stem is round and curved, with a length of 30 to 60 cm and a diameter of 1.3 to cm. The surface is gray-brown, the outer skin is extremely rough with many irregular cracks, the knots are not obvious, and only the side branch breaks are visible. The quality is solid and difficult to break. The section is irregular, the skin is thick, yellow-brown, the central wood is yellow-white, with a wheel-like pattern, and a small pith in the center. No gas, bitter and astringent taste.
The strips are even and the inner color is yellow.
The effect of Baimutong: Same as Guanmutong.
Note: The plant source of Commodity Mutong is very complicated. The above three commodities:
1. The original plant of Guanmutong is mainly Aristolochia aristolochia.
2. In addition to the original plants of Chuanmutong, there are many species of clematis in the Ranunculaceae family: such as hydrangea, vine wilt, small leaf clematis, South China clematis and so on. For medicinal products, in Sichuan, those with a diameter of more than 1 cm are called Damutong; those with a diameter of less than 1 cm are called Xiaomutong.
3. The source of Akebia trifoliate, Akebia trifoliate and Akebia white. Its products are only produced on-site, used on-site, and rarely sold abroad. Jiangsu uses the stems of Wuye Mutong as “sea breeze vine” for medicinal purposes. The fruit is a medicinal predictor, also known as August melon, August pierced.
According to the description in “Pictures and Materia Medica”, the medicinal Mutong should be Mutongke Mutong as the genuine product.
Sichuan Khan produces and sells a kind of Mutong, which is the cane of Aristolochia Mubian Aristolochia, which is different from the Huai= Mutong listed in the main text.