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Houttuynia Herb, a traditional herbal medicine


Houttuynia Herb, also known as Houttuynia cordata, Houttuynia cordata root, Zhaergen root, etc., is a perennial herb of the family Sanbaiaceae. It is named Houttuynia cordata because of its fishy smell after the stems and leaves are crushed. Houttuynia cordata is widely distributed in various provinces and autonomous regions in southern China, and also in Northwest China, parts of North China and Tibet. It often grows in shady hillsides, village ridges, riverside streams and wetland grass. The plant of Houttuynia cordata is short, the lower part of the stem lies on the ground or acts as an underground rhizome in shallow soil, white, rooting on the nodes; the upper part of the stem is erect, the leaves are heart-shaped or broadly ovate, usually green, occasionally purple; flowering period 5- June, fruiting period October-November. Houttuynia cordata has strong vitality, and its rhizomes can be inserted directly into the wet mud to survive, take root and germinate, and multiply widely.

In Xishuangbanna, Houttuynia cordata is a relatively common wild vegetable. Most local residents like to eat it. There are several common ways to eat it: one is to remove the hairy roots on the nodes from the underground stems of Houttuynia cordata, wash and cut into 2 to 3 Centimeter pieces (you can also add young leaves), add vinegar, soy sauce, chili powder, monosodium glutamate and other seasonings to eat cold and raw, it is crisp and refreshing, but the fishy smell is heavy; the second is to cook the underground stems together with the young stems and leaves , Fried, fried or stewed, with a pleasant fragrance, easy to melt in the mouth, with a slight fishy smell; the third is pickled and processed into pickles for consumption, sour and crispy, appetizing.

Wild Houttuynia cordata has a strong fishy smell, and most first-time eaters are not used to it. The underground stems are rich in fiber, and the palatability is not ideal, so it develops late as a commercial vegetable. At first, those who used Houttuynia cordata as a vegetable were mostly doctors who knew its efficacy. In recent years, due to the influence of "returning to nature" and "medicine and food from the same source", folks dig Houttuynia cordata for sale and eat it as a characteristic wild vegetable. Especially in Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou and other places, the development of The scale of using Houttuynia cordata is constantly expanding, the supply of wild resources is in short supply, and the market price is relatively high. At present, in order to alleviate the contradiction between supply and demand, a large number of artificial plantings have begun to appear, and a certain production scale has been formed. After the Houttuynia cordata is transformed from a weed into a cultivated crop, due to the improvement of the habitat, the growth cycle is short, the plant grows fast, the rhizome is thick, the starch content is increased, and the fiber content is reduced. It is fresh and delicious when eaten, easy to digest and absorb, and the specific fishy smell changes. Light, palatability enhanced, more popular with eaters.
In Xishuangbanna, Houttuynia cordata is also a traditional medicinal plant. Most folk doctors believe that it has a pungent and cold taste, and has the effects of clearing away heat and detoxification, reducing swelling and draining pus, and diuresis. It can be used to treat lung abscess and lung heat. Cough, dysentery, hot stranguria, edema, beriberi, urinary tract infection, excessive leucorrhea, carbuncle and sore. Therefore, Houttuynia cordata often becomes the main medicine for lung diseases and urinary system diseases in traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions.
Modern medicine has a newer and deeper understanding of Houttuynia cordata: its specific smell is mainly derived from an active ingredient in the volatile oil of Houttuynia cordata—houttuyniatin (decyl acetaldehyde). Houttuyniatin is the main antibacterial component of Houttuynia cordata, and it has obvious inhibitory effect on catarrhal bacteria, influenza bacillus, pneumococcus, Staphylococcus aureus and so on. In addition, Houttuynia cordata also contains active ingredients such as quercetin, which has antiviral and diuretic effects. Clinical practice has proved that Houttuynia cordata has good curative effect on upper respiratory tract infection, bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, chronic cervicitis, pertussis, etc., and has certain curative effect on acute conjunctivitis, urinary tract infection, etc. In addition, Houttuynia cordata can also enhance the immune function of the body, increase the phagocytosis of white blood cells, relieve pain, relieve cough, stop bleeding, promote tissue regeneration, expand capillaries, and increase blood flow.
Houttuynia cordata can be used as a wild vegetable for industrial production and further development and utilization, and can also be used as a medical raw material to be processed into western medicine injections or Chinese patent medicines, so it has an ideal market prospect at present.

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