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Proper use of Strong Acting Herbs II. Tian Nan Xing

Proper use of Strong Acting Herbs II. Tian Nan Xing
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Volume 3 Issue 4 - Winter 2008

by Subhuti Dharmananda

Arisaema refers to the Chinese herb tiannanxing obtained from several species of Arisaema (Araceae Family), mainly Arisaema erubescens and A. heterophyllum, which are cultivated for the herb market. The part used is said to be a rhizome, but is more accurately described as a tuber or corm. The common western name for this plant is ―Jack-in-the-pulpit,the name derived from the flower’s central spadix (spike, referred to here as ―Jack within the unique pulpit-shaped flower. Originally, the Chinese had called the herb ―tiger’s paw (huzhang), because of the digitate leaves (fanning out like a spread hand or paw); the name was later changed to tiannanxing, which refers to the star-like (xing) shape of the leaves; tiannan, meaning southern heaven, probably referred to a region where the herb was gathered.

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