HOU PO (厚朴)

Last updated: 22 Jul 2022  |  4630 Views  | 

HOU PO (厚朴)

Magnoliae Officinalis Cortex (厚朴) is the dried stem bark, root bark or branch bark of Magnolia officinalis Rehd. et Wils. or M. officinalis Rehd. et Wils. var. biloba Rehd. et Wils. family Magnoliaceae.

Other name   
Houpo (Chinese name), Official Magnolia Bark

Macroscopic character  
Tongpo (Stem bark): Quilled singly or double quilled, stem bark near the root with one end spread out like a bell, commonly known as “Xuetongpo”.  Outer surface greyish-brown, rough, sometimes scaly, easily exfoliated, with distinct elliptical lenticels and longitudinal wrinkles, appearing yellowish-brown when the coarse bark peeled; inner surface purplish-brown or dark purplish-brown, relatively smooth, with fine and dense longitudinal striations and exhibiting oily trace on scratching. Texture hard, uneasily broken, fracture, greyish-brown in the outer layer and purplish-brown or brown in the inner layer, oily, sometime numerous small bright spots visible.  Odor, aromatic; taste, pungent and slightly bitter.

Genpo (Root bark): Quilled singly or pieced irregularly, some curved like chicken intestines, commonly known as “Jichangpo”. Texture hard, easily broken, fracture fibrous.
Zhipo (Branch bark): Quilled singly.  Texture fragile, easily broken, fracture fibrous.

Zhipo (Branch bark): Quilled singly.  Texture fragile, easily broken, fracture fibrous.

Important cultivation area
Sichuan, Hubei, Zhejiang and Hunan provinces.

Processing method
1. Houpo: Scrape off the coarse bark, wash clean, soften thoroughly, cut into slivers, and dry in the sun.

2. Jianghoupo: Stir-fry the slivers of Houpo with ginger water (use 10 kg of fresh ginger for 100 kg of Houpo) on a medium fire until dry.

Traditional Chinese Medicine action
Bitter, pungent; warm. Enter spleen, stomach, lung and large intestine channels.

1.  Houpo: Dry dampness and resolve phlegm, direct qi downward to disperse fullness. 

2.  Jianghoupo: More potent in disperse fullness, harmonize stomach.

Thai Traditional Medicine action

Usage and dosage  3-10 g, decoction for oral use.

* Contraindication and precaution *  

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