Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Japanese Pagoda Tree, Sophora japonica Nitrogen Fixing Trees, Medicinal Uses

By Liliana Usvat
Blog 267 -365

This tree is native to eastern Asia, especially China and Japan. Others common names include Chinese pagoda tree, Styphnolobium japonicum, Japanese pagoda tree, and Chinese Scholar.

Chinese Scholar Tree or Japanese Pagoda Tree A native of China, this medium sized tree grows to 65 feet in height, usually with a broad round crown.  It has a rapid growth rate and tolerates city conditions, heat, and drought. When grown in a yard, the Japanese Pagoda Tree can reach a height ranging from 50 to 75 feet; however, when grown along the road in compact soil, it only grows to 30 or 40 feet. Sophora has a height and spread of from 40 to 60 feet. It is hardy in zones 4 to 8  and prefers an open, sunny location.  

Bloom This tree begins to bloom when 10 to 15 years old. In late summer and early fall, 10- to15-inch upright panicles of mildly fragrant, creamy-white, pea-like flowers are produced at the ends of branches and live about a month.

Seeds Flowers are replaced by ornamental yellow seed pods, 6 to 8 inches long, which persist well into the winter and resemble strings of beads.

Bark The young bark is pale gray, becoming furrowed into fibrous, interlaced, scaly ridges.

Medicinal Uses

Sophora japonica, also known as Huai Hua Mi, is edible and often used as a cool Chinese herb to stop bleeding. 

Fruits as a source of sophorose and rutin drugs.

Main chemical constituents are triterpenoids, flavonoids, betulin, sophoradiol, flower oil, and tannin. Triterpenoids mainly include azukisaponinⅠ, Ⅱ, Ⅴ, soyasaponin I, Ⅲ, and kaikasaponin Ⅰ, Ⅱ, Ⅲ. Flavonoids mainly include quercetin, rutin, isorhamnetin, isorhamnetin-3-rutinoside, and kaempferol-3-rutinoside. And flower oil contains fatty acids, such as lauric acid, dodecenoic acid, tetradecenoic acid, teradecadienoic acid, palmitic acid, hexadecenoic acid, stearic acid, octadecadienoic acid, octadecatrienoic acid, arachidic acid and β-sitosterol.

The  fruit is expert in stopping bleeding and lowering blood pressure; root bark and leaf are skilled in curing sore. In addition, its shoots and seedling are also used medicinally. According to Ben Cao Gang Mu (Compendium of Materia Medica), its newborn shoots and seedling can be consumed as vegetable or tea. And Bao Pu Zi, literally “Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity”, and Ming Yi Bie Lu (Appendant Records of Famous Physicians) say that this herb is one of the best brain tonics, which can improve hair color and live longer if only people take it earlier.


Yu Huai Zang Lian Wan. From Cheng Fang Bian Du (Convenient Reader of Established Formulas), this formula is basically formulated for chronic and new hemorrhoids. Other key herbal ingredients are Huang Lian (Coptis Rhizome), Di Yu (Sanguisorba Root), and so on.
2. Huai Hua San. From Jing Yan Liang Fang (Experiential Fine Formulas), this prescription combines it with Zhi Zi (Gardenia) for the treatment of blood-heat type of hemafecia.
3. Huai Hua San. From Liang Peng Hui Ji (Close Friends’ Collection), this recipe uses this herb with Bai Cao Shuang (Plant Soot) to cure vaginal bleeding.
4. Huai Xiang San. From Sheng Ji Zong Lu (Complete Record of Holy Benevolence), it couples charred Huai Hua Mi with a little bit She Xiang (Moschus) to treat throwing up blood.
5. Huai Hua Jin Yin Hua Jiu. In the formula of Yi Xue Qi Meng (Enlighten of Medicine), this herb works with Jin Yin Hua (Honeysuckle Flower) and wine to cure sore and ulcer.

Reforestation

 It has long been planted as shade tree thanks to its rapid growth rate and an immense size.