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Tiandong (Cochinchinese Asparagus Root)---天冬(powder100g/bottle)

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This medicinal is the dried root tuber of Asparagus cochinchinensis( Lour.)Merr.(Fam. Liliaceae). It is excavated in the autumn and winter, and then washed clean. After removal of its rootlets and caudex, it is fully cooked or steamed in boilig water and then its skin peeled. Then it is washed clean, dried , sliced and utilized in its unprocessed form.

[ Medicinal Properties ]: Sweet, bitter and cold; relate to lung and kidney meridians.

 [ Medicial Efficacies ]:Nourish yin and moisten dryness, clear lung and promote fluid production.

[ CLinical Applications ]: 1. Lung yin deficiency syndrome    For yin deficiency with dryness-heat in the lung, manifesting as dry cough with decreased sputum, hemoptysis, sore throat and hoarse voice, it is often combined with Maidong; for lung yin deficiency with interior exuberance of dryness-heat, with Maidong, Shashen and Chuanbeimu.

2. Kidney yin deificiency syndrome     for vertigo, tinnitus, soreness and pain in the lumbar region and knees, it iscombined with Shudihuang and Gouqizi. For bone-steaming tidal fever due to yin deficiency with effulgent fire, it is combined with Shengdihuang and Maidong. In the case of Xiaoke (Similar to diabetes )due to protracted kidney yin deficiency with internal heat it is usually combined with Shengdihuang and Shanyao. In the treatment of cough with hemoptysis due to deficiency of lung-kidney yin, it is usually combined with Shengdihuang and Xuanshen.

3. Febrile disease with consumption of fluid, anorexia, thirst and constipation due to intestinal dryness     To treat anorexia and thirst in febrile disease with consumption of stomach-fluid and damage of both qi and yin, it is combined with Shengdihuang and Renshen. To treat constipation due to intestinal dryness, it should be combined with Shengdihuang and Danggui.

[ Usage and Dosage ]: 6-12g.

[ Precautions ]: It is more sweet, cold and greasy, so it is contraindicated in patients with diarrhea, due to spleen deficiency and interior exuberance of phlegm-dampness.

[ Medicinal Comparison ]: Similarities : Both Maidong and Tiandong have the fuctions of nourishing lung yin, moistening lung dryness, clearing lung heat, nourishing stomach yin, clearing stomach heat, promoting fluid production and moistening the bowels to relieve constipation; therefore, they are both indicated for lung yin deficiency syndrome, stomach yin deficiency syndrome and constipation due to intestinal dryness. Maidong is slightly cold and weaker in clearing fire and nourishing but less greasy, while Tiandog is more bitter and cold and stronger in clearing fire and moistening dryness.

Differenes: Maidong also clears  heart to relieve dysphoria, calms the heart to induce tranquilization and is indicated for dysphoria, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep  , amnesia, palpitations and fearful throbbing, due to deficiency of heart yin with effulgent fire.

Tiandong also nourishes kidney yin, reduces deficiency-fire and is indicated for vertigo, tinnitus, soreness and pain in the lumber region and kness, due to kidney yin deficiency and bone-steaming tidal fever, Xiaoke(diabetes)due to yin deficiency with effulgent fire.

天冬为百合科植物天冬Asparagus cochinchinensis(Lour.)Merr.的块根。主产于贵州、四川、广西等地。秋冬二季采挖,洗净,除去茎基和须根,置沸水中煮或蒸至透心,趁热除去外皮,洗净,干燥,切片或段,生用。

       【药性】甘、苦,寒。归肺、肾、胃经。        【功效】养阴润燥,清肺生津。     
 
【应用】        1.肺阴虚证。本品甘润苦寒之性较强,其养肺阴,清肺热的作用强于麦冬、玉竹等同类药物。适用于阴虚肺燥有热之干咳痰少、咳血、咽痛音哑等症。对咳嗽咯痰不利者,兼能止咳祛痰。治肺阴不足,燥热内盛之证,常与麦冬、沙参、川贝母等药同用。       
 
 2.肾阴虚证。本品能滋肾阴,兼能降虚火,适宜于肾阴亏虚之眩晕、耳鸣、腰膝酸痛及阴虚火旺之骨蒸潮热,内热消渴等证。肾阴亏虚,眩晕耳鸣,腰膝酸痛者,常与熟地、枸杞子、牛膝等滋肾益精、强筋健骨之品同用。阴虚火旺,骨蒸潮热者,宜与滋阴降火之生地黄、麦冬、知母、黄柏等品同用。治肾阴久亏,内热消渴证,可与生地黄、山药、女贞子等滋阴补肾之品同用。肺肾阴虚之咳嗽咯血,可与生地、玄参、川贝母等滋阴清肺、凉血止咳药同用。       
 
 3.热病伤津之食欲不振、口渴及肠燥便秘等证。本品还有一定益胃生津作用,兼能清胃热,可用于热伤胃津之证。气阴两伤,食欲不振,口渴者,宜与生地黄、人参等养阴生津益气之品配伍。津亏肠燥便秘者,宜与生地、当归、生首乌等养阴生津,润肠通便之品同用。        【用法用量】煎服,6~12g。        【使用注意】本品甘寒滋腻之性较强,脾虚泄泻、痰湿内盛者忌用。       
 
【鉴别用药】天冬与麦冬,既能滋肺阴、润肺燥、清肺热,又可养胃阴、清胃热、生津止渴,对于热病伤津之肠燥便秘,还可增液润肠以通便。二药性能功用相似,相须为用。然天冬苦寒之性较甚,清火与润燥之力强于麦冬,且入肾滋阴,还宜于肾阴不足,虚火亢旺之证。麦冬微寒,清火与滋润之力虽稍弱,但滋腻性亦较小,且能清心除烦,宁心安神,又宜于心阴不足及心热亢旺之证。       
 
【古籍摘要】        1.《药性论》:“主肺气咳逆,喘息促急,除热,通肾气,疗肺痿生痈吐脓……止消渴,去热中风,宜久服”。       
 
2.《本草汇言》:“润燥滋阴,降火清肺之药也。统理肺肾火燥为病,如肺热叶焦,发为痿痈,吐血咳嗽,烦渴传为肾消,骨蒸热劳诸证,在所必需者也”。       
 
【现代研究】        1.化学成分:本品含天门冬素(天冬酰胺)、粘液质、β-谷甾醇及5-甲氧基甲基糖醛、甾体皂苷、多种氨基酸、新酮糖、寡糖及多糖等成分。       
 
2.药理作用:天冬酰胺有一定平喘镇咳祛痰作用;可使外周血管扩张、血压下降、心收缩力增强、心率减慢和尿量增加;煎剂体外试验对甲型及乙型溶血性链球菌、白喉杆菌、肺炎双球菌、金黄色葡萄球菌等均有不同程度的抑制作用;天冬具有升高外周白细胞,增强网状内皮系统吞噬能力及体液免疫功能的作用;煎剂或醇提取液可促进抗体生成,延长抗体生存时间;对实验动物有非常显著的抗细胞突变作用,可升高肿瘤细胞cAMP水平,抑制肿瘤细胞增殖。       
 
 3.临床研究:据报道,以天冬剥去外皮,每日63g,隔水蒸0.5~1小时,于早、中、晚3次分服;或制成片剂、糖浆剂等。治疗乳腺小叶增生及乳腺癌,前者42例,临床治愈16例,显效8例,有效11例;后者可见局部肿块及转移淋巴结有一定缩小(江苏中医,1976,4:33)。用天冬15~30g,水煎服,每日1次,红糖为引,治疗功能性子宫出血,有一定疗效(赤脚医生杂志,1975,12:594)。
 
本品还有用于治疗百日咳、心律失常、病毒性肝炎、肿瘤等疾病的报道。       

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