You Song Jie (Lignum Pini Nodi)

What Is You Song Jie

You Song Jie commonly known as Lignum Pini Nodi is the nodule of Pinus tabuliformis or P. massoniana, which is an evergreen tree belonging to the family Pinaceae. It is a relatively practical Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Mingyi Bie Lu> around 420-589 AD.

There are about 118 species of pines, which are mainly distributed in tropical to temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. Of these, only some species have been introduced into tropical and subtropical regions of the southern hemisphere. They have a high economic value and are important trees for afforestation.

Pinus tabuliformis is commonly known as Manchurian red pine, Southern Chinese pine, or Chinese red pine. They like light, dry and cold climates. They grow well on deep, well-drained acidic, neutral, or calcareous loess. They often grow at altitudes of 100-2,600 meters. They are unique to China and are distributed in Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Sichuan provinces.

P. massoniana is commonly known as Masson’s pine or horsetail pine. They grow well in open, sunny terrain, close to a water source, and loose-textured acidic loam or sandy loam. They often grow in areas below 1500 meters above sea level. They are found in central and southern China and Vietnam.

pinus massoniana

The nodules of Pinus tabuliformis or P. massoniana can be gathered in any season. People gather their nodules, remove impurities, dry them in the sun, and make them into Chinese herbal medicine.

You Song Jie contains α-pinene, β-pinene, amphene, 3-carene, phellandrene, fenchene, alloocimene, terpinene, longifolene, carypohyllene, pimaradiene, ursolic acid, isopimaric acid, cellulose, lignin, vitamins, amino acids, proteins, fatty acids, sterols, flavonoids, volatile oils, and resins.

Generally, brownish yellow, light brownish yellow, or reddish-brown You Song Jie with a textured longitudinal section is preferred.

According to <Compendium of Materia Medica>, the medicinal property of You Song Jie is relatively warm, with a bitter and pungent taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the liver and kidney meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to expel wind and dampness, activate meridians and relieve pain, treat rheumatic arthralgia, muscular spasm, severe and wandering arthralgia, chronic rheumatic arthritis, joint swelling and pain, numbness of limbs, weakness of limbs, disadvantageous flexion and extension of joints, traumatic injury, beriberi, and flaccidity of feet.

There are about 30 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Luofushan Feng Shi Gao Yao, Yang Xue Rong Jin Wan, and Shu Feng Zai Zao Wan.

Benefits

  • Anti-inflammation, inhibiting croton oil-induced mouse ear swelling and carrageenan-induced rat foot swelling.
  • Increasing the pain threshold and reducing the number of writhing reactions in mice caused by acetic acid.
  • Reducing viral RNA polymerase activity and inhibiting viral protein synthesis in infected cells.
  • Lowering the body temperature of normal mice and the body temperature of yeast-induced fever rats.
  • Expelling wind and dampness, treating rheumatic arthralgia, and severe and wandering arthralgia.
  • Activating meridians, alleviating swelling and relieving pain, and treating traumatic injuries and pain caused by ecchymoma.
  • Its water and alcohol extracts have certain inhibitory effects on Escherichia coli, Pneumococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Salmonella.
  • Studies have found that its flavonoids and lignin have different degrees of inhibition on K562, MCF-7, and HepG2 cancer cells.

Combinations

  • It can be used in combination with Qiang Huo (Rhizoma et Radix Notopterygii), Du Huo (Radix Angelicae Pubescentis), and Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong) to treat rheumatic arthralgia, and severe and wandering arthralgia.
  • It can be used in combination with Ru Xiang (Frankincense), Mo Yao (Myrrh), Tao Ren (Semen Persicae), and Hong Hua (Flos Carthami) to treat traumatic injuries.
  • It can be used in combination with Qin Jiao (Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae), Niu Xi (Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae), and Rou Gui (Cortex Cinnamomi) to treat muscular spasm, beriberi, and flaccidity of feet.
  • It can be used in combination with Cao Wu (Radix Aconiti Agrestis), Sang Ji Sheng (Herba Taxilli), Qi Ye Lian (Radix Shefferae), Wei Ling Xian (Radix Clematidis), Hu Zhang (Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati), Hong Teng (Sargentodoxa Cuneata), Dan Shen (Red Sage), and Niu Xi (Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae) to treat chronic rheumatic arthritis.
  • It can be used in combination with Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis), Ji Xue Teng (Caulis Spatholobi), He Shou Wu (Fo-Ti), Chi Shao (Radix Paeoniae Rubra), Xu Duan (Radix Dipsaci), Dang Shen (Radix Codonopsis), and Mu Xiang (Radix Aucklandiae) to treat the pain of tendons and bones, disadvantageous flexion and extension of joints, numbness of limbs, and muscle atrophy.

Side Effects

Modern research shows that excessive consumption of You Song Jie may cause kidney failure and pulmonary edema.

Overdose of it may cause heartburn, nausea, vomiting, colic, diarrhea, cold skin, or irritability.

In severe cases, it may cause irregular breathing, coughing, chest tightness, blood in the urine, painful urination, difficulty urinating, convulsions, or coma.

If you need to take it for a long time, you should consult a professional doctor or take it under the guidance of a doctor.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of You Song Jie should be controlled at 9-15g.
  • It can be made into decoctions or medicinal liquors.
  • People who are allergic to You Song Jie should not take it.
  • Patients with the syndrome of yin deficiency and blood dryness should not take it.
  • It should not be taken at the same time as antibiotics, rifampicin, or enalapril.
  • During the medication, you should avoid eating cold, greasy, spicy, and irritating foods.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take it under the guidance of a doctor.