Introduction of Gua Lou:Snakegourd Fruit or Fructus Trichosanthis.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The TCM herbalism is also known as pharmaceutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Chinese pharmaceutics, is the branch of health science dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and proper utilization of Chinese herbs. It is majorly composed of Introduction of Chinese Medicinals, Classification of Chinese Herbs, Formulas, and Patent medicines.

Classifications of Herbs:Expectorants,Herbs for Resolving Heat-Phlegm.

 TCM Herbs Icon03 Introduction: Expectorants,herbs for resolving heat-phlegm: an agent or substance herbs warm in property, used in treating disorders of heat-phlegm or phlegm-dampness.

Fructus Trichosanthis(Snakegourd Fruit).

Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim:growing plant Pin Yin Name: Guā Lóu.
 English Name: Snakegourd Fruit.
 Latin Name: Fructus Trichosanthis.
 Property and flavor: cold, sweet, slight bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Trichosanthis is the dried fruit of Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim., or Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms(family Cucurbitaceae), used (1).to clear heat and resolve phlegm for relieving cough and dyspnea caused by heat-phlegm, (2).to soothe the chest for angina pectoris, (3).to reduce swelling in the treatment of lung abscess, appendicitis and mastitis, and (4).to moisten the intestines for opening the bowels. The herb is commonly known as Fructus Trichosanthis, Snakegourd Fruit, Guā Lóu.

 Botanical source: The herb Fructus Trichosanthis(Snakegourd Fruit) is the dried fruit of Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim., or Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms, they are plants of the Trichosanthes genus, the Cucurbitaceae family of the Cucurbitales order.

(1).Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim.

 Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim.:drawing of plant and herb Botanical description: The Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim., is a plant of the Cucurbitaceae family, it is commonly known as "Gua Lou", climbing vines, up to 10 meters; columnar roots, thick and thick, rich in starch, light yellow-brown. Stems are thicker, much branched, with longitudinal ribs and grooves, spreading white by pilose. The leaves are papery, nearly round in profile, about 5~20 cm in length and width, often 3~7 shallow to mid-cleft, sparsely or not split and only unequal coarse teeth, splinters obovate, oblong, apex obtuse, cuspidate, margin often shallowly lobed, leaf base cordate, ankle deficient deep 2~4 cm, upper surface dark green, rough, abaxially pale green, veins villous along both veins Bristles, base palmate veins 5, veined reticular; petiole 3~10 cm long, with vertical stripes, villous. Tendril 3-7 disambiguated, pubescent. Flowers dioecious. Male racemes are solitary, or connate with a single flower, or solitary on shoots, racemes 10~20 cm long, stout, with longitudinal ribs and grooves, puberulous, apically 5~8 flowers, single pedicel ca. 15 cm, pedicel ca. 3 mm, bracteoles obovate or broadly ovate, 1.5~3 cm long, 1~2 cm wide, middle and upper parts with coarse teeth, base stipitate, pubescent; calyx tube tubular, 2~4 cm long, apical expanded, ca. 10 mm in diameter, middle and lower ca. 5 mm in diameter, pubescent, lobes lanceolate, 10~15 mm long, broad 3~5 mm, entire; corolla white, lobes obovate, ca. 20 mm, width 18 mm, apical middle with 1 green tip, with filiform tassels on both sides, pubescent; anthers confluent, ca. 6 mm, about 4 mm in diameter, filaments separate, stout, villous. Female flowers solitary, pedicels 7.5 cm long, pubescent; calyx tube cylindric, 2.5 cm long, ca. 1.2 cm, lobes, and the corolla with male flowers; ovary elliptic, green, 2 cm long, 1 cm in diameter, style 2 cm long, 3 stigmas. Fruit pedicels stout, 4~11 cm long; fruit elliptic or rounded, 7~10.5 cm long, yellow-brown or orange-yellow when ripe; seeds ovate-elliptic, compressed, 11~16 mm long, 7~12 mm wide, pale yellow-brown, with ridgeline near margin. Its flowering period is from May to August, fruiting from August to October.

 Growth characteristics: The plant usually grows on the slopes at an altitude of 200~1800 meters above sea level, under forests, bushes, grasslands and village fields. It distributes in the north, east, south, southwest and other regions of China.

 Snakegourd Fruit:herb photo Characters of herbs: The herb fruit is ovoid or globular, 7~15 cm long, 6~10 cm in diameter, the surface is deep orange-yellow to orange-red, shriveled or smooth, apex with residual styloplast, base with peduncle remnant; the texture is crisp, easily broken, slightly thick pericarp, the inner surface is yellowish white, fruit pulp is orange yellow, and most seeds accumulated into a group. It smells like caramel, it tastes slightly sour and sweet.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clear heat and cleanse phlegm, relieving chest stiffness to dissipate mass, moisturizing dryness syndrome and laxation. Indicated for lung heat and cough, phlegm thick and yellow, thoracic obstruction and pain in the heart, accumulation of pathogens in chest with distention and fullness, acute mastitis, abscess of lung, periappendicular abscess and swelling pain, constipation.

 Administration of Fructus Trichosanthis(Guā Lóu): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Trichosanthis(Guā Lóu)
TCM Books: Internally:9~15 grams(CP), Internally: 9~12 grams,water decoction,or prepare to powder.Externally:proper amount,charred the herb with its property retained, grinded into fine powder and apply stick(CHMM).

(2).Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms.

 Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms.:fruiting plant Botanical description: The Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms., is a plant of the Cucurbitaceae family, it is commonly known as "Shuang Bian Gua Lou", perennial grass vines. Strong roots. Stalks slender, twining or climbing, ribbed, brown pubescent when young. The tendrils are twinned and the tips are forked. Leaves alternate, broadly ovate, 8~16 cm long, nearly equal in width and length, base shallowly cordate, usually 3–9 deep-septate to the base, lobes lanceolate or narrowly obovate, acute, margin sparsely toothed, both surfaces are hairless, with granular protrusions, petiole length 4~6 cm.
Radix Trichosanthis(Snake-gourd Root).

Snake-gourd Root:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Tiān Huā Fěn.
 English Name: Snake-gourd Root.
 Latin Name: Radix Trichosanthis.
 Property and flavor: slightly cold nature, sweet, slight bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Radix Trichosanthis is the dried root of Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim., or Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms(family Cucurbitaceae), used to clear heat, promote fluid production, moisten the lung, counteract toxins and reduce swelling for relieving thirst in cases of febrile diseases and diabetes, and treating boils, sores and abscesses.

 ✵The herb Radix Trichosanthis(Snake-gourd Root) is the dried root of Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim., or Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms, they are plants of the Trichosanthes genus, the Cucurbitaceae family of the Cucurbitales order.

 Characters of herbs: The herb is ovate or blocky, 8~40 cm long, 2~5 cm in diameter. The outer peel is yellow laurel color, has the longitudinal furrow and the horizontal long leather foramina; After scraping off the outer peel it is smooth, yellow and white, there are horizontal wrinkles and residual embolic spot, the longitudinal section can be seen yellow vertical stripe. The texture is solid and quality, the fracture surface is yellowish-white, powdery, obvious conduit hole, slightly radial arrangement. The smell is slight and the taste is bitter.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clearing heat and generate fluid; Moistening lung and dissolve phlegm; Reduce the swelling and remove the pus. Indicated for thirst of fibrile disease, much drink and wasting thirst, lung heat and dry cough, ulcers swollen poison, etc.

 Administration of Radix Trichosanthis(Tiān Huā Fěn): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Trichosanthis(Tiān Huā Fěn)
TCM Books: Internally:10~15 grams(CP),Internally:water decoction,3~4 qian(about 9~12 grams),or prepare to pill,powder,Externally:grinded into fine powder and apply stick(DCTM),Internally:9~15 grams,water decoction,or prepare to pill,powder.Externally:proper amount,grinded into fine powder and apply stick(CHMM).
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Radix Trichosanthis should be used cautiously during pregnancy, should not be combined with herbs of Aconiti species.

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  • 1.Introduction of Gua Lou:Snakegourd Fruit or Fructus Trichosanthis.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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