Fructus Trichosanthis


Fruit of Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim. or several species of the same genus, family Cucurbitaceae.

Gourd spherical or oblong, 6-9 cm long. Surface yellowish brown, irregularly skrunkened; apex with remnant style base, and its base with fruit stalk scars remaining. Peel thin and brittle, containing the pulp and many ovate seeds inside. Burnt sugar in odour. Exocarp appearing the same as the outer surface of gourd; endocarp yellowish white, with vascular bundles. Sweet and bitter in taste, cold in nature, and attributive to lung, stomach and large intestine channels.

1. Clear away lung-heat, moisturize dryness and eliminate phlegm: For lung-heat syndrome manifested as cough with yellow and thick sputum, chest pain and feeling of oppression in the chest, usually used together with Radix Scutellariae, Ansaemae cum Bile and Fructus Aurantii Immaturus; for cough of dryness-heat type with yellow and thick sputum, dryness of throat and mouth, used together with Bulbus Fritillariae Cirrhosae and Radix Adenophorae Strictae.
2. Promote vital energy circulation and ease the chest: For accumulation of phlegm-heat in the chest manifested as chest pain, feeling of oppression in the chest and hypochondria, yellow and. greasy fur, cough with yellow and thick sputum, usually used with Rhizoma Pinelliae together. Recently, used for angina pectoris.
3. Disperse lumps and relieve carbuncle: For breast nodules such as fibroadenoma, used together with Radix Angelicae Sinensis, Radix Glycyrrhizae, Olibanum, and Myrrha. Also for lung abscess, acute appendicitis, carbuncle, subcutaneous nodule, scrofula, etc.
4. Lubricate the intestine and relax the bowels: For constipation due to dryness of intestine. Recently also used for hyperlipemia and hypertension.

Pharmacological Action
1. The decoction of its fruit can inhibit the growth of cancer cells in vitro.
2. The decoction of its peel inhibits the growth of Bacillus dysenteriae and pneumococcus in vitro.
3. The extract of its peel or its seeds can increase the coronary flow in guinea-pigs.

Administration Decoction:
Fructus Trichosanthis 12-30g; Semen Trichosanthis 6-15g.

Incompatible with Radix Aconiti. Pericarpium Trichosanthis is better for clearing away lung-heat, eliminating phlegm, promoting lung energy circulation, easing the chest, dispersing the lumps and relieving carbuncle; Semen Trichosanthis is better for moisturizing dryness and lubricating the intestine.


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Mr. Wang Tao

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