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Trichosanthes kirilowii

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Title: Trichosanthes kirilowii  
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Language: English
Subject: Cold-Food Powder, List of traditional Chinese medicines, Cucurbitaceae, List of kampo herbs, Chinese herbology
Collection: Cucurbitaceae, Medicinal Plants, Plants Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Trichosanthes kirilowii

Trichosanthes kirilowii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Trichosanthes
Species: T. kirilowii
Binomial name
Trichosanthes kirilowii

Trichosanthes japonica Regel

Trichosanthes kirilowii is a flowering plant in the family Cucurbitaceae found particularly in Henan, Shandong, Hebei, Shanxi, and Shaanxi. It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it shares the name guālóu (Chinese: 栝楼) with the related T. rosthornii. It is known as Chinese cucumber in English. And Chinese snake gourd[note 1]


  • Traditional uses 1
  • Chemical components 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Traditional uses

The tuber of this plant is known in Mandarin as tiān huā fěn (Chinese: 天花粉). In traditional Chinese medicine it is said to drain heat and generate fluids, clear and drain lung heat, transform phlegm, and moisten lung dryness, and resolve toxicity and expel pus.[3] The fruit of the plant, also referred to in Mandarin as guālóu (Chinese: 瓜蔞), is said to clear heat and transform phlegm-heat, unbind the chest, reduces abscesses and dissipate nodules.[4] Both forms should be considered safe only for use with professional guidance by someone trained in their use, though this may be an unnecessary extrapolation from the toxicity of purified trichosanthin. This plant can be used to possibly dissolve the protein coat on the RNA of the AIDS virus.[5]

Chemical components

The plant is a source of the toxic anti-HIV type I ribosome-inactiving lectin trichosanthin.[1][6]

See also


  1. ^ Robinson and Decker-Walters (1997[2]) p. 203-206: "Chinese snake gourd" preferred name for Trichosanthes kirilowii, and Trichosanthes kirilowii preferred definition for "chinese snake gourd".


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Robinson RW and DS Decker-Walters. 1997. Appendix: Common Cucurbit Names and their Scientific Equivalents. in: Cucurbits. CAB International, USA.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links

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