Jin Guo Lan (Radix Tinosporae)

What Is Jin Guo Lan

Jin Guo Lan commonly known as Radix Tinosporae is the tuber of Tinospora sagittata or Tinospora capillipes, which is a perennial evergreen twining shrub belonging to the family Menispermaceae. It first appeared in <Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi> (a supplement to the compendium of materia medica) in the 30th year of Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1,765 AD).

The genus Tinospora includes 34 species, in which several herbs were used as traditional medicines by indigenous groups throughout the tropical and subtropical parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Tinospora sagittata often grows in forests, bamboo forests, or grasslands. It is distributed in Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Tibet, Guizhou, Jiangxi, Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan, and Vietnam.

Tinospora capillipes is a unique plant in southern China, which often grows in sparse forests or bushes.

Tinospora sagittata

In the autumn and winter of each year, people pick tubers of Tinospora sagittata or Tinospora capillipes, remove their impurities and fibrous roots, wash them with water, cut them into pieces, dry them in the sun, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Jin Guo Lan contains palmatine, columbin, isocolumbin, jatrrhizine, columbamine, stepharanine, dehydrodiscretamine, menisperine, magnoflorine, 2-deoxycrustecdysone, daucosterol, diterpenoids, and sterols.

According to <Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi>, the medicinal nature of Jin Guo Lan is relatively cold, with a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung and large intestine meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Jin Guo Lan is used to clear heat and remove toxins, relieve sore throat, reduce inflammation and relieve pain, treat upper respiratory tract infections, influenza, acute tonsillitis, acute bronchitis, acute gastroenteritis, chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, bacterial dysentery, pneumonia, biliary tract infections, and fever caused by a purulent skin infection.


  • Anti-inflammation, anti-allergy, anti-oxidation, and anti-tumor.
  • Preventing spleen atrophy and having anti-stress, antipyretic, and analgesic effects.
  • Improving immune response and regulating immunity.
  • Exciting the smooth muscle of the uterus and contracting the uterus.
  • Promoting ulcer healing and treating chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer.
  • Relieving the heat pain in the stomach and abdominal pain caused by diarrhea.
  • Lowering blood sugar, antagonizing the increase in blood sugar caused by alloxan, epinephrine, or glucose.
  • Clearing heat and treating sore throat caused by the heat accumulation in the lungs and stomach.
  • Removing heat toxins, relieving skin swelling and pain, and treating furuncles and carbuncles caused by heat toxins.
  • Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus Albicans, Proteus, acid-resistant Mycobacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Helicobacter pylori, and Leptospira.
  • Its alcohol extract can treat infusion phlebitis.
  • Studies have found that it can increase the superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase in the prefrontal cortex and striatum and improve memory.


Side Effects

  • At present, there is no literature report that Jin Guo Lan has toxic effects, and no data is showing that taking it will cause serious adverse reactions.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Jin Guo Lan should be controlled at 3-9g.
  • It can be made into decoctions, pills, insufflations, injections, or ground into powder for external use.
  • People who are allergic to Jin Guo Lan should not take it.
  • Patients with weakness of the spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • Pregnant women and children should not take it.