Luo Shi Teng (Caulis Trachelospermi)

What Is Luo Shi Teng

Luo Shi Teng commonly known as Caulis Trachelospermi is the vine with leaves of Trachelospermum jasminoides, which is an evergreen woody liana belonging to the family Apocynaceae. It is a practical Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Shennong Ben Cao Jing> in the late Western Han Dynasty (about 100 BC).

There are about 30 species of Trachelospermum, which are mainly distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. They are often grown in gardens as ornamental plants.

Trachelospermum jasminoides is commonly known as Confederate Jasmine and Star Jasmine. They like low light and are resistant to heat and drought. They often grow in the mountains, streams, roadsides, forest edges, or mixed woods, and they are often entangled in trees or climbing on walls and rocks. They are distributed in China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and the United States.

Trachelospermum jasminoides

In winter and the next spring, people gather the vines with leaves of Trachelospermum jasminoides, remove impurities, dry them in the sun, cut them into pieces, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Luo Shi Teng contains arctiin, arctigenin, matairesinosaide, matairesinol, tracheloside, trachelogenin, nortracheloside, nortrachelogenin, tanegoside B, taxifolin, luteolin, luteolin-7-O-glucoside, naringin, quercetin, isoquercitrin, daidzin, kaempferol, isoglucodistylin, apigenin, astragalin, cycloeucalenol, α-amyrin, lupeol, α-amyrin acetate, β-amyrin acetate, α-amyrin palmitate, ursolic acid, β-sitosterol, trachelosperoside B-1, trachelogenin B, trachelosperoside D-1, trachelosperoside E-1, 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoisde quinovic acid -27-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl ester, 3-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl cincholic acid-27-O-D-glycopyranosyl ester, roseoside, icariside, tracheloionoside, actinidioionoside, sodium ferulate, salicylic acid, trachelinoside, vanillic acid, cephalosol, graphislactone G, graphislactone H, graphislactone A, and alternariol monomethyl ether.

Generally, strong Luo Shi Teng with hollow stem, a yellowish cross-section in the stem, and oval or ovate-lanceolate leaves is preferred.

According to <Compendium of Materia Medica>, the medicinal property of Luo Shi Teng is slightly cold, with a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the heart, liver, and kidney meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to expel wind and activate meridians, cool blood and alleviate swelling, and treat wind-damp-heat arthralgia, aching pain in waist and knees, muscular spasms, sore throat, carbuncle, sores, stroke, hemiplegia, orolingual distortion, lumbar muscle degeneration, soft tissue injury, traumatic insult, sciatica, and infantile diarrhea.

There are more than 30 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Pang Long Qi Pian, Xian Gui capsules, and Zhong Feng Hui Chun Wan.

Benefits

  • Anti-inflammation, inhibiting xylene-induced ear swelling in mice and carrageenan-induced paw swelling in rats.
  • Increasing pain threshold, prolonging the time of licking hindfoot in mice induced by hot plate experiment, and reducing the number of writhing in mice induced by acetic acid.
  • Anti-oxidation, scavenging DPPH free radical and superoxide anion free radical.
  • Expelling wind and activating meridians, treating arthralgia caused by wind-damp-heat, aching pain in waist and knees, and muscular spasms.
  • Clearing heat, treating pharyngitis, carbuncles, and sores caused by heat toxins.
  • Cooling blood and alleviating swelling, treating traumatic injuries, swelling and pain caused by blood stasis.
  • Arctiin has chemopreventive effect on mammary carcinogenesis [1].
  • Inhibiting Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella flexneri, and Typhoid bacillus [2].
  • Its ethanol extract showed weak anti-proliferative effect against T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) in HTLV-I-infected T-cell lines [3].
  • Studies have found that its total triterpenoid saponins can prolong the exhaustive swimming time of mice under load and reduce the content of whole blood lactic acid and plasma urea nitrogen malondialdehyde in mice after swimming under load. It has an anti-fatigue effect.

Combinations

  • It can be used in combination with Ren Dong Teng (Caulis Lonicerae Japonicae), Qin Jiao (Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae), and Di Long (Earthworm) to treat arthralgia caused by wind-damp-heat, aching pain in waist and knees, and muscular spasms.
  • It can be used in combination with Zao Jiao Ci (Spina Gleditsiae), Ru Xiang (Frankincense), and Mo Yao (Myrrh) to treat carbuncles and sores caused by heat toxins.
  • It can be used in combination with Shen Jin Cao (Lycopodium Japonicum), Tou Gu Cao (Speranskia Tuberculata), Hong Hua (Flos Carthami), and Tao Ren (Semen Persicae) to treat traumatic injuries, swelling and pain caused by blood stasis.
  • It can be used in combination with Qin Jiao (Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae), Shen Jin Cao (Lycopodium Japonicum), and Lu Lu Tong (Liquidambaris Fructus) to treat early rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It can be used in combination with Hai Feng Teng (Caulis Piperis Kadsurae), Hu Ji Sheng (Herba Visci), Ji Xue Teng (Caulis Spatholobi), Mu Gua (Fructus Chaenomelis), and Xiang Jia Pi (Cortex Periplocae) to treat severe pain in limbs and joints, muscle ache, and disadvantageous flexion and extension of joints.

Side Effects

Modern pharmacological studies have shown that it contains arctiin, which can cause convulsions in animals.

Taking it in large doses may cause respiratory failure. It has some toxicity to the heart and the blood system.

Overdose of it may cause irritability, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, pallor, cold clammy limbs, coma, or cardiac arrest.

During taking the medicine, if the patient has the above symptoms, the patient should stop using it immediately and seek medical treatment.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Luo Shi Teng should be controlled at 6-12g.
  • It can be made into decoctions, pills, powders, or mashed for external use.
  • People who are allergic to Luo Shi Teng should not take it.
  • It should not be taken with medications containing vitamin C, Shi Chang Pu (Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii), or Chuan Bei Mu (Fritillaria Cirrhosa).
  • People with a fear of cold caused by yang deficiency should not take it.
  • People with loose stools should not take it.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it.