Tian Hua Fen (Radix Trichosanthis)

What Is Tian Hua Fen

Tian Hua Fen also known as Radix Trichosanthis is the root of Trichosanthes kirilowii or Trichosanthes rosthornii, which is a perennial vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Shennong Ben Cao Jing> in the late Western Han Dynasty (about 100 BC).

There are about 50 species of Castanopsis, which are distributed in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and northern Australia.
Among them, the fruit of some plants can be eaten, and the seeds of some plants can be made into insecticides.

Trichosanthes kirilowii is hardy and intolerant to drought. They grow well in sunny, deep, loose, and fertile sandy loam soils. They often grow under forests, shrubs, grasslands, and fields at an altitude of 200-1,800 meters above sea level. They are distributed in China, North Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Laos.

Trichosanthes rosthornii is unique to China and likes a warm and humid environment. They often grow in valleys, dense forests, hillside shrubs, and grasses at 400-1,850 meters above sea level. They are distributed in Gansu, Shaanxi, Hubei, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Jiangxi.

Trichosanthes kirilowii

In autumn and winter, people gather the roots of Trichosanthes kirilowii or Trichosanthes rosthornii, wash them with water, remove their outer skins, cut them into thick slices, use them directly, or dry them in the sun, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Tian Hua Fen contains α trichosanthin, β trichosanthin, γ trichosanthin, trichosanthin F1, trichosanthin F2, trichosanthin F3, trichosanthes kirilowii lectin, rhamnose, glucose, galactose, arabinose, fructose, mannose, triterpene saponins, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, γ-aminobutyric acid, and some trace elements.

Generally, the solid Tian Hua Fen with a pink-white cross-section and high starch content is preferred.

According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Tian Hua Fen is slightly cold, with a slightly bitter and sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung and stomach meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to clear heat and purge fire, promote the production of body fluid and quench thirst, reduce swelling and discharge pus, treat type 2 diabetes, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, mastitis, mumps, pelvic inflammatory disease, secondary amenorrhea, hydatidiform moles, ectopic pregnancy, prolonged abortion, purulent tonsillitis, folliculitis, acute suppurative otitis media, nasosinusitis, jaundice, and anal fistula.

There are about 200 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Jen Shen Lu Yung Wan, Nei Xiao Luo Li Wan, and Yu Ye Tang.

Benefits

  • Inhibiting herpes simplex virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, hepatitis B virus, Coxsackie β2 virus, mumps virus.
  • Inducing degeneration and necrosis of placental trophoblast cells, necrosis of chorionic tissue, enhancing uterine contraction, inducing abnormal fetuses to pass out of the uterus smoothly, and treating hydatidiform mole, stillbirth, and ectopic pregnancy.
  • Clearing sthenic heat in the lungs and stomach, treating polydipsia caused by febrile diseases.
  • Treating dry throat and thirst caused by dryness impairing the lung and stomach.
  • Promoting the production of body fluid and nourishing the lung, treating dry cough with a small amount of sputum, blood in the sputum caused by dryness-heat impairing lung.
  • Treating cough, asthma, and hemoptysis caused by deficiency of both qi and yin.
  • Treating polydipsia, hyperdiuresis, overeating with marasmus, fatigue, high blood sugar, and urine sugar caused by internal heat.
  • Reducing swelling and treating skin ulcers and abscesses caused by heat toxins.
  • Clearing heat, treating swelling and sore throat caused by wind-heat attacking the upper.
  • Inhibiting the proliferation of cervical cancer HeLa cells, lung cancer A549 cells, and ovarian cancer HO8910 cells and inducing apoptosis of colon cancer SW-1116 cells and breast cancer MCF-7 cells.
  • Its decoction can inhibit the growth of pneumococcus, diphtheria bacillus, hemolytic streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • Trichosanthin can activate interleukin-4 and interleukin-10, promote the secretion of T cells of the CD8 TC2 subgroup, and induce the expression of related immunosuppression.
  • Its polysaccharides can promote the proliferation of peripheral mononuclear cells, up-regulate the content of CD3 +, CD 4 +, and CD 8 + T cells in T lymphocyte subsets, and enhance immune activity.
  • Trichosanthin can inhibit the replication of HIV-infected T cells.
  • Studies have found that trichosanthes kirilowii lectin has an insulin-like effect, which can lower blood sugar.

Combinations

  • It can be used in combination with Lu Gen (Rhizoma Phragmitis) and Mai Dong (Radix Ophiopogonis) to treat polydipsia caused by febrile diseases.
  • It can be used in combination with Sha Shen (Radix Adenophorae), Mai Dong (Radix Ophiopogonis), and Yu Zhu (Rhizoma Polygonati Odorati) to treat dry throat and thirst caused dryness impairing lung and stomach.
  • It can be used in combination with Tian Men Dong (Asparagus Root), Mai Dong (Radix Ophiopogonis), and Sheng Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae) to treat dry cough dry cough with a small amount of sputum, blood in the sputum caused by lung heat.
  • It can be used in combination with Mai Dong (Radix Ophiopogonis), Lu Gen (Rhizoma Phragmitis), and Bai Mao Cen (Rhizoma Imperatae) root to treat polydipsia, hyperdiuresis, overeating with marasmus, fatigue, high blood sugar, and urine sugar caused by internal heat.
  • It can be used in combination with Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae), Bai Zhi (Radix Angelicae Dahuricae), and Chuan Shan Jia (Squama Manitis) to treat sores and abscesses caused by heat toxins.

Side Effects

At present, no data is showing that Tian Hua Fen has toxic effects, and there are no reports of serious adverse reactions when it is taken according to the prescribed dose.

If you need to take it for a long time, please consult a professional doctor and formulate a reasonable medication plan.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Tian Hua Fen should be controlled at 10-15g.
  • It can be made into decoction or ground into powder for external use.
  • People who are allergic to Tian Hua Fen should not take it.
  • It should not be taken with Chuan Wu (Radix Aconiti), Cao Wu (Radix Aconiti Agrestis), Fu Zi (Aconitum carmichaelii), Penicillin, Cephalosporin, Aminoglycoside Antibiotics, Tetracycline, Polymyxin, Insulin, or Dextran.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it.
  • Patients with deficiency-cold in the spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • Patients with loose stools should not take it.