Jin Guo Lan (Radix Tinosporae)

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).

There are about 34 species of Tinospora, which are distributed in the tropics and subtropics of the Eastern Hemisphere. Some of them are widely used in folk medicine in 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.

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 herbs.

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 property 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 toxin, 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.

Health benefits of Jin Guo Lan

  • 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.

Jin Guo Lan is used with other Chinese herbs

Side effects of Jin Guo Lan

Jin Guo Lan has been used clinically for many years, with few side effects.

Some studies have reported that overdose may cause liver damage.

The specific symptoms include yellowing of the face, dark yellow sclera, the yellow complexion of the whole body, dark yellow urine, gray-white stool, elevated jaundice index, and aminotransferase.

Precautions of Jin Guo Lan

  • The dosage of Jin Guo Lan should be controlled at 3-9g.
  • It can be made into decoction, pill, insufflation, injection, or ground into powder for external use.
  • People with weakness of spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • Pregnant women and children should not take it.