What Is Sophora Alopecuroides (Ku Dou Zi)

Sophora Alopecuroides is also known as Ku Dou Zi, which is a perennial herb of the family Leguminosae. It is a commonly used ethnic medicine in Northwest China, which first appeared in <Handbook of Chinese Herbal of Xinjiang> in 1,970 AD.

This plant grows mostly in arid deserts or grasslands. It is distributed in Northwest China and North China, Russia, Afghanistan, Iran, Seoul, Pakistan, and Northern India.

All parts of Sophora Alopecuroides can be made into medicine. Every summer, people gather all parts of Sophora Alopecuroides, remove their impurities, dry them, and make them into Chinese herbs. If people use their seeds to make Chinese herbs, they need to gather the seeds in spring and dry them.

Sophora Alopecuroides mainly contains alkaloids such as matrine, sophoridine, sophocarpine, sophoramine, aloperine, oxysophocarpine, oxymatrine, anagyrine, cytisine. It also contains flavonoids, steroids, phenols, unsaturated fatty acids.

According to <Handbook of Chinese Herbal of Xinjiang>, the medicinal property of Sophora Alopecuroides is relatively cold, with toxicity and bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the stomach and large intestine meridians.

In Chinese medicine, Sophora Alopecuroides is often used to clear heat and dry dampness, kill worms, treat bacterial dysentery, chronic prostatitis, cervical erosion, eczema, intractable tinea, epigastric pain, acid regurgitation, and excessive leucorrhea.

Health benefits of Sophora Alopecuroides

  • Anti-inflammation, anti-virus, and anti-tumor.
  • Scavenging hydroxyl free radicals and anti-oxidation.
  • Increasing the number of white blood cells and inhibiting cellular immunity and humoral immunity.
  • Inhibiting the central escalation system and having sedative, analgesic and antipyretic effects.
  • Enhancing myocardial contractility and heart rate to preventing myocardial ischemia and myocardial infarction.
  • Antagonizing experimental arrhythmias induced by adrenaline and coronary artery ligation.
  • Reducing plasma lipoproteins, increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and reducing blood viscosity.
  • Drying dampness and treating diarrhea and tenesmus caused by damp-heat.
  • Clearing stomach heat, relieving epigastric pain and acid regurgitation caused by stomach heat.
  • Treating eczema, intractable tinea, boils and skin ulcers caused by heat toxins.
  • Treating cervical erosion, excessive leucorrhea, psoriasis.
  • Inhibiting Staphylococcus, E. coli, Streptococcus, Helicobacter pylori, Gardnerella, and Trichomonas.
  • Clinically, the sophocarpine contained in it can be used to treat choriocarcinoma and malignant mole.

Sophora Alopecuroides is used with other Chinese herbs

It with Sheng Jiang (Fresh Ginger) and Pu Gong Ying (Dandelion) can relieve stomach pain and spit acid water.

Side effects of Sophora Alopecuroides

Sophora Alopecuroides is poisonous. Excessive use of it may cause poisoning reactions such as dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, irritability, abdominal pain, diarrhea, chest tightness, palpitation, pallor, decreased blood pressure, or dyspnea.

Precautions of Sophora Alopecuroides

  • The dosage of Sophora Alopecuroides should be controlled at 1.5-3g.
  • It can be made into decoction or powder for external use.
  • Stir-frying it to black can reduce its toxicity.
  • People with heart or kidney disease should not take it.
  • Pregnant women and children should not take it.

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