What Is Tian Hua Fen (Radix Trichosanthis)

Tian Hua Fen also known as Radix Trichosanthis is the root of Trichosanthes kirilowii or Trichosanthes rosthornii, which are perennial vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae. It has a medicinal history of more than 2,000 years.

All parts of these two plants can be made into medicine. Trichosanthes kirilowii often grows on hillsides, thickets or grasslands at an altitude of 200-1,800 meters. Trichosanthes rosthornii often grows in valleys, trenches or roadsides at an altitude of 500-1,000 meters. They can be found in China, North Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Laos.

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

Tian Hua Fen contains starch, saponins, polysaccharides, amino acids, enzymes, and trichosanthin. Generally, Tian Hua Fen with a smooth surface and pure white cross-section is the best.

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 Chinese medicine, Tian Hua Fen is often used to clear heat and reduce fire, promote fluid production to quench thirst, reduce swelling and expel pus, and treat febrile disease, jaundice, diabetes, acute mastitis, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia.

About 200 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions contain Tian Hua Fen, such as Jen Shen Lu Yung Wan, Nei Xiao Luo Li Wan, and Yu Ye Tang.

Health benefits of Tian Hua Fen

  • Anti-early pregnancy, anti-ulcer, anti-virus, and anti-tumor.
  • Lowering blood glucose activity and having the effects of immune stimulation and immunosuppression.
  • Inhibiting HIV replication and reproduction within infected immune cells.
  • Moistening dryness of the lung and treating dry cough, sticky sputum, and bloody sputum caused by the dryness-heat impairing lung.
  • Clearing lung heat and stomach heat, promoting fluid production, and treating hyperglycemia, urine sugar, and thirst caused by internal heat.
  • Reducing swelling and expelling pus, treating skin ulcers, redness and pain caused by heat toxins.
  • Treating missed abortion, hydatidiform mole, malignant trophoblastic tumor, ectopic pregnancy.
  • Treating diabetes, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, mastitis, mumps.
  • Inhibiting diphtheria, pneumococcus, and hemolytic streptococcus.
  • The study confirmed that the subcutaneous injection of trichosanthin can induce labor and terminate a pregnancy.

Tian Hua Fen is used with other Chinese herbs

  • It with Bo He (Mentha) can relieve a sore throat caused by wind-heat.
  • It with Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae) and Bai Zhi (Angelica Dahurica) can treat skin ulcers and expel pus.
  • It with Lu Gen (Rhizoma Phragmitis) and Mai Dong (Radix Ophiopogonis) can relieve the irritability and thirst caused by febrile disease.
  • It with Jiang Huang (Rhizoma Curcumae Longae), Da Huang (Rhubarb Root), Huang Bai (Cortex Phellodendri), Bai Zhi (Angelica Dahurica), Tian Nan Xing (Rhizoma Arisaematis), Chen Pi (Tangerine Peel), Cang Zhu (Black Atractylodes Rhizome) and Gan Cao (Licorice Root) can treat phlebitis.
  • It with Shan Yao (Rhizoma Dioscoreae), Huang Qi (Astragalus Root), Zhi Mu (Rhizoma Anemarrhenae), Ji Nei Jin (Endothelium Corneum Gigeriae Galli), Ge Gen (Kudzu Root), and Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae) to treat hyperglycemia and urine sugar.

Side effects of Tian Hua Fen

Tian Hua Fen has been used clinically for many years, with little side effects. A small number of people taking it may cause itching of the skin, loss of energy and loss of appetite.

Taking it in large doses may cause liver and kidney damage, mild degeneration and bleeding of parenchymal cells, and dull pain in the stomach and liver.

Precautions of Tian Hua Fen

  • 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.
  • It should not be used with Chuan Wu (Radix Aconiti), Cao Wu (Radix Aconiti Agrestis) or Fu Zi (Aconitum carmichaelii).
  • Pregnant women and children should not take it.
  • People with a deficiency of spleen-qi should not take it.
  • People with deficiency-cold in spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • People with heart, liver, or kidney dysfunction should not take it.
  • People with diarrhea, bleeding disorders, severe anemia, or mental disorders should not use it.