Gua Lou (Fructus Trichosanthis)

Gua Lou

Gua Lou (Fructus Trichosanthis) is from the mature fruit of Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim, or several species of the same genus, family Cucurbitaceae. The mature fruits are collected in the autumn when they are ripe. They are dried in the shade. Sometimes the peel and seed are dried separately. It can be used in this unprocessed form or after stir-baking.

Category: Phlegm Resolving – Phlegm Transforming.

Common Name: Trichosanthes Fruit.

Channels Entered: Lung, Stomach and Large Intestine.

Properties and Functions: Gua Lou is sweet and slightly bitter in flavour, and cold in nature. Its functions are:

  • Clear away Lung-Heat and resolve Phlegm.
  • Ease the chest and disperese lumps or nodules.
  • Lubricate the intestines and relax the bowel.

Indications: Gua Lou can be used clinically for:

  • Lung-heat syndrome manifesting as cough with thick sputum.
  • Accumulation of Phlegm-Heat in the interior manifested as thick yellow sputum, chest constriction and difficulty in passing stool.
  • Chest pain and acculmulation of Phlegm-Heat manifesting as feeling of oppression in the chest or pains in the chest and flanks.
  • Constipation due to dryness in the intestines.
  • Swelling of the breasts with abscess and pain.

Dosage: 5 – 15g

Cautions and Contra-Indications: It is contra-indicated for cases of loose stool due to Spleen deficiency and Phlegm syndrome of Cold and Dampness types. It is incompatible with Wu Tou.