Gua Lou Ren – Trichosanthes Seed – Semen Trichosanthis

Gua Lou Ren

English Name: trichosanthes seed, snake gourd seed

Pharmaceutical Name: Semen Trichosanthis

Medica Category: Phlegm-Resolving Herbs

Properties: Gua Lou Ren enters the Large Intestine, Lung, and Stomach channels; it is sweet in nature and cold in temperature.

What is Gua Lou Ren?:

The Chinese Herb Gua Lou Ren is the dried seeds from the Chinese snake gourd (or Chinese cucumber– (Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim.; Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms.). They are usually dry-fried for use as medicine (as the taste of the raw herb can illicit nausea/vomiting).

Gua Lou Ren can also be de-fatted (in which case it is called Gua Lou Ren Shuang). In this form it is less moistening of the intestines and is used for Spleen deficient patients to address cough with phlegm.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Gua Lou Ren:

Gua Lou Ren moistens the Lung and dissolves phlegm to address accumulations of heat and phlegm in the Lung presenting as dry cough (with copious yellow sputum that is often difficult to expectorate), chest oppression/tightness, and constipation.

Gua Lou Ren lubricates the intestines to promote bowel movement when dry heat in the Stomach and Large Intestine causes constipation.

Gua Lou Ren dissipates nodules and drains pus to treat abscesses of the lungs, intestines, and breasts.