Gua Lou Shi – Trichosanthes Fruit – Fructus Trichosanthis

Gua Lou Shi

English Name: trichosanthes fruit, snake gourd fruit

Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Trichosanthis

Medica Category: Phlegm-Resolving Herbs

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

What is Gua Lou Shi?:

The Chinese Herb Gua Lou Shi is the dried, ripe fruit from the Chinese snake gourd (or Chinese cucumber– (Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim.; Trichosanthes rosthornii Harms.).

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

Gua Lou Shi moistens the Lung and dissolves phlegm to address cough from Lung heat with yellow, sticky phlegm that is difficult to expectorate. This herb also moistens the Large Intestine and can also address hard stools that may present in conjunction with this diagnostic pattern (in the Lung).

Gua Lou Shi regulates qi circulation in the Lung and expands the chest when there are feelings of oppression/tightness and pain with wheezing.

  • (note for students and practitioners: treats xiong bi (painful obstruction of the chest) due to heat and phlegm beneath the Heart or xiong bi due to cold stagnation with yang deficiency.

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