Chinese Cucumber

Latin name: Trichosanthes kirilowii
Chinese name: gua lou
Other names: Chinese snake gourd

What is Chinese Cucumber?
The Chinese cucumber is a gourd that is grown throughout China. It is used in Chinese cuisine and has been a staple of Chinese herbal medicine for several thousand years.

What are the health benefits of Chinese Cucumber?
Chinese cucumber is commonly used to boost immunity and to treat coughs, especially those with thick phlegm that is difficult to cough up. It helps relieve sensations of pressure and stifling in the chest, and also used to treat abscesses of the breasts and lungs. Clinical in vitro studies have shown this herb to have an antibiotic effect, as well as anti-cancer effects—specifically, an antineoplastic effect against hepatic cancer cells.

The root of this plant is also used in Chinese herbalism, and is called tian hua fen. Extracts of this herb are currently being tested as a potential treatment for AIDS.

Where can I find Chinese Cucumber?

Chinese cucumber can be found online through herb suppliers, at some ethnic food markets, or at the offices of Chinese medical practitioners.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.