Latin name: Sophora flavescens
Chinese name: ku shen

What is Sophora?
Sophora is an evergreen shrub that originated in Eastern Asia and is native to China, Japan, Korea, and Russia. It has a long history of being used in traditional Chinese medicine, and its medicinal properties are concentrated in the plant’s root. It is also used as an insecticide and parasticide.

What are the health benefits of Sophora?
Sophora is used for its antibacterial, parasticidal, stomachic, tonic, and diuretic properties. Sophora contains matrine, which is a compound that dilates blood vessels and thus increases cardiac output. Sophora is used to stimulate the nervous system, slow the degeneration of liver cells, and treat asthma. As a diuretic, it is used to promote urination and treat urinary infections. Sophora is also used to treat certain forms of cancer, viral hepatitis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, diarrhea, psoriasis, eczema, jaundice, and dysentery. When applied externally, sophora is used to treat ringworm, scabies, and allergic reactions of the skin.

Are there any precautions for taking Sophora?
Excessive amounts of sophora root can be toxic.

Where can I find Sophora?
Sophora can be found online, in herbal specialty shops, at Asian markets, and in the offices of Chinese practitioners.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.