Gua Lou – Trichosanthes whole fruit

Nature: sweet, cold

Enters: Lung, Stomach, Large Intestine

Actions: Moistens the Lungs and Large Intestine; promotes bowel movement; promotes healing of sores; clears phlegm-heat; expands and promotes Qi circulation in the chest; clears Lung heat.

DY: Sweet, cold, moistening, clearing, downbearing; clears the Lungs; transforms phlegm; loosens the chest, scatters nodulations; moistens dryness, moistens the intestines; promotes Qi circulation; loosens the chest and diaphragm and frees the flow of impediment.
• Though Gua lou is sweet and cold, it is used for chest Bi due to Qi stagnation and blood stasis and/or chest Yang deficiency. Though Gua lou is sweet, it does not supplement, nor produce Qi stagnation. Though it is cold, it does not cause obstruction. In cases of chest Yang deficiency or stagnation, Gua lou is combined with herbs that balance its cold nature, such as Xie bai, Bai jiu, Gui zhi, and Tan xiang.
• With Xie bai to effectively free the flow of Yang and move the Qi, loosen the chest and clear the Lungs, transform phlegm and scatter nodulation, stop pain, moisten the intestines, and free the flow of the stools. For indications such as:
– 1. Constipation due to fluid dryness of the large intestine and/or Qi stagnation.
– 2. Yin binding constipation. (Constipation due to spleen-kidney Yang deficiency or sometimes due to dryness in the large intestine caused by an essence-blood deficiency with pale lips, white tongue fur, and clear, copious urination.)
– 3. Chest Bi with oppression of the chest and epigastrium, cough, profuse phlegm, piercing pain in the chest radiating toward the back, and shortness of breath due to accumulation of turbid phlegm blocking the Qi and Yang of the chest. (Gua Lou Xie Bai Ban Xia Tang – which can be favorably combined with Er Chen Tang) Use Gua lou which has been stir-fried until scorched.
– 4. Chest Bi and cardiac disease with intense heart pain due to heart Qi and blood stasis and deficiency of heart Yang. (Gua Lou Xie Bai Bai Jiu Tang) For these indications, the combination can be favorably reinforced by adding Dan shen, San qi, Tan xiang, and Gui zhi. The Gua lou should be stir-fried until scorched.

Dose: 10-20g

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