Tian Hua Fen

Trichosanthis Radix, Trichosanthes Root

Dosage

Decoction: 9-15g.

Toxicity

LD50 (mice/hypodermic injection): 48.0mg/kg (raw herb powder), 14.5mg/kg (refined herb powder), 13.4mg/kg (crystalline TK). (1)

Chemical Composition

Trichosanthin; (-hydroxymethylserine; Aspartic Acid; Threonine; Serine; Glutamic acid; Citrulline; Glycine; Valine; Tyrosine; Phenylalanine; Histidine; Lysine; Arginine; Orinthine; Peptide; Ribose; Xylose; Arabinose; Glucose; Galactose; Trichosan A-E; Fructose; Mannose; Stigmasta-7-en-3(-ol; Stigmasta-7-en-3(-ol-3-(-D-glucopyranoside; Bryonolic acid; Cucurbitacin B-D; 23, 24-dihydrocucurbitacin B. (2)

Precautions

Reported adverse effects: 1) Fever, headache, sore throat, arthralgia, stiff neck reported 6-8 hours after injection of TK. Symptoms disappeared after 2-3 days. 2) Fever with a high white blood cell count, and the percentage of neutrophil leukocytes reaching 90%. Indicators returned to normal after one week. 3) Some patients experienced hives, neural blood vessel edema, nosebleed, hepatosplenomegaly, shock, and cerebral edema. 4) Localized pain, red spots and swelling reported after intramuscular injection of Tian Hua Fen (3)

Pharmacology

Effects on immunity

Tian Hua Fen is both an immunosuppressant and an immunopotentiator. Research shows that while Tian Hua Fen significantly promotes the white pulp in mice's spleen, it also suppresses humoral immunity and cellular immunity. (4) , (5) , (6)

Anti-neoplastic effect

Administered by abdominal injection to mice at the dosage of 5mg/kg (treatment repeated once 4-6 days after initial treatment), Tian Hua Fen can inhibit ascitic tumors induced by transplated early-stage hepatocarcinoma in mice, prolonging the subjects' life by 61-70%. (7) In mice, trichosanthin (TK), an active component of Tian Hua Fen, can inhibit solid in-vivo colon carcinoma, and significantly inhibit both in-vivo and in-vitro gastric carcinoma cells. (8) , (9) , (10) , (11)

Inhibitory effects on AIDS

Experiments show that TK is an effective inhibitor of AIDS. Administered by IV injection at the dosage of 30-90mg/kg to late-stage AIDS patients, TK can lower the serum HIV antigen level, and increase the CD4 cell count. (12)

Antibacterial effect

Experiments show that 100% Tian Hua Fen decoction inhibits a number of bacteria, including hemolytic streptococcus, pneumococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus diphtheriae, typhoid bacillus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (13)

References

  1. Modern TCM Pharmacology. Tianjin: Science and Technology Press; 1997.
  2. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Technology Press; 1998.
  3. Modern TCM Pharmacology. Tianjin: Science and Technology Press; 1997.
  4. Modern TCM Pharmacology. Tianjin: Science and Technology Press; 1997.
  5. Hong Jian, et al. China Journal of Microbiology and Immunology. 1998;18(2):111-114.
  6. Hong Jian, et al. Shanghai Journal of Immunology. 1997;17(6):327-329.
  7. Modern TCM Pharmacology. Tianjin: Science and Technology Press; 1997.
  8. Xu Zhen Wu, et al. Zhejiang Journal of Oncology. 1997;3(2):110-111.
  9. Bi Li Qi, et al. China Journal of Integrated Medicine. 1998;18(1):35-37.
  10. Xu Zhen Wu, et al. Journal of Gastroenteropathy and Hepatology. 1998;7(1):67-71.
  11. Bi Li Qi, et al. China Journal of Experimental Clinical Immunology. 1998;10(1):59-61.
  12. Modern TCM Pharmacology. Tianjin: Science and Technology Press; 1997.
  13. Modern TCM Pharmacology. Tianjin: Science and Technology Press; 1997.