Trichosanthes kirilowii

Botanical Name :Trichosanthes kirilowii
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Trichosanthes
Species:T. kirilowii
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Cucurbitales

Common Names:  Chinese cucumber in English. And Chinese snake gourd.

Habitat :Trichosanthes kirilowii found particularly in Henan, Shandong, Hebei, Shanxi, and Shaanxi. It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.

OIt often grows at an altitude of 200-1800m hillside forest, thickets, meadows and Cunpang Tanabe, or in the natural distribution area of bone, widely cultivated. Most parts of China are distributed, located in North, South, East and Liaoning, Shaanxi, Gansu, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan. Most of the country has produced. The main production Shandong, Anhui, Henan and other places.

Description:
Trichosanthes kirilowii is a flowering plant.A Climber,length up to 10m. Tubers cylindrical , fleshy , rich in starch. Stems thick, much branched , with longitudinal ribs and grooves are white stretch pubescent. Leaves alternate ; petiole length 3-10cm, with vertical stripes, is of pubescent ; tendrils 3-7 differences pubescent ; leaves low-quality , contour nearly round or nearly heart-shaped , length and width are about 5-20cm, often 3-5 ( -7 ) lobed to the crack, split or dilute parted and only ranging from large coarse teeth , diamond-shaped lobes obovate , oblong , apex obtuse, acute, often re- lobed edges , base heart-shaped , curved lack of deep 3-4cm, surface dark green , rough, back of the green, on both sides along the veins villous hairy hirsute , basal palmate veins 5 , veinlets reticulate. Dioecious ; male racemes solitary or with a single flower and students, or those in the upper branches solitary, too inflorescence total length 10-20cm, stout, with longitudinal ridges and grooves , puberulent , the top 5 -8 flower, single flower stalk about 15cm, pedicel about 3mm, small bracts obovate or broadly ovate, 1.5-2.5 (-3) cm, width 1-2cm, the upper coarsely toothed , base with handle , pubescent ; calyx tube cylindrical , long 2-4cm, apex expanded diameter of about 10mm, the lower diameter of about 5mm, pubescent , lobes lanceolate, length 10-15cm, width 3-5mm, entire; Corolla white , lobes obovate , about 20mm, width 18mm, with a central green tip apex sides fringed with filaments , pubescent ; anther connivent , about 2mm, diameter of about 4mm, filaments separated , stout, villous ; female flowers solitary, stalk length 7.5cm, pubescent ; calyx tube oblong, 2.5cm, diameter 1.2cm, with male and corolla lobes ; ovary oval, green , long- 2cm, style long 2cm, stigma 3. Fruit oval, flattened , long 11-16mm, width 7-12mm, light brown, almost at the edge of a ridge . Flowering from May to August , the fruit of August to October……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Requires a rich well-drained soil and plenty of moisture in the growing season. Sometimes cultivated in China for its edible fruit and medicinal uses. Male plants are favoured for root production. This species is not winter hardy in Britain and usually requires greenhouse cultivation. However, it may be possible to grow it as an annual in a very warm sheltered bed outdoors. A climbing plant, supporting itself by means of tendrils. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

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Propagation:
Seed – sow March in pots in a warm greenhouse in a rich soil. Sow 2 – 3 seeds per pot and thin to the strongest plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts. Give some protection, such as a frame or cloche, until the plants are growing away well.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves; Oil; Oil; Root…….click & see

Fruit. The young fruits are pickled. The pulp of older fruits is eaten. Mature fruits are about 10cm long. Leaves and young shoots – cooked and used as a vegetable. An edible starch is obtained from the root. It requires leeching, which probably means that it has a bitter flavour. The root is harvested in the autumn, cut into thick slices, soaked for 4 – 5 days in water, changing the water daily until the root disintegrates and can be mashed into a fine pulp. It is then steamed into cakes or used for making dumplings. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Chemical components: The plant is a source of the toxic anti-HIV type I ribosome-inactiving lectin trichosanthin

Medicinal Uses:
Trichosanthes kirilowii is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Recent research has isolated a protein called “trichosanthin” in the roots and this is undergoing trials as a possible remedy for AIDS. Skin, vulnerary. The leaf and the stem are febrifuge. The fruit is antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, antifungal, depurative, emollient, expectorant and laxative. It is used in the treatment of pulmonary infections with yellow and thick sputum, chest pains, stuffy feelings in the chest, constipation and dry stool. It has an antibacterial action against E. coli, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, B. paratyphi, Pseudomonas, Vibrio cholerae, V. Proteus etc. The fruit is traditionally prepared as a winter soup to ward off colds and influenza. The fruit is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The rind of the fruit is used to treat a number of ailments, including cancer, jaundice, retained placenta, bronchial infections with thick phlegm and sore throat. The seed is antitussive, emollient and expectorant. The root is antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, febrifuge, galactogogue, laxative, oxytocic, sialagogue and uterine tonic. The fresh root has been noted for centuries as an abortifacient – a sponge soaked in its juice was placed in the vagina and induced an abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy. The root is taken internally in the treatment of diabetes, dry coughs, and to assist in the second stage of labour. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The root and/or the seed is powdered and used in the treatment of mammary cancer.

Other Uses:
Oil; ……..An oil from the seed is used for lighting.
Known Hazards: Root extracts are extremely toxic. Intravenous administration can cause pulmonary oedema, cerebral oedema, cerebral haemorrhage and myocardial damage. Seizures and fever in HIV patients with parenteral administration. Self-medication of root not advised
Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichosanthes_kirilowii
http://www.mdidea.com/products/new/new05602.html
http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/t/trichosanthes-kirilowii=chinese-cucumber.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Trichosanthes+kirilowii

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