Stephania tetrandra

Stephania tetrandra is a Chinese medicinal herb also known as han-fang-chi or fen-fang-qi. In the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, the herb is recommended for treating general symptoms such as inflammation, fever, and pain; however, it also has been used extensively to manage water retention and edema, eliminate stagnant bronchial mucous, and detoxify. For the past 50 years, however, stephania has been used in China principally as an agent to control blood pressure. Although its use in humans has been limited to China, stephania has been studied in animal models in laboratories throughout the world, and many of its pharmacological properties are relatively well described.

Stephania contains various chemical compounds, including glycosides and volatile oils. In Japan, stephania is used as a pain reliever, and to treat inflammation and stiffness of the shoulders and back. In China, stephania is used mainly to treat Bell’s palsy, abdominal pain and asthma, and as a diuretic.

Dosage and administration: 5-10g, decocted in water and taken orally.

 


Stephania tetrandra can help with the following

Circulation  


Inflammation  

Chronic Inflammation

Oral doses of 400-600mg per day have been used to suppress elevated interleukin-6 (IL-6), a proinflammatory cytokine.



Metabolic  


Risks  

Increased Risk of Coronary Disease / Heart Attack

With respect to heart disease, stephania is known to be an effective cardioprotective agent with calcium-channel-blocking activity. Although binding and functional similarities exist, stephania differs structurally from other well-known calcium-channel blockers such as nifedipine (Procardia), amlodipine (Norvasc), and verapamil (Calan). Because of these structural differences, stephania is thought to be a potentially new class of calcium-channel blocker that also has more diverse activity than the widely prescribed calcium-channel blockers currently available.



Key

May do some good

Glossary

Herbs

Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with one teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Tinctures may be used singly or in combination as noted. The high doses of single herbs suggested may be best taken as dried extracts (in capsules), although tinctures (60 drops four times per day) and teas (4 to 6 cups per day) may also be used.

Edema

Abnormal accumulation of fluids within tissues resulting in swelling.

Pharmacological

Involving the use of drugs.

Asthma

A lung disorder marked by attacks of breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing, and thick mucus coming from the lungs. The episodes may be triggered by breathing foreign substances (allergens) or pollutants, infection, vigorous exercise, or emotional stress.

Diuretic

An agent increasing urine flow, causing the kidneys to excrete more than the usual amount of sodium, potassium and water.

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