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Herbs & Botanicals

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Kadsura Stem (hai feng teng)

What is kadsura stem? What is it used for?

Kadsura stem comes from the caulis piperis kadsurae, a type of vine that grows in China and other parts of Asia and produces a type of pepper. The stems are collected in the summer and autumn. The roots and leaves of the herb are then removed, and the stem is dried in the sun and cut into slices for use.

According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, kadsura stem has pungent, bitter and warm properties, and is associated with the Liver and Kidney meridians. Its main functions are to dispel wind and dampness, and to clear the channels and collateral channels. Kadsura stem is used to treat rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, and muscle spasms. It is sometimes used with other herbs, such as erythrina bark, gentian root and mulberry twigs.

How much kadsura stem should I take?

The typical dosage of kadsura stem is between 5 and 10 grams, boiled in water and drunk as a decoction. Smaller amounts of kadsura stem extract can be taken up to three times per day.

What forms of kadsura stem are available?

Many herbal shops sell whole, dried kadsura stem and kadsura stem powder. Concentrated kadsura stem extract is also available, and is usually taken in a dosage of 1-2 grams, two to three times per day.

What can happen if I take too much kadsura stem? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions or adverse side-effects associated with kadsura stem, nor are there any side-effects associated with taking large amounts of kadsura stem. As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before taking kadsura stem or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.

References

  • Chen YG, Qin GW, Xie YY, et al. Lignans from kadsura angustifolia. J Asian Nat Prod Res 1998;1(2):125-31.
  • Li RW, David Lin G, Myers SP, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of Chinese medicinal vine plants. J Ethnopharmacol March 2003;85(1):61-7.
  • Li X, Luo H. Advances in pharmacological study of piper kadsura (Choisy) ohwi. Zhong Yao Cai March 2002;25(3):214-6.
  • Li XG, Luo HM. Progress in studies of chemical constituents and pharmacological activities of kadsura. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi December 2003;28(12):1120-5.
  • Stohr JR, Xiao PG, Bauer R. Constituents of Chinese piper species and their inhibitory activity on prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis in vitro. J Ethnopharmacol May 2001;75(2-3):133-9.

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