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Dong Gua Zi (Winter Melon, Wax Gourd Seed, Benincasa)

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Cold Dong Gua Zi (Semen Benincasae Hispidae)
Sweet, Cold
Semen Benincasae Hispidae
Tone Marks:
dōng guā zĭ
Alt Names:
Dong Gua Ren
Winter Melon Seed


  • Clears Heat, Expels Phlegm and Eliminates Pus
    For Lung and Intestinal abscesses with possible foul smell due to Lung or Large Intestine Heat. Also for bronchitis with possible thick yellow sputum and foul smell.
  • Promotes Urination, Drains Damp
    For edema and vaginal discharge due to damp heat

Contraindications and Cautions

  • Use with caution in cases of diarrhea due to cold and deficiency fo the Spleen and Stomach

Herb-Drug Interactions

  • None Noted

Toxicity and Overdose

  • None Noted


  • 10-15 grams in decoction 12
  • 9-15 grams in decoction 13


  • Both Dong Gua Zi and Yi Yi Ren clear heat and expel pus but Dong Gua Zi is better for damp heat in the Large Intestine and Yi Yi Ren is better for dampness with diarrhea, obstructive disorder and edema.

Clinical Studies and Research

  • Fructus Benincasae Recens extract prevents cytokine-induced nitric oxide formation and cytotoxicity of RINm5F cells.
    Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2003 Nov;25(4):615-25.
  • Antioxidant and angiotension-converting enzyme inhibition capacities of various parts of Benincasa hispida (wax gourd).
    Nahrung. 2004 Jun;48(3):230-3.
  • Extracts of Benincasa hispida prevent development of experimental ulcers.
    J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Dec;78(2-3):159-64.

This Herb Appears in the Following Formulas: