Tong Cao (Rice Paper Pith, Tetrapanax)

Tong Cao (Rice Paper Pith, Tetrapanax)

Herb 23 of 28 in Herbs that Regulate Water and Drain Dampness

Slightly Cold Tong Cao (Medulla Tetrapanacis Papyriferi)
Sweet, Bland, Slightly Cold
Medulla Tetrapanacis Papyriferi
Tone Marks:
tōng căo
Unblocking Herb
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Chinese Herb Actions

  • Promotes Urination and Drains Damp Heat
    For painful, dribbling urination with possible burning due to damp and heat.
  • Promotes Lactation
    For insufficient lactation.

Chinese Herb Contraindications & Cautions

  • Do not use during pregnancy.
  • Use caution in cases with Middle Jiao Cold.

Herb-Drug Interactions

  • Due to the diuretic effect of this herb, care should be used when taking prescription diuretics.

Chinese Herb Toxicity & Overdose

  • Possible side effects to overdose include epigastric pain, vomiting, nausea, hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolinemia, and increased liver triglyceride synthesis.
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Chinese Herb Dosage

  • 2-5 grams in decoction or 15-18 grams to promote lactation 12
  • 2-4.5 grams in decoction 13

Chinese Herb Notes

  • Tong Cao and Mu Tong both unblock and promote urination. Tong Cao is not as bitter as Mu Tong so its effects are less powerful and is used for mild cases of damp-heat or combined with stronger herbs for more severe cases.

Chinese Herb Clinical Studies & Research

  • Structure-activity studies of some oleanane triterpenoid glycosides and their related compounds from the leaves of Tetrapanax papyriferum on anti-inflammatory activities.
    Sugishita E, Amagaya S, Ogihara Y. - J Pharmacobiodyn. 1982 Jun; 5(6):379-87.
  • Studies on the mechanism of anti-inflammatory activities of papyriogenin A and papyriogenin C.
    Amagaya S, Ogihara Y. - J Pharmacobiodyn. 1983 May;6(5):287-94.
  • Antihepatotoxic actions of papyriogenins and papyriosides, triterpenoids of Tetrapanax papyriferum leaves.
    Hikino H, Kiso Y, Amagaya S, Ogihara Y. - J Ethnopharmacol. 1984 Nov;12(2):231-5.
  • Antithrombin activity of medicinal plants from central Florida.
    Chistokhodova N, Nguyen C, Calvino T, Kachirskaia I, Cunningham G, Howard Miles D. - J Ethnophar macol. 2002 Jul;81(2):277-80.

This Herb Appears in the Following Formulas:

References Used

The TCM information presented here has been referenced from numerous sources; including teachers, practitioners, class notes from Five Branches University, the following books, as well as other sources. If you have benefited from this information, please consider supporting the authors and their works by purchasing the books below.

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