Guan Fang Chi (Aristolochia fangchi)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Guan Fang Chi
Aristolochia fangchi
Aristolochiaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is antirheumatic and diuretic[176]. It is used in the treatment of rheumatic arthritis, lung disorders, oedema and oliguria[176].

    The plant contains aristolochic acid, which is an active antitumour agent but is too toxic for clinical use[218]. Aristolochic acid has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy[176]. It can also be used in the treatment of acute and serious infections such as TB, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and infantile pneumonia[176]. It also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells[176].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    We have no specific details for this species but most members of this genus have poisonous roots and stems[179]. The plant contains aristolochic acid, this has received rather mixed reports on its toxicity. According to one report aristolochic acid stimulates white blood cell activity and speeds the healing of wounds, but is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys[254]. Another report says that it is an active antitumour agent but is too toxic for clinical use[218]. Another report says that aristolochic acid has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy and that it also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells[176].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Pre-soak stored seed for 48 hours in hand-hot water and surface sow in a greenhouse[134]. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 months at 20¡c[134]. Stored seed germinates better if it is given 3 months cold stratification at 5¡c[200]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division in autumn[200]. Root cuttings in winter[200].
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained loamy soil, rich in organic matter, in sun or semi-shade[134, 200]. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[134]. Most species in this genus have malodorous flowers that are pollinated by flies[200].
E. Asia – China, Japan.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.