Ku Shen (Sophora flavescens)

S. angustifolia. Sieb.&Zucc.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Ku Shen
Sophora flavescens

The plant is a source of an insecticide and parasiticide[74, 176]. No further details.

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is anthelmintic, antibacterial, antifungal, antipruritic, astringent, bitter, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, parasiticide, pectoral, stomachic and tonic[61, 147, 174, 176, 178, 218, 279]. It is used internally in the treatment of jaundice, dysentery, diarrhoea and urinary infections[238]. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of vaginitis, eczema, pruritis, ringworm, leprosy, syphilis, scabies and itching allergic reactions[238]. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238].

    The plant is anthelmintic and diuretic[218]. It also has antibacterial activity, inhibiting the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Trichomonas vaginitis[176, 218].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    The plant contains cytosine, which resembles nicotine and is similarly toxic[238]. The plant is poisonous when used in quantity[74, 174].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[200]. Pre-soak stored seed for 12 hours in hot (not boiling) water and sow in late winter in a greenhouse[78]. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into individual pots in the greenhouse, and grow them on for 2 years under protected conditions. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their third year. Cuttings of young shoots with a heel, July/August in a frame[11]. Air-layering[200].
Succeeds in a well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun[200]. Requires the protection of a sunny wall if it is to flower[182], and succeeds only in the mildest areas of the country. It grows best in the warmer areas of the country where the wood will be more readily ripened and better able to withstand winter cold[219]. Although hardy to at least -15¡c[238], this species does not do very well in the relatively cool summers of Britain, the plant gradually weakens and eventually succumbs[11]. It can be grown in the milder areas of the country and be treated like a herbaceous perennial, growing afresh from the base each spring[233]. An important medicinal herb in China[61]. Plants should be container-grown and planted out whilst young, older plants do not transplant well[219]. A polymorphic species[58]. The flowers are produced on the current years growth[182]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
E. Asia – Russia to China.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*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.