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Long Kui

English Name: solanum, black nightshade

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Solanum Nigrum

Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Toxin-Eliminating Herbs

Properties: Long Kui enters the Lung and Urinary Bladder channels; it is slightly bitter in nature and cold in temperature.

What is Long Kui?:

The Chinese Herb Long Kui is the dried stems and leaves of the European Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) which are decocted for use as medicine (the raw fresh part of plant and unripe fruit are poisonous). The decoction of stems and leaves is still considered slightly toxic (see safety note below).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Long Kui:

Long Kui clears heat, eliminates toxins and reduces swelling in the Lung and Urinary Bladder channels and is used both topically and internally to treat various skin conditions (e.g. sores and carbuncles, eczema, pruritis, and erysipelas) as well as painful, burning dysuria (with edema).

Long Kui is used in China to treat cancer (with other heat-toxin removing, anti-neoplastic herbs such as Ban Zhi Lian).

**safety note: Long Gui is contraindicated for pregnancy and for nursing mothers as its decoction is considered slightly toxic due to the presence of the glycol-alkaloid solanine; for the same reason its use should be discontinued as soon as symptoms of toxic heat abate and its short-term use should be monitored by a trained health care practitioner.

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