Chinese Cucumber

Other Name(s):

Chinese Cucumber Fruit, Chinese Cucumber Root, Chinese Cucumber Seed, Chinese Snake Gourd, Compound Q, Concombre Chinois, Fruit de Concombre Chinois, Graine de Concombre Chinois, Gua Lou, Gua Luo Ren, Gualou, Racine de Concombre Chinois, Tian Hua Fen, Trichosanthes, Trichosanthes Fruit Peel, Trichosanthes japonica, Trichosanthes kirilowii, Tricosanthes.


Chinese cucumber is an herb. People use the fruit, seed, and root to make medicine.

Chinese cucumber ROOT is taken by mouth for HIV/AIDS, cough, fever, swelling, tumors, and diabetes. Chinese cucumber root is sometimes given as a shot to cause an abortion. A starch extract of the root is used for treating pockets of infection (abscesses), absence of menstruation, yellowing of the skin caused by bile pigments in the blood (jaundice), liver disease (hepatitis), frequent urination, and tumors.

Chinese cucumber FRUIT and SEED are taken by mouth for cough, fever, swelling, tumors, and diabetes.

Chinese cucumber FRUIT is also applied to the vagina to cause an abortion.

How does it work?

Chinese cucumber ROOT contains a chemical that might cause abortions when injected during the first trimester of pregnancy. Chinese cucumber SEED might help decrease pain and swelling (inflammation). The FRUIT might also help protect against stomach ulcers.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • HIV infection.
  • Cough.
  • Fever.
  • Tumors.
  • Diabetes.
  • Causing an abortion, when the root is given as a shot or the fruit is applied to the vagina.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Chinese cucumber for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Side Effects

Chinese cucumber ROOT is UNSAFE. Chinese cucumber root injections can cause severe side effects, including allergic reactions, seizures, fever, fluid buildup in the lungs and brain, bleeding in the brain, heart damage, and death.

Chinese cucumber FRUIT and SEED seem to be safe for most people. They can cause some mild side effects such as diarrhea and upset stomach.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE to take Chinese cucumber root, fruit or seed by mouth or Chinese cucumber root by injection. Chinese cucumber ROOT can be toxic. Chinese cucumber FRUIT and SEEDS might cause an abortion or birth defects.

Not enough is known about the safety of using Chinese cucumber root, fruit, or seed during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Chinese cucumber might lower blood sugar levels. Some healthcare providers worry that it might make blood sugar levels drop too low if used along with diabetes medications. If you use Chinese cucumber and take diabetes medications, monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Surgery: Chinese cucumber might lower blood sugar levels. There is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using Chinese cucumber at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Chinese cucumber root might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking Chinese cucumber root along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer


The appropriate dose of Chinese cucumber depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Chinese cucumber. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 6/14/2021

Akihisa T, Yasukawa K, Kimura Y, et al. Five D:C-friedo-oleanane triterpenes from the seeds of Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim. and their anti-inflammatory effects. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 1994;42:1101-5. View abstract.

Hikino H, Yoshizawa M, Suzuki Y, et al. Isolation and hypoglycemic activity of trichosans A, B, C, D, and E: glycans of Trichosanthes kirilowii roots. Planta Med 1989;55:349-50. View abstract.

Ozaki Y, Xing L, Satake M. Anti-inflammatory effect of Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim, and its effective parts. Biol Pharm Bull 1996;19:1046-8. View abstract.

Takano F, Yoshizaki F, Suzuki K, et al. Anti-ulcer effects of Trichosanthes fruits. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 1990;38:1313-6. View abstract.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors