Cephalostigmaton tonkinense (Gagnep.) Yakovlev
Sophora subprostrata Chun & T.Chen
Sophora tomentosa auct.
Sophora tonkinensis is a much-branched, slender-stemmed shrub growing up to 130cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and is also sold in local markets.
The plant contains cytosine, which resembles nicotine and is similarly toxic[
E. Asia - southern China (Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan), Vietnam
Forests on sunny slopes, scrub on stony mountains, calcareous or sandstone hill slopes; at elevations from 1,000 - 2,000 metres[
Sophora tonkinensis is native to the warm temperate and subtropical zones of southern China and is not likely to be very tolerant of frost.
Succeeds in a well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun[
]. 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[
Plants should be container-grown and planted out whilst young, older plants do not transplant well[
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[
The root is analgesic, anticancer, antiinflammatory, antipyretic, antispasmodic, diuretic and hypotensive[
]. A decoction of the dried roots is used in the treatment of a variety of ailments including cancer of the respiratory tract and urinary bladder, boils, constipation, coughs and sore throats[
This is the most important herb for treating sore throat[
]. A decoction of the root is used internally, or the powdered root can be used externally, in treating sore throat and painful swelling of the gums due to accumulation of Toxic Heat. It can be used alone or with Radix Scrophulariae (Xuan Shen), Rhizoma Belamcandae (She Gan), and Radix Isatidis (Ban Lan Gen)[
The plant contains a number of compounds that demonstrate anticancer activity[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[
]. Pre-soak stored seed for 12 hours in hot (not boiling) water and sow in late winter in a greenhouse[
]. 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, mid summer in a frame[