Euchresta japonica Benth.
Euchresta japonica Oliv.
Euchresta trifoliolata Merr.
Euchresta japonica is an evergreen climbing shrub with stems that are nearly not branched; it can grow 30 - 80cm tall. The stems often produce adventitious roots[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
We have no specific information for this species, but at least some species in the genus contain the toxic alkaloid cytisine. Its molecular structure has some similarity to that of nicotine and it has similar pharmacological effects. It is sometimes used as an aid to stopping smoking, and it is also sometimes used recreationally, where it can induce a nicotine-like intoxication. However, this practice is not recommended, since negative side effects can include nausea, vomiting, convulsions, heart pain, headache and, in larger doses, even death via respiratory failure.
E. Asia - southern China (Guangdong,
Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang) central and southern Japan, Korea.
Woods in the mountains of central and southern Japan[
]. Valleys, mountain slopes, dense forests; at elevations from 800 - 1,400 metres[
Euchresta japonica is a plant of the warm temperate and subtropical zones of China, Japan and Korea. Whilst it can tolerate some frost, it cannot survive heavy frosts or long winters.
The stem juice is disinfectant[
A slice of the root is held in the mouth and its juice swallowed as a treatment for swollen throat[
The plant (part not specified) lowers fevers and detoxifies[
]. It is used in the treatment of sore throats, toothaches, tooth abscesses, haemorrhoids, boils and abscesses[
The plant (part not specified) is used in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, cancer, caries, congestion, fever, haemorrhoids, inflammation, jaundice, sore throats, tonsillitis, toothaches, wounds and ulcers[
Although the seeds contain the toxic alkaloid cytisine, they are considered to be aphrodisiac and tonic, and are used for various medicinal purposes including the treatment of chest diseases.