What is Chi Bao?
(scientific name: thladiantha dubia Bunge
), belonging to the family of Cucurbitaceae, is also called Thladiantha Dubia
, Manchu Rootsgourd or Chi Pao. Its fruit and roots are used as medicine.
Thladiantha Dubia is an annual climbing vine. Stems and branches densely covered with white or light yellow-brown villus. Tendrils are divided into 2 branches, and its petiole is 3 to12 cms’ long. Leaves are triangular-ovate shaped, 8-20 cms’ long, triparted. Both male and female flowers are solitary in leaf axils. Pedicels of the male flowers are 3-4 cms’ long. The calyx tube is broadly bell-shaped, and its lobes narrowly lanceolate, 2-3 mms’ long. Light yellow Corolla, 2.5-3 cms in diameter, ovate-oblong lobes of 1-1.5 cms’ long. The Stamen is sort of chorisis, with curved cells. Calyx and corolla of female flowers are identical to that of the male flowers. The ovary is densely covered with long villsu. Fruit shape is near spherical, like oval. It’s fleshy, smooth, with various colors and patterns. Seeds are ovate, in different colours of black, red, white, yellow and light green, often streaked. The flowering period is from June to August, and the fruiting period is from August to October.
Types of Chi Bao
Chibao is a climbing herbaceous vine. The whole plant is covered with yellow-white bristles like the shape of the villus. It is normally divided into Northern Chi Bao and Southern Chi Bao, whose difference lies in their leaves.
Northern Chi Bao
The leaves of southern Chi Bao are narrowly ovate and heart-shaped.
Southern Chi Bao
The leaves of northern Chi Bao are broadly ovate and heart-shaped.
Growth environment of Chi Bao
Distributed in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia of China, also cultivated in Korea, Japan and Europe, it normally grows at an altitude of 300-1800 metres, on hillsides, damp areas at the forest margin and in river valleys.
Chi Bao had a strong adaptability to the environment. It is photophilous, drought and cold resistant and has no special requirements on soil.
Harvest and processing of Chi Bao
(1)In autumn, when the fruits are mellow, they are picked and dried in the sun. The roots are dug, clensed thoroughly and also dried in the sun.
(2)When the fruits are ripe, take them off with the stalks on which are later stringed together and hung in the sun or in a ventilated place to dry so to prevent from damp off and worms.
(3)From the end of August to mid-September, when the fruit turns from green to dark red and the seeds turn black, it is mature. Pick the fruit, crush it in a water, the mellow seeds go down to the bottom of the water, take out the pulp and peel floating on top of the water, rinse the seeds with clean water, dry them in the sun, and store them in a ventilated and dry place.
How to reproduce Chi Bao?
Chi Bao does not have strict requirements on climate and soil, but it grows best in moist, loose, fertile and well-drained land. And there should be climbing frame around the plants for them to use while growing. Avoid dry and barren land. In rural areas, the edges of Sonoda shoji are preferred for extensive planting.
After thawing in early spring, plow the land, apply sufficient base fertilizer (approximately 3,000 kg of organic fertilizer per mu), rake and crush the soil, and make a furrow. The width of the furrow is 1 meter, the length 3 meters, and the height 15 centimeters.
From the end of August to mid-September, when the fruit turns from green to dark red and the seeds turn black, it is mature. Pick the fruit, crush it in a water, the mellow seeds go down to the bottom of the water, take out the pulp and peel floating on top of the water, rinse the seeds with clean water, dry them in the sun, and store them in a ventilated and dry place.
Chi Bao should be sowed early, normally around the first ten days of April. Two rows are planted in each furrow, with a row spacing of about 53 cm. Open the holes according to the distance between the plants of 50 cm. Sow 6-7 seeds in each hole, cover with the soil of about 3 cm, and step on the grid. Autumn sowing is also feasible.
Chi Bao TCM
Belonging to the family of Cucurbitaceae, its fruit and roots are used as medicine.
Fruit: Sour, bitter, bland
Roots: Bitter, cold in nature.
Enter stomach, liver, lung and kidney meridian
Thladiantha dubia is a kind of traditional Chinese medicine regarding its fruit and roots. It has the effects of regulating qi, promoting blood circulation, eliminating phlegm and removing dampness. It is often used to treat jaundice, enteritis, dysentery, bruises, dysmenorrhea, rootsculosis and hemoptysis and is proven to be quite effective.
Regulate qi, promote blood circulation, eliminate phlegm and remove dampness. And often used on treating injuries from falls, belching and acid regurgitation, jaundice, enteritis, dysentery, rootsculosis and hemoptysis.
Promote lactation and easy breast distending pain.
Fruit：5～15g，or 2～5 fruits
Roots should be used with caution and under the doctor’s advice by pregnant women.
Roots contain saponins (dubioside) A, B, C, D, E, F [1,2].
(1) <Shunqi>, regulating Qi.
(2) <Heilongjiang Traditional Chinese Medicine>, treat twisting waist and the pain felt in the chest when breathing.
(3) <Handbook of Commonly Used Chinese Herbal Medicine in Northeast China>, expectorant, antiemetic.
Chi Bao benefits
Chi Bao is the most useful and economical species in the category of Thladiantha.
Used as medicine
The fruit and root are used as medicine.
The fruit can regulate qi, promote blood circulation, eliminate phlegm and dampness. Treatment of bruises; dysmenorrhea.
The roots have the effects of promoting blood circulation, removing blood stasis, clearing away inner heat and detoxifying, and promoting lactation. It is also used to treat injuries from falls and dysmenorrhea.
Chi Bao is often trellis planted. Its flowers and fruits can be used for ornamental purposes.
Property of Chi Bao
The dried Chi Bao is oval, and sometimes oblong, usually flattened, about 3-5cms’ long and 1.5-3cms’ in diameter. With different colours of orange, red and reddish brown. The surface is shrunken, with very thin white hairs and longitudinal grooves, a residual plinth at the top and a thin and curved fruit stalk at the base. The thickness of the pericarp is about 1mm. Many small yellow oblong particles adhere to the inner surface, which are immature seeds. There are many flat, oval, brown-black mature seeds in the center, which are soft and sticky when fresh.
Distinctive smell and sweet in taste.
How to take Chi Bao?
(1)Chi Bao can be eaten directly when it is fully mature, but tastes sour and bitter. On the other hand, it is not easy to be absorbed. As a result, it is usually dried for later use.
Treatment of nausea, acid regurgitation, and vomiting:
Chibao, 5~15 g (dry product), ground into powder and take after mixing with water.
(2) Tender stems and leaves and young tendrils of Chi Bao can be eaten after cooking,
Boiled in water, then thoroughly rinsed, stir fried or served cold with sause.
How to choose Chi Bao?
This product is the dry and mature fruit of Cucurbitaceae Thladiantha dubia Bge. Alias Chi Bao or Chi Pao. Originated mainly in Northeast, North China. It has the effects of relaxing muscles and promoting blood circulation, dispelling cold and relieving pain.
[Medicine distinguish] Chi Bao is normally oval shaped, usually flattened, 3-6 cms’ long, and 1.5-3 cms in diameter. The outer surface is orange shaded or reddish brown, covered with sparse white hairs, wrinkled and uneven, with dark longitudinal stripes and grooves. There is a residual style base at the top, and a thin and curved fruit stalk at the base. Hard and brittle, easily broken apart. Many flat oval brown black seeds can be seen inside. With a little hint of smell, slightly sweet in taste.
How to buy Chi Bao?
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