Nan Gua Zi
English Name: Pumpkin Seeds & Husks
Flavour: Sweet & Neutral
The literal translation for Nan Gua Zi in English is, “southern melon seeds”. It is however more commonly and better known as pumpkin seeds and husks.
In clinical practice, Nan Gua Zi is mostly used to eradicate parasites. It has been used to treat infestations of roundworm and tapeworm as well and the symptoms of schistosomiasis.
In Australia, roundworm infestations are rare. When they do happen, it will most likely be picked up from contaminated soil. There is however a risk of coming into contact with tapeworms in Australia. This will usually be via contact with dog faeces. Schistosomiasis is a disease caused by a fresh water parasitic worm which is mostly found in tropical regions (such as Caribbean, South-East Asian, Africa and the Middle-East). It is found in water contaminated by urine and/or faeces. The worm enters the body via the skin and migrates the liver and intestines and causes a range of symptoms.
Nan Gua Zi can also be used to treat swelling which occurs after giving birth (post-partum swelling). More specifically it is best used to treat swelling in the hands and the feet.
Care needs to be taken when prescribed Nan Gua Zi. In the Materia Medica for Chinese Medicine it is considered to be toxic. A study has shown that when fed to mice, it can reduce their hepatic function. Given this, it is advisable to only take Nan Gua Zi when under the care of a registered Chinese Medicine practitioner.