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Welcome To Paris: Chong Lou (Paris pollyphylla) – A Powerful Detoxifier & Cell Growth Balancer

“We’ll always have Paris…” 

Humphrey Bogart’s famous line in Casablanca could easily also refer to one of the best and most expensive TCM herbs for various symptoms associated with Internal Heat: Paris polyphylla

If you have symptoms of an invasion of toxic heat in your body such as pain, inflammation, and swelling, you’ll always have this particular Paris. 

Paris polyphylla is a mouthful in Chinese, going by the names Qi Ye Yi Zhi Hua,  Zao Xiu, and Chong Lou. Whatever name you call it, it’s one of the most powerful herbs for resolving toxicity. 

Just don’t take too much of it otherwise it may backfire. Unlike a majority of the 600 or so herbs of TCM, in large dosages, Chong Lou can be slightly toxic. Nonetheless, in recent years, research studies have identified compounds in the herb that show promise for supporting healthy cellular growth. 

But before we take a look at a few of those studies, let’s take in the sights of Paris polyphylla.

“We’ll always have Paris…” Humphrey Bogart’s famous line in Casablanca could easily also refer to one of the best and most expensive TCM herbs for various symptoms associated with Internal Heat: Paris polyphylla.  

Bitter And Cold Paris

Nope, Paris polyphylla is not an indigenous medicinal plant of France that has been adopted in the Orient. Rather, the scientific genus of the plant, Paris, comes from the word, pars, which denotes symmetry. There’s geometric genius in this genus, with each plant whorl containing seven leaves that birth a secondary whorl containing another layer of leaves in multiples of four. Inside this inner leaf layer blooms a flower that looks like a spider with petals that resemble a centipede’s creepy crawly legs.

In Chinese, the name behind every TCM herb tells a story. With Paris polyphylla, there’s more to the story. “Qi Ye Yi Zhi Hua” translates as ‘seven leaves one flower.’ In the forests of southwest China’s Guizhou Province, locals call the plant Chong Lou, which aptly describes the evolutionary biological mimicry of the arachnid-like appearance of Paris’ flower. (Depending on the translation, the name means ‘insect gourd or insect melon.’) 

According to TCM theory, the bitter and cold properties of Chong Lou have a detoxifying effect by clearing Heat, drying Dampness, and assisting the body’s elimination process. In addition, by cooling the liver, Chong Lou not only supports a normal inflammatory response (in people who already have a healthy inflammation response) it also cools emotional engines. In TCM terms, this action is called “resolving fright”. Even though Paris polyphylla looks spooky, by drinking this TCM instant herbal tea, your fear may be purged. 

Chong Lou Paris Polyphylla Herb For Healthy Cellular Support

A trip to Paris cures all cases of ennui. As for Paris polyphylla, recent research suggests its phytochemical constituents such as saponins help support normal inflammation and cellular function. For example, a 2018 study published in Current Urology Reports concludes the saponins in the herb support healthy cell expression in cell lines. Just as harmony between Yin and Yang Qi is necessary to maintain health, a balance of cellular growth is also necessary. Chong Lou, research suggests, helps support a normal balance in cell growth.

A study from earlier this year in the Journal of Chemistry says the root-like rhizome part of Chong Lou may help retard blood flow, resolve discomfort, and support the immune system. In addition, the study mentions that the herb is listed in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia for its use in reducing swelling, as an anti-inflammatory, and as an analgesic for sore throat, snake bites, and bruises.

Another study from earlier this year published in the Journal of Applied Research on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants says that in Nepal, people who use Paris polyphylla liken the herb’s Swiss Army knife-like versatility to honey. 

Should You Take Chong Lou To Support Health? 

The answer depends on your health concerns. For best practices, it’s always best to consult with a TCM professional such as a licensed acupuncturist or herbalist. If an acupuncturist diagnoses you with Yang Qi excess or Yin Qi deficiency, Chong Lou may be just what the TCM doctor orders, or a formula that contains it such as the Guang Ci Tang product, Kang Zhong Pian (sold by ActiveHerb under the brand name, Cellpurger.) Other herbs in Cellpurger help balance the powerful Heat-clearing property of Chong Lou. In general, TCM herbal supplements from certified Good Manufacturing Practices facilities are safe and non-toxic. However, taken at high doses, Chong Lou as mentioned earlier may be slightly toxic. 

But taken at a proper dosage, Chong Lou may help regulate Qi and bodily fluids, balance Yin and Yang energies, and support a normal balance in cellular growth.

Even on a cold, rainy day in Paris, you may find that you need Chong Lou Paris polyphylla to clear Heat (and resolve toxicity).