Pagoda Tree

Huái | Pagoda Tree
COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)

Pagoda Tree (Huái Hua)


Sophora japonica


Supplements and extracts made from both the flower buds and fruit of pagoda tree plants have a long history of practical use for treating bleeding conditions — including hemorrhoids and internal hemorrhaging — as well as conditions associated with high blood pressure, like headaches and dizziness. Though contemporary studies have established that the constituents of pagoda tree extracts have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial/viral, and hemostatic properties, much more research is needed to capitalize on any promise the herb shows for clinical use. One of the most persistent uses for pagoda tree decoctions includes the management of severe diarrhea, as the chemical derivatives released during hot-water decoction and infusion may have antidiarrheal and anti-spasmodic properties.

The antidiarrheal effects are in line with the Chinese classification. The herb is classified as cool and bitter and especially affects the Liver and Large Intestine meridians. 

Pagoda tree flower supplements have significant measurable impacts on cardiovascular function, including reducing blood pressure, slowing and preventing bleeding, and altering platelet aggregation/clotting. Moreover, pagoda tree flower bud supplements may have potent antioxidant (and, consequently, anti-aging and overall tonifying) properties.


Pagoda tree supplements utilize the fruit, flowers, and flower buds of the pagoda tree. These parts are typically dried and crushed, though there are special preparations required for certain treatments. To stop bleeding, the parts should be charred. On the other hand, general stomach protection is best from dry fried Pagoda tree parts. They are extracted or decocted, then taken orally. Both fruit and flower supplements are available in powdered and pill forms.


Pagoda tree seeds are toxic, with many people reporting allergic reactions, facial swelling, and symptoms of poisoning after ingesting the seeds. Given that some pagoda tree derivatives demonstrate estrogenic effects, oral pagoda tree supplements may cause common estrogenic side-effects like light vaginal bleeding, breast tissue tenderness, mood changes and changes in sex drive, nausea and dizziness, and changes in hair growth and thickness. What’s more, women who are pregnant should not take pagoda tree supplements, both because of these hormonal effects and the fact that plants in this family contain small amounts of nicotine

Likewise, because some pagoda tree derivatives have demonstrable effects on cardiovascular function and blood pressure, some users are at elevated risk of complications. As a result, people with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions or who are already taking cardiovascular medications should not take pagoda tree supplements without first talking to their doctor.

You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking pagoda tree.



Chen, Hsiang-Ni, and Ching-Liang Hsieh. “Effects of Sophora Japonica Flowers (Huaihua) on Cerebral Infarction.” Chinese Medicine, vol. 5, no. 1, 2010, p. 34., doi:10.1186/1749-8546-5-34.

Dobbs, Michael R. Clinical Neurotoxicology: Syndromes, Substances, Environments, Expert Consult – Online and Print. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2009.

El-Halawany, Ali M., et al. “Estrogenic Activity of a Naringinase-Treated Extract OfSophora Japonicacultivated in Egypt.” Pharmaceutical Biology, vol. 48, no. 2, 2009, pp. 177–181., doi:10.3109/13880200903062663.

He, Xirui, et al. “Local and Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology of Sophora Japonica L.: A Review.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 187, 2016, pp. 160–182., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2016.04.014.

Peng, Fei, et al. “The Application of Deep Eutectic Solvent on the Extraction and in Vitro Antioxidant Activity of Rutin from Sophora Japonica Bud.” Journal of Food Science and Technology, vol. 55, no. 6, 2018, pp. 2326–2333., doi:10.1007/s13197-018-3151-9.

Sophora Japonica, International Tree Tour, SUNY Orange, https://sunyorange.edu/inttreetour/sophora_japonica.html.



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