Smilax glabra
Smilax glabra
This information describes the common uses of Smilax glabra, how it works, and its possible side effects.

Common Name

Glabrous greenbrier rhizome, Tu Fu Ling, Tufuling, China root

How It Works

Smilax glabra has not been shown to treat or prevent cancer.

Smilax glabra is known as Tufuling in traditional Chinese medicine. The root has been used in combination with other herbs to treat diabetes, infection, and other skin and urinary disorders. Laboratory studies have shown that this plant has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. However, clinical studies have not been conducted and it is not known if the same effects would occur in humans.

Purported Uses

  • Arthritis
    Anti-inflammatory activity has been observed in rat models.
  • Viral infections
    Smilax glabra demonstrated antiviral activity in vitro.
  • Inflammation
    Smilax glabra can reduce inflammation in animal models.
  • Cancer
    Antioxidant and anti-tumor effects were observed in vitro studies. However, clinical trials have not been conducted.
  • Nephropathy
    Astilbin, a compound present in Smilax glabra, has been studied in rats with diabetic nephropathy. However, clinical trials are lacking.
  • Diabetes
    An increase in glucose uptake by rat fatty tissue was observed after exposure to smilaxin, a protein isolated from Smilax glabra.
  • Immunostimulation
    Smilaxin, a protein isolated from Smilax glabra, was found to stimulate immune activity as seen by an increase in white blood cells in mice.
  • Dermatitis and Psoriasis
    An herbal mixture containing Smilax glabra can reduce skin inflammation in animals.

Side Effects

May cause allergic reactions.