Gardenia Fruit | Zhi Zi
COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)

Gardenia (Zhi Zi)


Fructus Gardeniae


Gardenia Fruit; Cape Jasmine Fruit ;Happiness Fruit


With potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, cape jasmine fruit extract and other derivatives have a long history of effective (though largely unstudied) use as general fever-, pain-, and swelling-reducers. Some of the most specific uses include the treatment of canker sores, sore throat, swollen gums, and other mild oral conditions. Plus, these supplements (when ingested rather than just used for a mouthwash) may also have a gastro-protective effect, helping treat and control the discomfort associated with the symptoms of peptic ulcers.

More recent research has also found that Gardenia extract may have antidepressant effects and shows promise for reducing the symptoms of depression (namely fatigue and despair) through regular food supplementation. What’s more, taking oral cape jasmine fruit supplements may also improve cognitive performance, learning, and memory. Some research even suggests that Gardenia extracts may offer some protection against enterovirus and other viral illnesses, as well as drug-resistant bacterial infections, though much more research is needed to verify the extent of these benefits.

Gardenia fruit is one of the most powerful heat-clearing herbs in the Chinese materia medica. It works on both inflammation and fever, deficient heat and excess heat. It is categorized as an herb that Clears Heat and Drains Fire. The herb is classified as cold in temperature, bitter in taste and goes to a wide variety of meridians: the Heart, Liver, Lung, Spleen and San Jiao (metabolism.)  TCM attributes gardenia with “cooling off” irritability.


Gardenia supplements (made from the whole, stemless fruit) come in many different forms. You can purchase the whole, dried fruit (best used for decoctions) as well as in crushed, powdered, encapsulated, and extracted forms. Each of these preparations is useable as either oral or topical therapies, though much more anecdotal and empirical support exists for oral uses.


Recent research suggests that Gardenia supplements may significantly affect the performance of clozapine in the treatment of schizophrenia. What’s more, Gardenia supplements are not recommended in large doses or for long term durations, as doing so may increase your risk of liver damage. For short-term and low doses, the most likely side-effect is diarrhea, as Gardenia supplements and derivatives often have a diuretic and laxative effect.

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


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Jhansi, Lakshmi, and Reddy Jaganmohan. “Phytochemical Studies of Gardenia Jasminoides.” International Journal of Biosciences and Technology, vol. 5, no. 11, 2012, pp. 54–58.

Li, Baoli, et al. “Semen Ziziphi Spinosae and Fructus Gardeniae Extracts Synergistically Improve Learning and Memory of a Mouse Model.” Biomedical Reports, vol. 1, no. 2, Aug. 2012, pp. 247–250., doi:10.3892/br.2012.38.

Li, Chunnan, et al. “Screening of the Hepatotoxic Components in Fructus Gardeniae and Their Effects on Rat Liver BRL-3A Cells.” Molecules, vol. 24, no. 21, 2019, p. 3920., doi:10.3390/molecules24213920.

Li, Jianyu, et al. “Determination of Geniposide InGardenia JasminoidesEllis Fruit by Near-Infrared Spectroscopy and Chemometrics.” Analytical Letters, vol. 49, no. 13, 2016, pp. 2063–2076., doi:10.1080/00032719.2015.1130714.

Lin, Wen-Hung, et al. “Gardenia Jasminoides Extracts and Gallic Acid Inhibit Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammation by Suppression of JNK2/1 Signaling Pathways in BV-2 Cells.” Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, June 2015,

Ruan, Jie, et al. “Anti-Depressant Effects of Oil from Fructus Gardeniae via PKA-CREB-BDNF Signaling.” Bioscience Reports, vol. 39, no. 4, 2019, doi:10.1042/bsr20190141.

Tao, Weiwei, et al. “Optimization of Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Oil from the Fruit of Gardenia Jasminoides and Its Antidepressant Activity.” Molecules, vol. 19, no. 12, 2014, pp. 19350–19360., doi:10.3390/molecules191219350.

Tian, Dan-Dan, et al. “Pharmacokinetic Evaluation of Clozapine in Concomitant Use of Radix Rehmanniae, Fructus Schisandrae, Radix Bupleuri, or Fructus Gardeniae in Rats.” Molecules, vol. 21, no. 6, 2016, p. 696., doi:10.3390/molecules21060696.

Wang, Mengjie, et al. “Chinese Herbal Medicines as a Source of Molecules with Anti-Enterovirus 71 Activity.” Chinese Medicine, vol. 11, no. 1, 2016, doi:10.1186/s13020-016-0074-0.

Zhang, Xue, et al. “Treatment Mechanism of Gardeniae Fructus and Its Carbonized Product Against Ethanol-Induced Gastric Lesions in Rats.” Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 10, Mar. 2019, doi:10.3389/fphar.2019.00750.



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