Ligustrum Robustum and Ilex Kaushue
In Chinese medicine, the fruit of the Ligustrum (Privet) bush is called Nu Zhen Zi and is the most known form of the plant. It is used for dehydration and as part of cancer formulas, especially for those who are dehydrated. The fruits contain oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, nuezhenide, and a variety of plant chemicals called glycosides which tend to increase fluid retention.
It is categorized in Chinese medicine as a Yin tonic which means that it helps with dehydration. The herb is cool, sweet and bitter and affects the Liver and Kidney channels. A high antioxidant tea made from the leaves is called Kuding cha.
In TCM, Yin tonics are used to help lubricate the joints and rehydrate the body. Privet fruit is used in China for low backaches, premature ejaculation, lumbago, weak knees, dizziness, spots before the eyes, tinnitus, prematurely graying hair, and impotence. It is also used for eye problems due to deﬁcient Liver and Kidney yin: cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, poor night vision, and dry macular degeneration. There have been few Western studies to back up the Chinese traditional uses.
From a strictly preventive health point of view, drinking Privet fruit or leaf tea regularly is beneficial due to its antioxidant properties. What’s more, drinking Privet fruit teas has some measurable impact on immune function and significant measurable antimicrobial properties. Privet fruit tea is used for controlling bad breath as well as reducing the frequency and severity of sickness. It may also be a potentially useful home remedy for mild bacterial infections like strep throat and E. coli.
Moreover, Privet teas may also have significant anti-inflammatory effects, including helping to reduce throat swelling and irritation (making it especially useful for soothing sore throats and calming coughs caused by upper respiratory infections). Overall, Privet tea can be both a beneficial regular supplement for maintaining your health, as well as a potentially helpful soothing treatment for common respiratory and digestive issues.
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
Privet fruit is typically sold as dry berries which are usually fried in wine to enhance the moisturizing effects, then dried. When preparing for vision benefits, the fruit is often mixed in a formula with lycium fruit, chrysanthemum flower, or buddleia ﬂowers. In Chinese medicine, it is also mixed into Fu Zheng anticancer formulas to potentiate immunity. It’s said to increase suppressed white blood cell counts due to chemotherapy (leukopenia) and enhances T-cell function and macrophage activity (tumor-associated macrophage suppression) in cancer patients
Privet leaf tea is made using the broad, flat leaves of the “large-leaved Kudingcha.” These are most commonly tightly rolled (like needles), then prepared alone as a tea or used as an ingredient in various hot-water decoctions. Consequently, it is most frequently available for purchase either as already-rolled, dried leaves or as pre-prepared extracts.
There are few recorded side-effects of drinking Privet fruit teas or other supplements. Nevertheless, Privet fruit or leaf teas and supplements may impact how your body metabolizes glucose and may impact the spread of several different types of cancer cells, so those living with or receiving treatment for metabolic conditions or cancer should talk to their doctor before taking a Privet fruit supplement. It may also lower blood pressure, so people currently taking blood pressure medications or who have low blood pressure may want to be similarly cautious.
You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking Privet fruit.
He, Z.D., But, P.P.H., Antioxidative Glucosides From The Fruits of Ligustrum lucidum, Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo), 2001, Jun;49(6):780-4
Ma, S.C., He, Z.D., et al, In Vitro Evaluation of Secoiridoid Glucosides From The Fruits of Ligustrum lucidum as Antiviral Agents, Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo), 2001, Nov;49(11):1471-3
Yim, T.K., Wu, W.K., et al, Hepatoprotective Action of An Oleanolic Acid-Enriched Extract of Ligustrum lucidum Fruits is Mediated Through an Enhancement on Hepatic Glutathione Regeneration Capacity in Mice, Phytother Res., 2001 Nov;15 (7):589-92
Chen, Guijie, et al. “Kudingcha and Fuzhuan Brick Tea Prevent Obesity and Modulate Gut Microbiota in High-Fat Diet Fed Mice.” Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, vol. 62, no. 6, 2018, p. 1700485., doi:10.1002/mnfr.201700485.
Li, Li, et al. “The Large-Leaved Kudingcha (Ilex Latifolia Thunb and Ilex Kudingcha C.J. Tseng): a Traditional Chinese Tea with Plentiful Secondary Metabolites and Potential
Zhao, Xin, et al. “Ilex Kudingcha C.J. Tseng (Kudingcha) Has in Vitro Anticancer Activities in MCF-7 Human Breast Adenocarcinoma Cells and Exerts Anti-Metastatic Effects in Vivo.” Oncology Letters, vol. 5, no. 5, 2013, pp. 1744–1748., doi:10.3892/ol.2013.1253.