Wu Zhu YuEvodia Fruit - Wu Zhu Yu

The pungent, bitter, and hot Wu Zhu Yu is a powerful herb in the Chinese herbal pharmacopoeia. It is the small, reddish-brown fruit from the Evodia tree, which is native to parts of China and Korea. Traditionally, Wu Zhu Yu is used for its warming effects, its pain-relieving effects, and its qi-lowering capability. It warms the middle, disperses cold, and descends rebellious Stomach Qi.

Many formulas containing Wu Zhu Yu relieve headache, menstrual pain, and a wide variety of digestive problems (e.g. research has found that evodia inhibits the growth of the heliobacter pylori bacteria). Some common formulas containing Wu Zhu Yu are: Wu Zhu Yu Tang, Si Shen Wan, and Zuo Jin Wan. The pharmacologic properties of this fruit are: analgesic, anthelmintic, astringent, carminative, decongestant, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic, and uterotonic.

There is compelling research on the effects of Wu Zhu Yus major component: evodiamine, an alkaloidal compound. Through in vitro and in vivo experimentation, they have found that evodiamine has anti-cancer activities. Evodiamine has been able to inhibit proliferation, invasion, and metastasis in a variety of tumor cell lines (including breast cancer cells, prostate cancer cells, leukemic T-lymphocyte cells, melanoma cells, cervical cancer cells, colon cancer cells, and lung cancer cells. It was also able to induce apoptosis in tumor cells.

Studies have shown that evodiamine "exhibits the strongest cytotoxicity activity against human colon and hepatoblastoma cell lines and inhibitory activity on human colon carcinoma cell." Interestingly, on chemoresistant breast cancer cells, evodiamine not only sensitizes them to adriamycin (a chemotherapy drug), but it also shows little toxicity against normal human peripheral blood cells. This is promising news in the field of herbology and its positive effects on the fight on cancer.

Wu Zhu Yu  
Properties Pungent, bitter, hot, slightly toxic
Meridians  Spleen, stomach, liver, and kidney
Functions Warms the stomach and spleen, dispels cold, descends rebellious chi, alleviates pain
Indications Abdominal pain, vomiting, acid regurgitation, diarrhea in the morning
Contraindications Yin deficiency and excess fire
Dosage  2-6grams

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