Chinese Name : 吳茱萸
Latin Name : Fructus evodiae
This herb is the fruit of Evodia rutaecarpa (Juss) Benth. of the family Rutaceae. It is mainly grown in the Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei, Saanxi, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces of China. It is harvested in autumn when the fruit is nearly ripe, dried in the sun, used unprocessed or decocted and processed in licorice root juice. This herb is an interior-warming stomachic.
The herb was used as a stimulant, carminative, stomachic, deobstruant, astringent, and anthelmintic remedy. It was even recommendd for sterility and barrenness. Evodia fruit’s stomachic action is good for dispelling internal Coldness, lowering the adverse flow of Qi, relieving diarrhea, soothing the liver, and relieving pain. It is used commonly for acute and chronic gastritis, colitis, and enteritis.
Use of Evodia Fruit in TCM
Pungent and bitter taste; warm and slightly toxic, it acts on the liver, spleen, and stomach meridians.
Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combinations
- Dispels pathogenic Cold: to treat abdominal coldness with pain, evodia fruit is used with dried ginger root and aucklandia. It is also combined with fresh ginger, ginseng, and jujube, as in Wu Zhu Yu Tang (R-71), to treat coldness in the Middle-Jiao, headaches, and adverse flow of Liver-Qi. It is often used with psoralea fruit, nutmeg, magnolia fruit, schisandra, fresh ginger, jujube, and psoralia fruit, as in Si Shen Wan (R-28), to treat diarrhea before dawn, anorexia, loose stools with undigested food, abdominal pain, and coldness of the limbs caused by spleen-yang and kidney yang deficiencies.
- Relieves vomiting and acid regurgitation: for the treatment of coldness in the stomach and acid regurgitation, evodia fruit is prescribed with dried ginger root and pinellia tuber.
- Stops vomiting during pregnancy: to treat nausea and vomiting in general, as well as during pregnancy, evodia fruit is used alone or combined with gingseng, jujube, and fresh ginger in a decoction.
In a decoction of 2 to 5 g
People with yin deficiency and excessive internal Heat in the blood should avoid this herb. Pregnant women should avoid this herb or use with caution.
Side Effects and Toxicity
This herb is slightly toxic as recorded in classical Chinese material medica. It should not be overdosed or used for a long period of time. Long-term use may cause vision difficulties.
Evodia fruit contains a number of alkaloids, including an indole alkaloid, evodiamide, dihydrorutaecarpine, ocimenc, evodin, evodol, gusyuynic acid, evodiamine, rutaecarpine, evocarpine, isoevodiamie, evodinone, evogin, and rutaevin. Its volatile oil contains bitter principles, evodol, evodinon, obacunone, jangomolide, rutavin acetate, graucin A, and other elements.
- Evodia fruit is a bitter stomachic. The volatile oil or the alkaloids of the fruit showed significant stomachic action. Also, the volatile oil of the herb prevents abnormal fermentation in the intestines. An oral administration of an evodia fruit decoction showed antiemetic activity. The antiemetic effect was synergistic with ginger.
- Intravenous administration of the decoction of the decoction or distillate of the herb was significantly hypotensive in normal dogs and dogs with artificially induced unilateral renovascular hypertension. In dogs receiving the decoction, blood pressure was lowered to 62 percent of the original level. This action lasted for more than three hours. The decoction taken orally also showed hypotensive activity, although to a lesser extent. The hypotensive effect was believed to be due to dilation of the peripheral blood vessels and the diuretic action of the herb.
- The active ingredient of the herb, dehydroevodiamine, inhibited acetylcholinesterase activity in a dose-dependent and noncompetitive manner. A single dose of 6.25 mg/kg of dehydroevodiamine to rats significantly reserved the scopolamine-induced memory impairment in a passive avoidance test. The antiamnestic effect of dehydroevodiamine was more potent than that of tacrine (the FDA-approved drug). This potent antiamnestic action of dehydroevodiamine is thought to be caused by the combined effects of acetylcholinesterase inhibition and the cerebral blood flow enhancement of the herb.
- An analgesic reaction was observed in rabbits given an intravenous dose of 1 percent evodiamine hydrochloride
- The herb’s alkaloid, rutaecarpine, showed uterotonic, activity on rat uterus in vitro
- The decoction of evodia fruit inhibited Vibrio cholerae, P.auruginosa, S. aureus, and some pathogenic fungi in vitro.