Evodia Rutaecarpa (Wu Zhu Yu)

wu-zhu-yuEvodia rutaecarpa, also known as Tetradium ruticarpum or Euodia ruticarpa, is a medicinal plant with amazing medicinal and curative properties. Its main medicinal part is the fruits that are called Wu Zhu Yu in Pinyin and Evodiae Fructus in Pharmaceutical Latin. Impressed by its incredible versatility, many doctors commonly utilize it as a bitter stomachic, analgesic, ascaricide, and more. From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, it is the best possible herb that you can take advantage to treat headache or epigastric pain caused by deficiency cold of spleen and stomach syndrome and upward gush of turbid Yin.

What is Evodia rutaecarpa?

To answer question like that, let’s figure out what Evodia is in the first place. Evodia, the misspelling of Euodia, is actually a plant genus in the family Rutaceae. However, the direct genus Evodia rutaecarpa belongs to is not Euodia but Tetradium, a genus of 9 species of trees. It is known as Euodia or Bee bee tree in the west because it was classified to the genus Euodia in the ancient literature.

As mentioned above, medicinally it mainly refers to the dried nearly ripe fruit of Evodia rutaecarpa (Juss) Benth., Evodia rutaecarpa (Juss.) Benth. var. officinalis (Dode) Huang, and Evodia rutaecarpa (JUSS.) BENTH. var. bodinieri (DODE) HUANG. Other common names of it include Wu-Chu-Yu, Evodia Fruit, Gosyuyu, Wu Yu, San Cha Ku, and so on. In China it is mainly produced in provinces of Guizhou, Guangxi, Hunan, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Zhejiang, and Sichuan. The fruit-bearing shoots are usually cut with scissors when the fruits have not been cracked during August to October. And then it is dried in the sun or low temperature before branches, leaves, stems and other impurities are removed. Medicinally it should be processed by licorice decoction.

Euodia ruticarpa is a small tree or shrub, 3 to 5 meters high. Bothe dark purple twigs and buds are covered with grayish yellow or rust-colored hair or sparse short pubescence. They commonly grow in the sunny slope of mountain woodland or bushes at an altitude of 1500 meters. In addition, it is also cultivated in many locations.

The volatile oil of Evodia rutaecarpa fruits contains evodene, evodol, and limonin. Fruits contain evodiamine, rutaecarpine, evocarpine, Hydroxyevodiamine, wuchuyine, ocimene, evodione, evogin, rutaevin, aspartic acid, tryptophan, threonine, serine, cystine, and so on.

Evodia rutaecarpa benefits

On September 9th, the double ninth festival, the ancient Chinese would wear Evodia, climb mountain, and drink chrysanthemum wine. This is simply because it is considered a unique amulet and wearing Evodia was once the main symbol of the double ninth festival, which thus sometimes is also known as “Evodia Festival.” Today this custom is still popular and people believe that this custom can make bad luck go away. This may be a myth, but it is certain that this is indeed a good medicine.

Evodia has long been used as a medicinal medicine, which is included in the “Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic”, the earliest extant medical works in China. In the clinical treatment of TCM, it is often used to treat a variety of pains, e.g. Jueyin headache (pain at the top and the corners of the head), cold in women’s lower abdomen, diarrhea at dawn, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, hiccup, excessive salivation disorders in children, children with bronchial pneumonia, high blood pressure, mumps, enterobiasis, scabies, eczema, recurrent oral ulcers, and the like.

When it comes to Evodia fruit, the herbal formula must be mentioned is the Wu Zhu Yu Tang, which is from Shang Han Lun (Treatise on Cold Pathogenic Diseases). Besides of headache, vomiting, and stomach pain, this herb is still ideal for the treatment of vertigo and cold-induced hernia. However, clinically flexibility and small change is still required according to the individual situation. It makes sense to add Fu Zi (monkshood) for patients with heavy chill, Ding Xiang (Cloves) and Ban Xia (Pinellia) for patients with severe vomiting, Bai Dou Kou (Round Cardamon Fruit) for patients with bloating, Hai Piao Xiao (Cuttlefish Bone) for patients with acid regurgitation, and Dang Gui (Dong Quai) for patients of blood deficiency.

Modern pharmacological actions of Evodia

1) Both of its methanol extract and water decoction have anti-ulcer activity on experimental gastric ulcer in animal;
2) Its decoction has antagonistic effect on drug-induced gastrointestinal spasms. In addition, it has a significant analgesic effect;
3) Its intravenous injection can significantly raise the blood pressure of anesthetized rats and dogs;
4) After the normal rabbits, dogs and dogs of experimental renal hypertension have been given an intravenous injection of its filtered decoction, distillate and granules, it showed a significant antihypertensive effect;
5) Its decoction orally also showed a significant antihypertensive effect to dogs, but licorice decoction can counteract the evodia antihypertensive effect;
6) It can inhibit platelet aggregation and platelet and fibrin thrombus formation;
7) Its decoction, rutaecarpine and Dehydroevodiamine have excitatory effect to vitro and in vivo uterine of rabbits;
8) Evodia and Evodia decoction can help improve myocardial ischemia in a cat. It can bring some improvement to ECG quality, partially reduce the release of lactate dehydrogenase enzyme and creatine phosphate in blood, significantly increase the levels of nitric oxide in blood, and narrow infarct size. That’s to say, it protects against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats.

Sample Evodia recipes on herbal remedies

The “Chinese Pharmacopoeia” tells that it is acrid, bitter in flavor and hot, slightly toxic in nature. It goes to meridians of liver, spleen, stomach, and kidney. Essential functions are eliminating cold to stop pain, calming the adverse-rising energy to arrest vomiting, supporting Yang, and checking diarrhea. Primary Evodia rutaecarpa uses and indications include Jueyin headache, abdominal pain due to cold hernia, cold wet beriberi, painful menstrual periods, abdominal pain and bloating, vomiting, acid regurgitation, fifth-watch (daybreak diarrhea), aphtha, and hypertension. Recommended dosage is from 1.5 to 4.5 grams in decoction.

1) Zuo Jin Wan or Hui Ling Wan from Dan Xi Xin Fa (Dan Xi’s Experiential Methods). It is coupled with Huang Lian (Coptis) to treat liver fire;

2) Wu Zhu Yu Tang from Shang Han Lun. It is combined with Ren Shen (Ginseng), Sheng Jiang (Fresh ginger), and Da Zao (Jujube fruit) to cure vomiting with fullness sensation in chest and retching with drooling and headache;

3) Wu Ji Wan from Tai Ping Hui Min He Ji Ju Fang (Formulas of the Peaceful Benevolent Dispensary). It is matched with Coptis and Bai Shao (White Peony Root) to heal dampness attacking spleen induced nonstop watery diarrhea, indigestion, abdominal tingling, and more;

4) Ji Ming San from Zheng Zhi Zhun Sheng (The Level-line of Patterns and Treatment). It is formulated with Bing Lang (betel nut), Chen Pi (Citrus Peel), Mu Gua (Quince Fruit), Zi Su Ye (Perilla Leaf), Jie Geng (Balloon Flower Rhizome), and fresh ginger to treat beriberi-induced pain;

5) Duo Ming Dan from the “Formulas of the Peaceful Benevolent Dispensary.” It is equipped with Ze Xie (Water Plantain) to make pills for acute or chronic hernia.

Evodia rutaecarpa side effects and contraindications

Evodia rutaecarpa fruit is considered a slightly toxic herb since it contains a variety of alkaloids that can stimulate the central nervous system. Overdose may lead to intense abdominal pain, diarrhea, blurred vision, illusion, hair loss, chest tightness, headache, dizziness, or rash. TCM wise, it shouldn’t be used in case of fire excess from Yin deficiency.

Admittedly, Evodia fruit is with high medicinal value and has a significant effect in the treatment of many diseases. But since this is an herb with somewhat toxicity, you must understand its suitability before the use. So, take it under a doctor’s guidance if necessary to better protect your health.

2 thoughts on “Evodia Rutaecarpa (Wu Zhu Yu)

  1. Passerby

    “Evodia, the misspelling of Euodia” — The spelling is correct. There was a time when letter U didn’t exist.

  2. Mike

    An ad in the upper left hand corner of this page said it could rebuild failed kidneys. Is that true, or does the advertiser just want my money?


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