Evodia (Wu Zhu Yu)
Botanical Name: Evodia rutaecarpa, E. rytaecarpa, E. japonicus, Tetradium ruticarpum, T. daniellii
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, evodia is recognized as a Hot, Acrid herb used to Warm the Interior and ease pain. It is very commonly used to treat digestive disorders including acid reflux, stomach cramping, ulcers, diarrhea, and dysentery. In the West, evodia is mostly used to treat skin conditions and support athletic performance by aiding weight loss and easing muscle aches.
Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – Evodia & GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder): What You Need to Know.
Below is an overview of evodia, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of evodia.
How to take FULL advantage of Evodia's healing powers...
JOIN ME in an exploration of the healing herb, Evodia (Wu Zhu Yu). Dive deep into the benefits and applications of Evodia, from Eastern and Western perspectives, and so much more!
Western Name: Evodia
Also Known As: Chinese Evodia, Korean Evodia, Bee Bee Tree (T. daniellii), Be-be Tree
Organs/Systems: Digestive, Uterus, Cardiovascular, Skin
Key Actions: Anti-inflammatory, Stomachic, Analgesic, Diuretic, Antitumor, Hepatoprotective, Anti-ulcerative, Antibacterial, Antiviral, Hypotensive, Antiparasitic, Insecticide
Medicinal Uses: Digestive disorders, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), heartburn, weight loss, stomach ulcer, nausea, vomiting, dysentery, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, amenorrhea, excess bleeding during birthing, parasitic infections, viral and bacterial infections, lowers blood pressure, stimulate the heart, Alzheimer’s, cancer, colds and flu, eczema, IBS, ticks, mites.
Pin Yin: Wu Zhu Yu
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Spleen, Stomach, Liver. Kidney
Key Actions: Dispels Cold, Warms the Interior, Directs Rebellious Qi Downward, Relieves Pain, Warms the Spleen, Supports the Liver
Medicinal Uses: GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), acid reflux, vomiting after eating, vomiting clear fluid, stomach cramping, loss of taste, heartburn, lowers high blood pressure, relaxes blood vessels, prevents clotting, reduces cholesterol, improves appetite, treats digestive disorders, nausea, diarrhea (especially morning diarrhea), dysentery, headaches, weakness and edema of the legs, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, bloating, abdominal cramping, abdominal hernia, IBS, menstrual cramping, postpartum hemorrhage, birth control, mouth ulcers, canker sores, itchy skin, inflamed skin, age spots and pigmentation, eczema (including childhood eczema), neurodermatitis, intestinal parasites, ticks, mites.
Basic Habitat / Botany:
Evodia is a flowering shrub or tree with long, dark, green, shiny leaves, and white flowers that bloom in summer and bear small, reddish-brown berries. The tree can grow to be 15 to 25 feet tall.
Evodia is native to China and Korea.
Parts Most Frequently Used: The Immature (but nearly ripe) Berry, Root Bark
Flavors/Temps: Acrid, Very Bitter, Hot, Dry, Slightly Toxic
Caution: Considered safe used in proper dosing. Overdosing may cause an irregular heartbeat. Not recommended for pregnant women or women attempting to conceive. It is not recommended for those with Yin Deficiency, especially if dryness is an issue. It is not recommended for use with red sage root (dan shen).
Key Constituents: Indoloquinazoline alkaloids (including: Evodiamine (a quinolone alkaloid), Rutaecarpine, and Dehydroevodiamine), Limonene, Daucosterol, Triacontanoic acid, Nonacosane, Beta-sitosterol
History/Folklore: Evodia has been used for over 2,000 years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It can help treat cold and flu symptoms, nausea, diarrhea, and other digestive ailments. It is used in TCM to Warm the Body and is one of the few herbs to be classified as Hot in nature. It may decrease the perception of cold, indirectly causing you to feel warm, in the same way that the compound capsaicin, found in red peppers can also make you feel warm. Studies show that the fruit has an inhibitory effect on the intestinal transit helping to treat diarrhea.
Evodia rutaecarpa is sometimes spelled E. rytaecarpa, and Tetradium ruticarpum are all names used interchangeably for the same plant. E. japonicus and T. daniellii are different species of evodia that are also commonly used and have the same properties as Evodia rutaecarpa. Evodia elleryana is a local variety used by the People of the Kurti region of Manus, especially to treat whooping cough and tuberculosis. They also use this variety to control fertility and a water extract of the bark is used to treat fevers and cough. Typically, the name Evodia, is referring to the dried fruit.
As a strong herb, evodia is most commonly selected when pain is a symptom. For example, abdominal pain, menstrual pain, stomach cramping, and the pain associated with acid reflux. It is an herb that is typically used in low doses and for short periods to alleviate an acute condition. It is commonly paired with coptis (huang lian), or with the addition of peony (bai shao) (LINK) and/or saussurea (mu xiang). Coptis is well known for its ability to treat Damp Heat that can cause pain, nausea, diarrhea, bladder infections, and other digestive disorders. White peony is often added to formulas to prevent Blood Deficiency that might be caused by excessively draining herb. Evodia, while it helps to counter the inappropriate flow of Qi upwards (i.e. vomiting or acid reflux), is also a very drying herb that could lead to Blood Deficiency if over used. Saussurea helps to relieve Qi Stagnation in the Spleen, Stomach, and Intestines. Used together with evodia, these herbs help to treat a wide range of digestive disorders safely by supporting and countering each other’s properties.
Besides having analgesic properties, evodia also specifically exhibits antinociceptive properties, meaning it relieves pain without any negative effects on consciousness or causing anesthesia. It is useful for treating headaches accompanied by nausea and vomiting and abdominal pain and cramping.
Evodia extract is used to help improve stamina, ease muscle pain, increase sex hormones, improve the function of cardiac muscles, reduce blood fat, and improve metabolism. The extract has also been found to inhibit inflammation in human cells and skin (even when applied topically).
Evodia is highly effective for treating skin conditions. It stimulates skin microcirculation, revitalizing the complexion, soothing irritations, and reducing redness. Studies have found that compounds in evodia decrease melanin content making it effective for minimizing age spots, discoloration, and other pigmentation conditions. It also improves skin texture.
When used in isolation as supplements, various compounds in evodia, especially evodiamine and rutaecarpine, have been found less effective than when accessed by consuming the whole fruit.
The compound evodiamine was one of the first compounds to be isolated from an herb specific to TCM, by Kashiwaki Asahina, a Japanese researcher, over 100 years ago.. It is the major active compound found in evodia. Today it is being studied for its possible anticancer properties. Although research is in the early stages, studies indicate it may be found effective for treating prostate, breast, liver, leukemia, and melanoma cancers.
The compound rutaecarpine, found in evodia is an alkaloid that is responsible for the heat sensations and analgesic properties of the plant. If isolated, this compound can negatively impact a liver enzyme causing serious harm to the liver. While alkaloid compounds may have neurological effects when overdosed, evodia has been safely used in TCM for thousands of years, pointing to the importance of the complexity of other available compounds found in the fruit and the importance of dosage.
Evodia is one of the strong-acting herbs that remain in use today. Strong-acting herbs are those that have a notable effect in small doses. Too much may cause adverse effects or be toxic. Also, evodia is a “hot” herb versus a “warming” herb, with a very spicy and bitter flavor that even in small amounts, can be noticed whether or not other herbs are used with it. This “hot” property is another indicator of a strong-acting herb. Evodia is also very drying, too much or long-term use can harm Qi and/or Blood.
Many diet products take advantage of evodia’s hot nature to stimulate metabolic fire in order to help consume excess fat.. More research is needed to confirm the efficacy of this application, however you will see evodia listed in a variety of athletic and dietary fat-burning products.
The root bark has been used to expel parasitic tapeworms and pinworms.
Evodia is never for pet use. It can completely stop the heart in animals.
CNS and Uterus
Korean evodia, aka the bee-bee tree, is identified as Tetradium daniellii. The Chinese evodia is called Evodia rutaecarpa, sometimes spelled E. rytaecarpa. They are all the same plant.
How to use Evodia (Wu Zhu Yu) and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Dive deep into Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works. Includes uses, benefits, essential oils, gardening tips, and much, much more.
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