Herbal Glossary : Fructus Rosae Laevigatae

Original plant of Fructus Rosae Laevigatae Dried Fruits Name Latin Name: Fructus Rosae Laevigatae
Common Name: Rosa fruit, Cherokee rosehip
Scientific Name: Rosa laevigata
Chinese Name: 金櫻子
Pinyin Name: Jin ying zi Origin The dried ripe fruit of Rosa Laevigata Michx., an evergreen climbing plant of family Rosaceae. Where Does It Grow? It is mainly distributed in Guang dong, Sichuan, Yunnan, Hubei and Guizhou provinces of China. Nature and Taste It is sour and astringent in taste, neutral in nature and manifests its therapeutic actions in the kidney, bladder and large intestine meridians. Identified Active Components/ Major Chemical Constituents Fructus Rosae Laevigatae contains citric acid, malic acid, tannin, resin, vitamin C, fructose and sucrose. Additionally, the content of saponin is about 17%. Historical Use The Chinese name of Fructus Rosae Laevigatae (Jinyingzi) is actually comprised of three words. The first word "Jin" (金)means "golden". It refers to the yellow color of the fruit. The second word "Ying" (櫻) should actually be another word that has similar pronunciation in Chinese "Ying" (罌) according to the Bencao Gangmu (Compendium of Materia Medica). This word was chosen for this herb's name because both fruits with this pronunciation have similar shapes. The third word "Zi" (子) refers to small "fruit".

In the Bencao Gangmu(Compendium of Materia Medica), Dr. Li Shi Zhen wrote that Fructus Rosae Laevigatae was indicated for diarrhea or dysentery caused by a spleen deficiency. The herb also stops frequent urination and astringes essence (jing). In TCM, The kidneys store the essence, which is the material basis for both bodily constitution and functional activities. One of essence's functions is to vaporize into qi(vital energy) and motivate sexual activities. What is It Used for in TCM? Fructus Rosae Laevigatae consolidates essence and reduces excessive urination, astringes the large intestine and stops diarrhea.
1. Treatment of insufficient essence consolidation caused by a kidney deficiency which manifests as symptoms of involuntary discharge of semen, involuntary discharge of urine, urinary frequency and /or leucorrhea.
Fructus Rosae Laevigatae is sour and astringent in taste which makes the herb good at consolidating essence and reduces excessive urination. 2. Treatment of chronic diarrhea or dysentery caused by spleen deficiency:
Chinese Medicine believes that one of the conditions for healthy bowel movements depend on the normal regulation of qi inside the large intestine. It is believed that when the clear qi(vital energy) inside the large intestine ascends, the turbid waste will descend, resulting in a normal bowel movement. If the qi(vital energy) is unable to rise and collapses such as in the case of a spleen deficiency, the body will manifest this as excessive bowel movements resulting in diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea will continue to consume and exhaust the qi; because, it will be lost along with the stool. The astringent property of Fructus Rosae Laevigatae allows the herb to gather together the lost qi and prevent its continued loss in the large intestine meridian. As a result the chronic diarrhea can be alleviated. Pharmacological Actions
1. Lipid-lowering Effects
Animal studies Fructus Rosae Laevigatae was shown to reduce serum cholesterol and β-lipoprotein level in rabbits and lower their degree of atherosclerosis. 2. Inhibitory Effects on Smooth Muscle Contraction
Animal studies A water extract of Fructus Rosae Laevigatae was shown to reduce the urination frequency in rats, prolong the urination interval and increase the urine volume for each urination episode. In other experiments, it was reported that Fructus Rosae Laevigatae could antagonize convulsive contractions of isolated smooth bladder muscles of rats as well as antagonize the contractive response of a rabbit's aorta caused by nor-adrenaline. It was also shown to inhibit the autonomic contractions of isolated jejunums (a part of the small intestine) in rabbits that were pretreated with acetylcholine and barium chloride. 3. Relieve Diarrhea
Animal studies Rats with diarrhea induced by administration of Rheum palmatum solution were given by gavage a Fructus Rosae Laevigatae water decoction. The herb was stir-fried with bran and processed with honey before the preparation of the decoction. Results showed that the herb had good effects in relieving diarrhea. Administration and Dosage A decoction is typically made with 6-12g of Fructus Rosae Laevigatae and three to four cups of boiling water until the volume is reduced by half. A decoction is usually taken orally and split into two doses but this dose may taken all at once or escalated depending on the person's condition and recommendation by the Chinese medicine practitioner. Adverse Effect, Side Effects and Cautions Not suitable for individuals with excessive heat signs, such as fever, thirst, mouth sores, gum swelling, constipation, urinary difficulty and a red tongue.