Herbal Glossary : Fructus Rubi

Original plant of Fructus Rubi Dried Fruits Name Latin Name: Fructus Rubi
Common Name: Palmleaf Raspberry Fruit / Rubus Fruit
Scientific Name: Rubus Chingii Hu
Chinese Name: 覆盆子
Pinyin Name: Fu pen zi Origin The unripe fruit of Rubus Chingii Hu; family Rosaceae. Where Does It Grow? It is mainly distributed in Zhejiang, Fujian, Hubei and Guizhou provinces of China. Nature and Taste It is sweet and sour in taste, slightly warm in nature and manifests its therapeutic actions in the liver and kidney meridians. Identified Active Components/ Major Chemical Constituents Identified chemical constituents in Fructus Rubi include organic acids such as citric acid, malic acid and saccharides. It also contains ellgic acid, β-sitosterol and vitamin A. Historical Use The Chinese name of Fructus Rubi is actually comprised of three Chinese words. The first word "Fu" (覆) means "being turned upside down". The second word "Pen" (盆) means "basin"and the third word "Zi" (子) refers to "seed". According to Bencao Gangmu (Compendium of Materia Medica) written by Dr. Li Shizhen in the Ming Dynasty, the name of the herb originated because the seed looks like a basin turned upside down. Some literature suggests the herb's name came from Fructus Rubi's ability to benefit the kidneys and reduce excessive urination. After using the herb, the urinal (basin) can be turned upside down; because, it is not needed so often.

The Bencao Congxin (New Compilation of Materia Medica) describes Fructus rubi as sweet and sour with warm properties. It benefits the kidneys and consolidates essence (jing), improves impotence and reduces excessive urination as well as invigorates liver deficiency and benefits the eyes. The herb is useful for maintaining a healthy appearance and the dark color of Chinese hair. Hair is ruled by the kidneys in Chinese medicine, so hair color can be maintained if the essence contained in kidneys is sufficient. What is It Used for in TCM? Fructus Rubi benefits the kidneys, consolidates essence and reduces excessive urination.
1. Treatment of insufficient consolidation caused by a kidney deficiency, which manifests as involuntary discharge of semen, involuntary discharge of urine and/or urinary frequency:
Fructus Rub is sweet and sour in taste with slightly warm properties. After entering the liver and kidney meridians, the combined tastes can not only astringe (get together the lost) and consolidate the kidney essence, but also shrink or reduces the urine volume. In addition, it can invigorate both the liver (a wood element) and the kidneys (a water element). The kidneys (water) have a close mother-and-son relationship with the liver (wood). 2. Treatment of dark vision caused by a simultaneous liver and kidney deficiency:
Fructus Psoraleae has beneficial effects on the liver and kidneys. The liver opens into the eyes so having good liver function will mean healthy eyes. Additionally, the essence of all organs in the body will pour upwards into the eyes. TCM practitioners commonly look at the eyes as a way of gauging the essence contained in the body. By consolidating essence in the kidneys, the visual functions of the eyes are benefited; because, there will be an abundance of it to pour upwards. Pharmacological Actions
1. Estrogenic Effect In vitro studies Fructus Rubi was observed to have estrogenic effects on rabbit vaginal smear examinations and on vaginal endothelium smears in vitro. 2. Promote Lymphocyte Proliferation In vitro studies Four types of Fructus Rubi extracts: water extract, alcohol extract, crude polysaccharide extract and butanol extract, all demonstrated lymphocyte proliferation promoting effects with or without Con A stimulation. 3. Elevate Testosterone Level Animal studies A water extract of Fructus Rubi could act directly on rat Leydig cells (cells in the testes that secrete the hormone testosterone) to promote the activity of steroid synthesizing enzymes and to inhibit their degradation. As a consequence, more testosterone was synthesized and blood testosterone levels were elevated in the rats. Administration and Dosage A decoction is typically made with 5-10g of Fructus Rubi 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 Fructus Rubi is contraindicated in individuals with difficulty starting urination or who have reduced urine volume.