Description: Cornus is a type of tree found in the woodland regions of China and Korea. It grows to a height of about 30 feet, and contains fleshy, green oval-shaped leaves and small, berry-shaped fruit. Both the fruit and bark are used medicinally, but for different conditions. This herb is the pulp of the ripe fruit of Cornus officinalis Sieb. of the family Cornaceae. It grows mainly in the mountainous districts of Anhui, Henan, Shanxi, and Zhejiang provinces of China. After collection in late autumn, the fruit stone is removed, and the pulp is baked and air-dried. It can also be eaten as food, either raw or cooked.
Cornus has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. The fruit is associated with the kidneys and reproductive system and to a extent, the liver. Praised as a mild tonic, medicinally it has been characterized as tonifying Yang but stirring up no fire, nourishing Yin but causing no stagnation to the spleen-stomach, promoting astringency but letting no pathogen stay. Thanks for that, no wonder it has been favored by generations of medical practitioners. And Jin Kui Shen Qi Wan, the most famous cornelian cherries based herbal formula invented by Zhang Zhongjing, is the most popular medication for liver and kidney deficiency since it is good at tonifying liver-kidney, arresting seminal emission, and stopping sweating. The fruit has a subacid taste and contains considerable oil. It has excellent tonic and astringent properties, and has been used as a diuretic, astringent, tonic, anthelmintic, and antilithic. It is recommended for menorrhagia and the urine difficulties of the elderly.
Medicinally it is widely used for the treatment of aching lower back and knees, vertigo, tinnitus, spermatorrhea, frequent urination, liver-deficiency chills and fever, persistent sweating due to deficiency, palpitations, scattered pulse, neurasthenia, menstrual disorders, and more. There is a long list of popular herbal formulas that are based on Asian cornelian cherry fruit. Besides, people are also accustomed to making medicinal liquor, preserved fruit, canned goods, and health drinks by combining sugar, honey, and wine. The brewing of dogwood wine can date back to the Song Dynasty and then it was considered such a rare tonic that it was listed as a tribute.
Modern pharmacological actions of cornelian cherry berries:
1) Its decoction in vitro has different degrees of inhibition on Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus, trichophyton violaceum, influenza viruses, and more;
2) Its injection can improve the function of the heart, raise blood pressure, inhibit platelet aggregation, and prevent thrombosis;
3) Its alcohol extract has a significant hypoglycemic effect on diabetes induced by alloxan, adrenergic and streptozotocin (STZ) in rats;
4) Its fluidextract has a diuretic effect;
5) It can enhance non-specific immune function;
6) It can resist experimental liver injury;
7) It can elevate the decreased white blood cell count induced by radiotherapy;
8) It has antioxidative effect;
9) Tannin contained has astringent effect.
How to use: In most cases, it is cooked in boiling water to make tea or soup for consumption, 5-10 grams daily. Dosage can be increased to 30 grams if necessary.