Gardenia, also known by its Chinese name zhi zi, is one of the most frequently used herbs in Chinese medicine. It originated in Asia and is most commonly found growing wild in Korea, Vietnam, Southern China, Taiwan, Japan, Myanmar, and India. It has a bitter taste and a cooling nature. The herb originated in southern China and Japan, and the fruit gum contains the plant's active constituents. It is used as an antioxidant, to reduce swelling, and to improve the immune system.
Gardenia in its tea form can be the best way to treat certain disorders. People take gardenia by mouth for anxiety, agitation, bladder infection, bleeding, cancer, constipation, gastritis, depression, diabetes, fever, gallbladder disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, the flu, trouble sleeping, liver disorders, menopausal symptoms, pain, swelling of the pancreas, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Because Zhi Zi can act directly on the blood to help cool it, the fruit may be used to stop hemorrhages and speed the healing of traumatic injuries by encouraging the circulation of stagnant blood. It can also treat nosebleeds, blood in the urine, and hematemesis. Gardenia is applied to the skin for bleeding, wound healing, sprains, and muscle soreness.
The fruit is used as a yellow dye, which is used for clothes and food.
How to use: These sticky, pulp-filled fruits are harvested in autumn and winter and used either raw or after being fried and parched. Zhi Zhi can be made into a tea or soup for direct consumption or ground into a poultice or cream for topical applications.
to make a cup of tea, rinse a teacup and teapot with hot water. Fill the teapot 2 grams (1-2 teaspoons) flowers for every 225ml of water. Infuse in hot water at 90°c (194°F) to 95°c (203°F) for 2 to 3 minutes for the first and second brewing. Gradually increase steeping time and temperature for subsequent brewing.