Heat Clearing Herbs to Clear Heat and Toxics

  




Java Brucea Fruit 

 
Latin: Fructus Bruceae
 
Origin:
Java brucea fruit is the ripe seed of the decidious tree Brucea javanica (L.) Merr., of the Simaroubaceae family. Native to east Asia, the plant is grown in lowland, hills and mountains in China, Japan, Indochina, Java, Kelantan, Malaysia, Sumatra, and even the Himalayas. In China, the plant is grown in such provinces or regions as Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Taiwan, etc.

The Java Brucea tree grows to 2-3 m high. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by bees. It requires well-drained soil, and cannot grow in the shade. It is in flower from March to August; in fruit from April to September.

Reaped in autumn when the fruit ripens, the fruit is then dried in the sun, shelled, and the kernels taken for use.

Also known as Chinese Gall, False Sumac.
 
Properties:
Bitter in flavor, cold and slightly toxic in nature, it is related to the large intestine and liver channels.
 
Functions:
Clears away heat to expel toxic substances, cures dysentery and malaria and corrodes verruca (a wart or warty skin lesion).
 
Applications:
1. To treat dysentery with bloody stools due to toxic heat and protracted dysentery due to cold accumulation:

This herb can be used alone as stated in the book 'Records of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Combination with Western Medicine,' which notes that 20 to 50 Java brucea fruits are used alone by shelling them and taking them with white syrup for dysentery of heat type with bloody stools and bloody stools and urine due to pathogenic heat.

This herb has in recent times been used clinically for the treatment of amoebic dysentery by using both methods of oral ingestion and enteroclysis.

2. To treat various types of malaria:

In particular, this herb can produce better effects with tertian malaria and quartan malaria and it is also effective against pernicious malaria.

3. To treat verruca:

Mash the Java brucea kernels for application onto the affected part or make local external application with Java brucea oil or 90% Java brucea ointment. Take care to protect the surrounding normal skin well with a plastic cloth to prevent irritation.
 
Dosage and Administration:
10-30 seeds.

Oral ingestion; this herb should not be included in any decoction. It should be swallowed with dried longan pulp or in capsules.

It can also be taken in the form of small pills or tablets with its oils squeezed away.

Use an adequate amount externally.
 
Cautions on Use:
Java brucea fruit impairs the gastrointestinal tract and the liver and kidneys, so it is inappropriate to use too much of it or to take it over a long period of time. It should be avoided or used carefully by those suffering from any gastrointestinal hemorrhage or from any liver or kidney disease.

There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated.
 
Reference Materials:
Supplement to Compendium of Materia Medica : "To treat dysentery due to cold and protracted diarrhea."

"(After the cure by Java brucea,) the patient will be free from any dysphoria caused by exopathogens and from any acute pains in the abdomen. In spite of suffering from dysentery with bloody stools, the patient will be free from tenesmus. The bowels are open, while the urination is clear and smooth."

Records of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Combination with Western Medicine : "This herb is extremely bitter in taste and cool in nature, so it is a major herb for removing heat from the blood to dispel toxic substances. It is good for treating dysentery due to heat and dysentery with bloody stools and blood in both stools and urine due to pathogenic heat. It is the most capable of clearing heat from the blood and from the intestines. It really is extraordinarily effective in preventing corrosion and promoting tissue regeneration."
 
Toxic or Side Effects:
Slightly toxic.
 
Modern Researches:
Java brucea fruit contains brucamarin, brusatol, bruceine, bruceoside, brucedic acid, Java brucea oil (volatile oil), etc.

The Java brucea kernels and their active ingredients have an inhibitory or destructive effect on amoebae and plasmodia. It can dispel and kill whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms and Trichomonas vaginalis and inhibit influenza virus.

Java brucea fruit has antimalarial and antineoplastic effects. It can make the nuclei of verruca cells pyknotic and cause the cells to become necrotic and fall off. In clinical applications, the incidence of toxic reactions to Java brucea is rather high, caused by the powerful irritability of the volatile oil contained therein.

The stem bark is astringent and anthelmintic.

For self protection, the outer skin (bark) of many plants contains volatile oil, which in turn has elements that serve as an immediate chemical defense against herbivores and pathogens. How? There is an element called hydroxynitrile glucoside in volatile oil. This element will release toxic hydrogen cyanide by endogenous plant glucosidase upon tissue disruption (see Anne Vinther Morant, Kirsten Jorgensen, Charlotte Jorgensen, Suzanne Michelle Paquette, Raquel Sanchez-Perez, Birger Lindberg Moller, and Soren Bak, "beta-Glucosidases as Detonators of Plant Chemical Defense," Phytochemistry Vol. 69, Issue 9 (June 2008), pp. 1,795-1,813).

Glucosidase is a catalyzing enzyme that improves healthy functions of our body. It is a lipase that decomposes fat; it can also check inflammation and improve memory (see Mikako Sakurai, Masayuki Sekiguchi, Ko Zushida, Kazuyuki Yamada, Satoshi Nagamine, Tomohiro Kabuta and Keiji Wada, "Reduction in memory in passive avoidance learning, exploratory behaviour and synaptic plasticity in mice with a spontaneous deletion in the ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 gene," European Journal of Neuroscience Vol. 27, Issue 3 (February 2008), pp. 691-701).

The seed is used in the treatment of coughs, dysentery, fever, jaundice, malaria and rheumatism.

The rootbark is cholagogue (gastrointestinal agents that stimulate the flow of bile into the duodenum (cholagogues) or stimulate the production of bile by the liver (choleretic).

Galls on the plant are used internally for their astringent and styptic properties. They are a frequent ingredient in polyherbal prescriptions for diabetes mellitus.
 
 
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