Cornelian Cherry, Shan Zhu Yu, 山茱萸, Cornus officinalis

Disclaimer    For educational purposes only.  Do not use as medical advice

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Health Benefits
For: Diabetes • Excessive sweating • Excessive sweating • Excessive urination • Impotence • Spermatorrhea • Uterine bleeding • Urinary incontinence
Attributes: Anti-inflammatory • Antibiotic • Antidiabetic • Antiosteoporotic • Astringent • Diurectic • Hepatoprotective • Hypotensive • Immunomodulatory
Products (online examples)

Dried Herb


Dried Herb



Dried Herb



Research (sample)

Ursolic acid • Cornin • Sweroside • Iridoids • Anthocyanins • Phenolic acids • Flavonoids • Morroniside • Tannins • Loganin • Verbenalin • Tellmagrandin • Isoterchebin • Iron • Magnesium • Aluminum • Cornusin

Photos (Click to enlarge)
Fun Facts
Other Names: Fructus Corni • Asiatic dogwood • Cornus Fruit • Cornelian Cherry Dogwood • Japanese Cornelian Cherry • Shan Yu Rou • Jiu Shan Yu • Zhen Shan Yu • Shen Shan Yu
Plant Family: Cornaceae
Out of 65 species of Cornus, only Cornus mas L. and Cornus officinalis Sieb. et Zucc  are used in traditional medicine.   C. Mas has anti-cholesterol and anticoagulant properties while C. officinalis is antiosteroporotic and immunomodulatory.[ref]
Cornus officinalis Sieb. et Zucc • Cornus mas L.
Cornus officinalis is in the USDA Plant Database.  Drill down via USDA Interactive Map:

USA: Cornus officinalis is not available in the wild.    USDA Zones: 5-8

World: China, Korea, Japan

Habitats: Forests, Mountains, Woodlands, Slopes

Properties, Actions, Indications, etc.              Category: Stabilize and Bind 
English: Cornelian Cherry    Pinyin:  Shan Zhu Yu      Pharmaceutical: Fructus Corni Officinalis  
Organs: Kidney • Liver     Temperature: Slightly warm     
Taste: Sour     Toxicity:   
Patterns: Liver deficiency • Kidney deficiency • Devastated yang • Zheng deficiency 
Actions:  Tonify kidney • Tonify liver • Stop bleeding • Astringe essence • Reduce urine • Regulate menses • Reduce sweating • Stop bleeding
Indications: Impotence • Spermatorrhea • Uterine bleeding • Excessive urination • Dizziness • Lower back pain • Knee pain • Excessive sweating • Excessive menstruation
Contraindications: Damp heat • Urinary tract infection • Shan Zhu Yu antagonizes Han Fang Ji, Jie Geng, Fang Feng
Typical Dosage: 6g to 12g          Guidelines
Parts Used: Fruit  
Combine With Purpose
Bu Gu Zhi + Dang Gui Kidney yang deficiency -Spermatorrhea, lower back pain, premature ejaculation [3],[21] (+ She Xiang) [17]
Bu Gu Zhi + Suo Yang + Jin Ying zi + Yin Yang Huo Kidney yang deficiency -Spermatorrhea, impotence[3],[18]
Xu Duan + Du Zhong Kidney yang deficiency- back pain [3],[18]
Long Gu + Zhi Fu Zi + Ren Shen Devastated yang - excessive sweating [21]
Zhi Fu Zi + Lu Jiao Jiao (You Gui Wan) Kidney yang deficiency [21]
Zhi Fu Zi + Lu Jiao Jiao + Rou Gui + Shu di Huang Kidney Yang deficiency - aversion to cold, cold extremities, impotence.[3],[17]
Shu Di Huang + Shan Yao Tonify kidney and liver.  Knee and lower back pain. Dizziness and tinnitus [3],[17],[21]
Shu Di Huang + Shan Yao + Mu Dan Pi + Ze Xie + Fu Ling Liver and Kidney yin deficiency[3],[18]
Shu Di Huang + Shan Yao + Gui Ban Jiao + Lu Jiao Jiao + Gou Qi Zi Kidney yin deficiency: Tinnitus [3],[18]
Du Zhong + Ji Xue Teng Kidney and liver deficiency - hypertension [21]
Yi Zhi Ren + Bai Zhu Kidney Qi deficiency - incontinence  [3],[21]
Yi Zhi Ren + Sha Yuan Zi + Fu Pen Zi Kidney Qi deficiency - incontinence  [17]
Wu Wei Zi Liver and kidney deficiency - excessive sweating, spermatorrhea, shortness of breath [3],[21]
Wu Wei Zi + Mai Men Dong + Huang Qi + Long Gu + Mu Li Zheng deficiency - excessive sweating[3],[18]
Ren Shen + Fu Zi Zheng deficiency - acute blood pressure drop and excessive sweating [18]
Sang Piao Xiao + Yi Zhi Ren + Fu Pen Zi + Wu Yao + Shu di Huang + Shan Yao + Wu Wei Zi Kidney yang deficiency - frequent urination without pain or blood [18]
Fu Pen Zi + Tu Si Zi + Jin Ying Zi + Sha Yuan Zi Post-void dribbling after urination [3],[18]
Dang Gui + Shu Di Huang Yin deficiency night sweats [3],[21]
Shu Di Huang + Shan Yao + Ze Xie + Fu Ling + Zhi Mu + Huang Bai Kidney Yin deficiency and deficient fire - Undulating fever, steaming bone disorder, dizziness, night sweats, rapid pulse [17]
Bai Shao + E Jiao Uterine bleeding (dark, viscous) [3],[21]
Hai Piao Xiao + Qian Cao Tan + Zong Lu Tan + Huang Qi + Duan Long Gu Uterine bleeding, excessive menstruation [17]
Huang Bai + E Jiao + Charred Ai Ye Acute uterine bleeding [18]
Hai Piao Xiao + Qian Cao + Zong Lu Tan Uterine bleeding (light, thin) [3],[21]
Sheng Long Gu + Mu Li + Bai Shao + Ren Shen + Fu Zi Devastated yang: cold limbs and profuse sweating [17].  (–Bai Shao) [3]
Jin Ying Zi Spermatorrhea or premature ejaculation [3]
Du Zhong + Ji Xue Teng + Guang Fang Ji Liver and kidney deficient hypertension [3]
Formulas with Shan Zhu Yu
Ba Xian Chang Shou Wan • Bu Shen Yi Gan Tang • Dan Gui Di Huan Yin • Di Huang Yin Zi • Diao Gan Tang • Du Qi Wan • Er Long Zuo Ci Wan • Gu Chong Tang • Jia Wei Shen Qi Wan • Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan • Liu Wei Di Huang Wan • Mai Wei Di Huang Wan • Ming Mu Di Huan Wan • Qi Ju Di Huang Wan • Shen Qi Wan • Yang Jing Zhong Yu Tang • You Gui Wan • You Gui Yin • Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan • Zan Yu Dan • Zuo Gui Yin
Variations for Shan Zhu Yu

This fruit is eaten or processed with seeds removed.

Shan Zhu Yu, Shen Shan Yu, Shan Yu Rou, Jing Yu Rou, Shan Zhu Yu Rou, untreated, dried herb. 

Jiu Shan Yu, wine processed - lower back pain from kidney deficiency

Zhen Shan Yu, steamed - Impotence, premature ejaculation, uterine bleeding, excessive urination

Be cautions with all medicine.
Potential Drug Interactions

Herbal medicine may interact negatively with pharma drugs and other herbs.  Examples below:

Herbs: ♦Antagonizes Han Fang Ji, Jie Geng, Fang Feng ♦ Diuretic: Heal All, Bai Zhu, Huang Qi, Da Fu Pi, Ma huang, Du Zhong

Pharma Drugs:♦ Diuretic: Acetazolamide, Aldactone, Amiloride Hydrochloride, Bumex, Diuril, Diulo, Demadex, Dyrenium, Edecrin, Enduron, Hydrodiuril, Hygroton, Lasix, Lozol, Methazolamide, Mykrox, Zaroxolyn


Information in this post came from many sources, including class notes, practitioners, websites, webinars, books, magazines, and editor's personal experience.  While the original source often came from historical Chinese texts,  variations may result from the numerous English translations.   Always consult a doctor prior to using these drugs.  The information here is strictly for educational purposes. 

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