Ligustrum, Nu Zhen Zi, 女貞子, Ligustrum lucidum

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

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Health Benefits
For: Menopause • Hot flashes • Cold feet • Night sweats • Tidal fever • Irritability • Mood swings • Dry eyes • Constipation • Irritated eyes • Blur vision • Macular degeneration • Diabetes • Cholesterol • Hepatitis • Premature gray hair • Acute lower back pain
Attributes: Anti-aging • Antibiotic • Anticholesterol • Antidiabetic • Anti-inflammatory • Immunity booster • Hepatoprotective
Products (online examples)


Dried Herb




Dried Herb

Jiu Nu Zhen Zi

Tea Extract

Research (sample)


Nuzhenide • Oleanolic acid • Urolic acid • Rutin • Ligustroside • Olenropein • Lupeol • Salidroside • Quercetin

Photos (Click to enlarge)
Fun Facts
Other Names: Glossy privet fruit • 女贞子 • Dong Qing ZiNu Zhen Shi • Nu Zhen • Joteishi (Japanese)
Plant Family: Oleaceae

Ligustrum Vulgare Privet - the leaves of Common Privet

Ligustrum japonicum Japanese Privet

Ligustrum ovalifolium - California Privet

Ligustrum sinenseChinese Privet


Ligustrum lucidum is in the USDA Plant Database.  Drill down via USDA Interactive Map:

USA: Ligustrum lucidum has been Introduced to multiple states  USDA Zones: 8-10

Native: China

Habitats: River valleys, roadsides, elevation<2900m

Properties, Actions, Indications, etc.              Category: Tonify Yin 
English: Ligustrum    Pinyin:  Nu Zhen Zi      Pharmaceutical: Fructus Ligustri Lucidi  
Organs: Kidney • Liver  Temperature: Cool  
Taste: Sweet • Bitter  Toxicity: None noted  
Patterns: Kidney yin deficiency • Kidney jing deficiency • Liver yin deficiency • Liver jing deficiency • Menopause 
Actions:  Tonify liver and kidney yin • Tonify liver and kidney essence • Clear heat • Moisten eyes • Treat menopausal symptoms
Indications: Dry eyes • Irritated eyes • Blur vision • Hot flashes • Cold feet • Night sweats • Tidal fever • Irritability • Menopause • Mood swings • Tinnitus
Contraindications: Yang deficiency • Spleen cold • Stomach cold • Diarrhea • Pregnancy • Children under 12 • Asthma • Olive pollen allergies
Typical Dosage: 10g to 15g          Guidelines
Parts Used: Seed • Bark • Leaves  
Other: Nu Zhen Zi tea can be made by steeping 2 tablespoons of dry herb in a cup of water for 35 to 45 minutes.
Combine With Purpose
Sha Yuan Zi Liver and kidney deficiency: dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in ear[5]
Ju Hua + Shen Di Huang + Gou Qi Zi + Sha Yuan Zi Kidney Yin deficiency - blurred vision, poor memory, ringing in ear[17]
Di Gu Pi + Mu Dan Pi Clear yin deficient heat[5]
Xia Ku Cao + Di Gu Pi + Qing Hao Tuberculosis with intermittent high fever[5]
Qing Xiang Zi + Jue Ming Zi Wind heat, painful blood-shot eyes[5]
Gou Qi Zi + Shu Di Huang Liver and kidney deficiency with blurry vision[5]
Gou Qi Zi + Shu Di Huang + Tu Si Zi + Fu Pen Zi + Chu Shi Zi Liver and kidney deficiency with blurry vision[18]
Han Lian Cao + Yin Chai Hu + He Huan Hua + Long Gu + Mu Li Irritability and mood swings from menopause [18]
Di Gu Pi + Qing Hao + Bai Wei + Hu Huang Lian Hot flashes; Steaming Bone disorder [18]
Di Gui Pi + Shen Di Huang + Mu Dan Pi Steaming bone disorder, fever, seminal discharge and night sweats [17]
Fu Xiao Mai + Wu Wei Zi Menopausal night sweat (severe hot flashes at night) [18]
Bu Gu Zhi + Tu Si Zi Kidney in deficiency with lower back pain, dizziness, and fatigue [5]
Mai Men Dong + Sheng Di Huang Excessive thirst [18] 
Zhi He Shou Wu + Hei Zhi Ma  Premature hair graying[5]  
Han Lian Cao + Sang Shen Premature graying lower back pain and dizziness from liver and kidney yin deficiency[17]
Dui Yao Pairs Purpose
Formulas with Nu Zhen Zi
Er Zhi Wan

Be cautions with all medicine.
  • Do not use with yang deficiency or diarrhea
Potential Drug Interactions

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

Herbs: ♦ Antidiabetic: Mei Gui Hua, Du Zhong, Dang Shen, HuoLong Guo, rougui, Celery, Chamomile, Moringa Tree, Basil, Ku Gua, Hibiscus, Gou Qi Zi, Ju Hua, Xia Ku Cao, Dang Gui, Zhi Mu, Shi gao, Xuan Shen, Cang Zhu, Shan yao, Huang Qi, Artichoke, Gan Cao

Pharma Drugs:♦ Antidiabetic: Acarbose (Precose ) , Albiglutide (Tanzeum) , Alogliptin (Nesina) , Bromocriptine mesylate (Cycloset , Canaglifozin (Invokana) , Chlorpropamide (Diabinese) , Dapagliflozin (Farxiga) , Dulaglutide (Trulicity) , Empagliflozin (Jardiance) , Glimepiride (Amaryl) , glipizide (Glucotrol) , Glyburide (DiaBeta , Glynase) , Insulin , Linagliptin (Tradjenta) , Metformin , Miglitol (Glyset) , Nateglinide (Starlix) , Parlodel) , Pioglitazone (Actos) , Pramlintide , Repaglinide (Prandin) , Rosiglitazone (Avandia) , Saxagliptin (Onglyza) , Sitagliptin (Januvia) , Tol-Tab) , Tolazamide (Tolinase) , Tolbutamide (Orinase)

[3],[5], [8],[17],[18]

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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