Zhi Zi – Gardenia Uses, Benefits and Side Effects

Zhi Zi, Shan Zhi, Shan Zhi Zi refers to dried gardenia fruit pod. In Chinese medicine, it is used for the treatment of acute heat toxins. It is bitter, cold, attacking, and draining. It is taken internally to clear heat, reduce fire, and eliminate irritability. In some people, it can cause diarrhea. Gardenia pod is more suitable for a strong patient for speedy eradication of the heat, and toxins from the body.

Zhi Zi Indications

  • Agitation
  • Anger
  • Blood heat
  • Blood stagnation due to trauma (topical)
  • Damp-heat in the liver/gallbladder with jaundice
  • Delirious speech
  • Depression, and oppression
  • Excess heat in the heart, stomach, and the liver with high fever
  • Eye problems
  • Heart vexation
  • Heat in the blood with epistaxis
  • Hemafecia
  • Hematemesis
  • Hematuria (partially charred fruits are used)
  • Insomnia
  • Jaundice
  • Jaundice
  • Less- reddish urination
  • Painful urinary dysfunction
  • Restlessness

Zhi Zi Benefits

  • It clear the liver, and gall bladder inflammation, and increases their function.
  • It clears heart, and lung heat accumulation by stimulating urination.
  • It clears internal heat with fruit pulp, and clears external heat with its peel.
  • It cools the blood, and helps in bleeding disorders.
  • It drains fire, heat, and toxins from the system.
  • It is bitter, and cold.
  • It is used for diseases caused due to excessive heat, and toxins in the system.
  • It is used for heat from excess or fire toxin with epistaxis, hemoptysis, hematuria, or abnormal vaginal bleeding.
  • It reduces swelling, and invigorates the blood.
  • It resolves dampness (drains damp-heat).
  • It stops bleeding when dry-fried until black.
  • It stops nausea when roasted in ginger juice.
  • The pods are ground into powder, and mixed with egg whites, and applied externally to treat scalds, and burns.
  • Uncooked fructus gardenia jasminoidis pods can be ground into powder, mixed with vinegar, and applied topically on injury due to fall.

Zhi Zi – Fructus Gardeniae Standard daily dosage

For internal use the recommended dose is 3-12g. Its decoction is prepared in water, filtered, and taken.

The dose for Tincture is 2-4 ml. The tincture is less cooling, and more sedating.

In difficult urination, 2-7 fruits are pounded together with a little salt, and one clove of garlic, and applied to the navel or scrotum.

Topically, use a suitable amount.

Zhi Zi contraindications

It contraindicated in the following conditions:

  • Abdominal, and epigastric pain that is not caused by Fire
  • Blood Deficiency Heat
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite due to Spleen, and Stomach Deficiency Cold
  • Use caution when driving or operating heavy machinery

Fructus Gardeniae Side Effects

  • It is safe when used appropriately.
  • It contains geniposide which can cause diarrhea.
  • It contains potassium, and glycosides, and possibly cause hyperkalemia when used with potassium-sparing diuretics.
  • Acidic foods such as vitamin c, Nicotinic Acid, glutamic acid, and other acids can reduce its therapeutic effect.
  • It has a sedative effect, and may increase drug-induced sleep time when used concurrently with sedatives such as antihistamines, narcotic analgesics, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and others.
  • It may lower blood pressure
  • It can increase the effect of anesthetics, and reduce the effects of hypertension medications.

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