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As one of typical Chinese healing herbs, Eucommia bark, also called Du Zhong in its Chinese name, has long been used in TCM clinical practice. All parts, especially the root and leaf, of Eucommia herb are valuable. Thanks to its enormous health benefits available, today its ready-made products, such as Eucommia bark tea, capsules, extract, and powder, are widely used for nourishing liver and kidney, strengthening muscles and bones, lowering high blood pressure, miscarriage prevention, and so on. In recent years it is listed as 4 rare herbs in short supply together with Qi Ye Yi Zhi Hua (Paris Root), Dong Chong Xia Cao/Cordyceps (click here for more information) and Xiong Dan (Bear Gallbladder) due to the dwindling wild resources. Want to learn more information on Eucommia benefits? Read on please.
What is Eucommia bark?
Actually it means the dried bark of Eucommia ulmoides Oliv., a plant in the family Eucommiaceae. Its common names include rubber tree bark and cortex eucommiae. For the best medicinal value, Eucommia stem bark is usually harvested from April to June. After the peeling, it needs to scrape off the tertia, stack them together, sweat them till their endothelium become purple-brown, and then dry them in the sun.
Eucommia is a rare tree species surviving from ancient age. So far, as many as 14 species in the entire genus Eucommia has been found all over the world. Unfortunately they have become extinct one after another on the mainland and Europe. That’s to say, currently the species in China is the only relict plant survived. As a result, Eucommia ulmoides has not only a high economic value, but also a very important scientific value for the research on the system evolution of angiosperms, the flora origin in China, and so on.
It is a deciduous tree, up to 20 meters high, 50cm in diameter, and with spherical crown. Eucommia ulmoides bark is dark gray. Branches have flaky marrow. All parts show silvery white plastic wire after broken. Branchlets is smooth and with no terminal bud. Eucommia leaf is single, alternate, elliptic, 7 to 14cm long, serrated, pinnately veined, and without stipules. Flowers, growing in bract at the base of young branches, are unisexual, dioecious, and with no perianth. Samara is flat, oblong, 2-lobed at the apex, and with one seed only. It blooms from April to May, along or prior to the blossom of bract. And it fruits from October to November. Main habitat is montane forest. But now most of them are from cultivation and distributed in the middle Yangtze River, the southern provinces, Henan, Shaanxi, Gansu and other places.
Main chemical constituents include gutta-percha, encommiol, encommio-side, pinoresinol diglucoside, aucubin, tannins, flavonoids, and more.
Eucommia bark benefits
This herb has varying degrees of regulation on the immune system, endocrine system, central nervous system, circulatory system and urinary systems. What’s more, it can excite the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex system and strengthen the adrenal function.