Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae) Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae)

Zhi Zi

Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae) is the fruit of Gardenia jasminoides Ellis var. radicans (Thunb.) Makino, family Rubiaceae. It is generally found in all provinces south of the Yangtze River. The medicinal material is collected in the autumn and then dried. It is used in either its crude form or it can be stir-baked until brown or carbonised.

Category: Heat Clearing.

Common Name: Gardenia Seeds; Cape Jasmine Fruit.

Channels Entered: Heart, Liver, Stomach, Lung and San Jiao.

Properties and Functions: Zhi Zi is bitter in flavour and cold in nature. Its three main functions are:

  • Drain Heat to relieve irritability.
  • Clear Heat and resolve Dampness.
  • Cool the Blood and resolve toxicity.

Indications: The main clinical indications for use of Zhi Zi are:

  • Febrile disease with irritability, restlessness, insomnia and delerium.
  • Stagnation of Damp-Heat in the Liver and Gall Bladder manifesting as jaundice, fever and oliguria with dark or brownish urine.
  • Bleeding syndromes due to Blood-Heat manifesting as nosebleed (epistaxis), blood in the vomit (hematemesis) and blood in the urine (hematuria).

Dosage: 6 – 9g   Note: In decoctions, the crude form is generally used for clearing heat and purging fire, while the stir-baked brown or carbonised form is used for stopping bleeding.

Cautions and Contra-Indications: It is not suitable for use in case of Cold from deficiency of the Spleen or Stomach, or in cases with reduced appetie and loose stool.