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Ligustrum

Ligustrum

Uses

Common names:
Privet, Nu Zhen Zi
Botanical names:
Ligustrum lucidum

Parts Used & Where Grown

This shrub is native to China and eastern Asia and is now grown ornamentally in the United States. The berry of ligustrum is used medicinally.

What Are Star Ratings?

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
1 Star
Immune Function
Refer to label instructions
Learn More
The main active compound in ligustrum is ligustrin (oleanolic acid). Studies, mostly conducted in China, suggest that ligustrum stimulates the immune system.3 Ligustrum is often combined with astragalus in traditional Chinese medicine. Although used for long-term support of the immune system in people with depressed immune function or cancer, more research is needed to demonstrate the optimal length of time to use ligustrum.
1 Star
Infection
Refer to label instructions
Learn More

Herbs that support a person’s immune system in the fight against microbes include the following: American ginseng , andrographis , Asian ginseng , astragalus , coriolus, eleuthero , ligustrum , maitake , picrorhiza , reishi , schisandra , and shiitake .

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Since ancient times, ligustrum berries have been employed as a “yin” tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine.1 Ligustrum was used for a wide range of conditions, including premature aging and ringing in the ears .2

How It Works

Common names:
Privet, Nu Zhen Zi
Botanical names:
Ligustrum lucidum

How It Works

The major constituent in ligustrum is ligustrin (oleanolic acid). Preliminary studies, mostly conducted in China, suggest that ligustrum stimulates the immune system , decreases inflammation, and protects the liver.4 Ligustrum is often combined with astragalus in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Although used for long-term support of the immune system in people with depressed immune function or cancer, more research is needed to demonstrate the optimal length of time to use ligustrum.

How to Use It

Powdered, encapsulated berries, 1–3 teaspoons (5–15 grams) per day, are sometimes recommended.5 A similar amount of berries can be made into tea by adding 1/2–1 teaspoon (2–5 grams) of powdered or crushed berries to 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water and steeping for ten to fifteen minutes. Alternatively, 3/4–1 teaspoon (3–5 ml) of tincture three times per day can be taken.

Interactions

Common names:
Privet, Nu Zhen Zi
Botanical names:
Ligustrum lucidum

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Common names:
Privet, Nu Zhen Zi
Botanical names:
Ligustrum lucidum

Side Effects

At the time of writing, there were no well-known side effects caused by this supplement.

References

1. Benksy D, Gamble A, Kaptchuk T. Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica. Seattle: Eastland Press, 1993, 366.

2. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 350–2.

3. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 350–2.

4. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 350–2.

5. Foster S, Yue CX. Herbal Emissaries: Bringing Chinese Herbs to the West. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1992, 227–32.

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