The word "Cornus" is referrign to a group of around 30-60 different species of the woody plants. They are commonly known as "dogwood" While few of these species are considered evergreens, and some are just shrubs or trees. You can find the variety of Cornus plants through the South Eastern United States, Europe, China, and North America.
The nutritional benefits and properties of the different cornus plants varies among the different species for it. An example would be the Jamaican Dogwood contains many healing properties and has been consumed by many people to treat various ailments. On the other hand the American Dogwood is a poisonous plan and should never be consumed.
These dried fruits have been said to replenish the liver and kidney and retrain the loss of essence. The sour taste can be attributed to the common fruit acids which do include malic acid, tartaric acid, and gallic acid.
In Korea, cornus fruit is a popular remedy for impotence. As an example, a product made from the combined extracts of cornus (49%), lycium (46%), and rubus (5%) fruits is widely distributed and promoted for this purpose (shown right, with cornus fruits featured on the label). The fruit and this formulation are also said to be useful for promoting beautiful complexion, so it is a product recommended for both men and women. In China, cornus wine and cornus liquor have been produced. The active components oleanolic acid and ursolic acid are now available in nearly pure form (e.g, 90% or more), though the source material is not cornus but ligustrum, a fruit that has a higher concentration of these active components.
Anti-Microbial Activities - Antimicrobial activities of above extracts were also tested against 93 clinical isolates of human pathogenic strains belonging to 5 bacteria (Entorobacter aerogenes, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeroginosa, Staphylococcus aureus) and 5 yeast species (Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei, Candida parapisilosis, Candida tropicalis) by disk-diffusion method. The results showed cornelian cherries are potentially rich source of antimicrobial agents. The most effective antibacterial activity was expressed by methanol and water extract of cornelian cherry fruit against S. aureus with 25 mm inhibition zone and 0.156 mg/ml Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) value. Only methanol extracts of the fruit have antifungal activity against tested human pathogen clinic isolates. (Article)
Allergies and Asthma - In the study to investigate the anti-asthmatic effects of CF and their underlying mechanism, by examining the influence of CF on the development of pulmonary eosinophilic inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in a mouse model of allergic asthma, showed that the therapeutic effects of CF in asthma are mediated by reduced production of Th2 cytokines (IL-5), eotaxin, and OVA-specific IgE and reduced eosinophil infiltration. (Article)
AMPK Activator with Potent Anti Obesity Effects — Obesity is a metabolic disorder characterized by chronic inflammation and dyslipidemia and is a strong predictor for the development of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. This study examined the antiobesity effect of an ethanol extract of Corni Fructus containing formulation (CDAP), which is a combination of four natural components: Corni Fructus, Dioscoreae Rhizoma, Aurantii Fructus Immaturus, and Platycodonis Radix. The cellular lipid content in 3T3-L1 adipocytes was assessed by Oil Red O staining. Expressions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-α (C/EBP-α), and lipin-1 were determined by real-time RT-PCR. Western blot was used to determine the protein levels of PPAR-γ, C/EBP-α, and AMP-activated protein kinase-α (AMPK-α). The CDAP extract suppressed the differentiation of 3T3-L1 adipocytes by downregulating cellular induction of PPAR-γ, C/EBP-α, and lipin-1. The CDAP extract also significantly upregulated phosphorylation of AMPK-α. An in vivo study showed that CDAP induced weight loss in mice with high-fat-diet-induced obesity. These results indicate that CDAP has a potent anti-obesity effect due to the inhibition of adipocyte differentiation and adipogenesis. (Article)