Cornus FruitJanuary 26, 2018
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The Cuscuta otherwise known as the Dodder plant is a type of parasitic vine which begins to intertwine around other plants to survive. It is also known as the Tu Su Zi in China as it is used for kidney deficiency and has been noted to be one of the many commonly used Chinese Medicinal Herbs.
The Dodder is a genus that brings together more than 170 different types of plants. All of which are parasitic and can range in color from red, orange and yellow.
It can be found in many tropical and temperate regions of the world and is native to many countries. This plant has no true roots and the leaves are like the scales on the stems.
It is utilized as an excellent tonic for the kidney, liver and spleen. When used in combination with other ingredients it can assist with various ailments such as impotence, nocturnal emission, alopecia areata, frequent urination and lower back pain caused by kidney deficiency.
When speaking for the medicinal purposes of the plant it is generally referred to the seed of the Cuscuta. Other names of this plant are witch's hair, hail weed, angel hair, goldthread, strangleweed, devil's ringlet, love vine. The seeds are generally used raw, cooked or mashed.
The Cuscuta plant is an annual parasitic herb, the flower cluster in leaf axils with scaly bracts and bracteoles. Flowering time is from July to September and fruiting can happen between August and October.
Effect on fertility - Experiments show that its flavonoids have estrogen-like effects. It also seems to have a protective role in human sperm; it’s androgen-like action can protect the reproductive organs of male animals, promote the testicular development and the production of testosterone, and prevent the spermatogenic cell from oxidative damage and apoptosis (Article)
Osteoporosis - In a June 2010 article appearing in “Phytotherapy Research,” drynol cibotinis, a newly developed botanical combination including Cuscuta chinensis was investigated for its therapeutic benefits for treating osteoporosis. Each of the botanicals in this mixture has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat osteoporosis. The researchers assessed the effects of drynol cibotin on cell growth, programmed cell death, calcium uptake and production of bone matrix proteins. The results showed that drynol cibotin significantly increased cell proliferation and inhibited cell death in osteoblasts, which are bone cells. In addition, the researchers found that drynol cibotin promoted calcium uptake and significantly increased production of two key extracellular matrix proteins in bone cells: collagen I and laminin B-2. The authors concluded that drynol cibotin either alone or in combination with amino acids and vitamins may have therapeutic potential for osteoporosis. (Article)
Blood Pressure Remedy - (Family: Cuscutaceae; Common name: Giant dodder). Crude extract of C. reflexa has been reported to cause a decrease in systolic and diastolic BP as well as HR in anesthetized rats. The antihypertensive activity and bradycardia produced were found to be dose-dependent, but the decrease in HR was observed at slightly higher doses. Pretreatment with atropine (1 mg/kg) did not abolish the cardiovascular responses to C. reflexa (Article)
Effects on Liver - After the mouse models of chronic liver injury were fed with its decoction, the improvements were considerably decreased alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in serum, increased SOD, and noticeably improved liver tissue injury. (Article)
Immune Enhancement - Animal research showed that the right quantity of dodder seeds can increase the wet weight of thymus and immune organ spleen and thus enhance the phagocytosis of peritoneal macrophage, promote the proliferation of spleen lymphocytes and induce the generation of interleukin. As a result, it effectively enhances immunity. (Article)
Hair Loss Remedy - Alopecia, or hair loss, is an androgen-driven psychologically distressing condition, which affects millions of men and women. In an article appearing in the September 2008 issue of the “Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology,” researchers evaluated Cuscuta reflexa for hair growth activity in test animals with alopecia. The authors used a petroleum extract of C. reflexa on albino mice with testosterone-induced alopecia for 20 days. Its inhibitory abilities were evaluated by follicular density and microscopic observation of skin sections. The study found that the extract exhibited promising hair growth activity as reflected in follicular density and skin section observation. Inhibition of enzymatic activity suggested that the extract reversed androgen-induced alopecia by inhibiting conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.
Anti Aging and Antioxidant - Animal studies have shown that its polysaccharide can also delay aging and protect the brain tissue;