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ArborealSpecies Plant

Tetradium ruticarpum

Tetradium ruticarpum

Evodia or Wu Zhu Yu (Tetradium ruticarpum (A.Juss.) T.G.Hartley) is a species, which grows in the form of a shrub or small tree, belonging to the Rutaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Magnoliophyta division,
Class Magnoliopsida,
Subclass Rosidae,
Sapindales Order,
Rutaceae family,
Genus Tetradium,
T. ruticarpum species.
The term is basic:
– Boymia ruticarpa A.Juss..
The terms are synonyms:
– Ampacus ruticarpa (A.Juss.) Kuntze;
– Boymia rutaecarpa Juss.;
– Cyclocarpus japonicus Jungh.;
– Euodia bodinieri Dode;
– Euodia compacta Hand.-Mazz.;
– Euodia compacta var. meionocarpa Hand.-Mazz.;
– Euodia hirsutifolia Hayata;
– Euodia officinalis Dode;
– Euodia rugosa Rehder & E.H.Wilson;
– Euodia ruticarpa (A.Juss.) Benth.;
– Euodia ruticarpa (A.Juss.) Hook.f. & Thomson;
– Euodia ruticarpa f. meionocarpa (Hand.-Mazz.) C.C.Huang;
– Euodia ruticarpa var. bodinieri (Dode) C.C.Huang;
– Euodia ruticarpa var. officinalis (Dode) C.C.Huang;
– Evodia baberi Rehder & E.H.Wilson;
– Evodia bodinieri Dode;
– Evodia compacta Hand.-Mazz.;
– Evodia compacta subsp. meionocarpa Hand.-Mazz.;
– Evodia compacta var. meionocarpa Hand.-Mazz.;
– Evodia hirsutifolia Hayata;
– Evodia officinalis Dode;
– Evodia rugosa Rehder & E.H.Wilson;
– Evodia rutaecarpa (Juss.) Benth.;
– Evodia rutaecarpa subsp. bodinieri (Dode) Huang;
– Evodia rutaecarpa subsp. meionocarpa (Hand.-Mazz.) Huang.;
– Evodia rutaecarpa subsp. officinalis (Dode) Huang;
– Evodia ruticarpa (A.Juss.) Benth.;
– Evodia ruticarpa (A.Juss.) Hook.f. & Thomson;
– Evodia ruticarpa f. meionocarpa (Hand.-Mazz.) C.C.Huang;
– Evodia ruticarpa subsp. bodinieri (Dode) C.C.Huang;
– Evodia ruticarpa subsp. officinalis (Dode) C.C.Huang;
– Evodia ruticarpa var. bodinieri (Dode) C.C.Huang;
– Evodia ruticarpa var. officinalis (Dode) C.C.Huang.

Etymology –
The etymology of the genus Tetradium is uncertain.
The specific ruticarpum epithet comes from ruti + carpum (from the Greek karpos), fruit.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Tetradium ruticarpum is a plant native to an area in eastern Asia, including China, Nepal, Bhutan, north-eastern India and Myanmar, although some sources place it as originating in China and Korea.
Its natural habitat is that of forests or small woods or well-drained open places; at altitudes between 120 and 3,000 metres.

Description –
The Tetradium ruticarpum is a plant that grows in the form of a shrub or tree that can grow up to 10 meters and beyond. It is a dioecious species: it produces separate male and female flowers and only one of these types is produced on any single plant. Therefore, both the male and female flowering forms of the plant usually have to be grown if fruits and seeds are needed
The branches are finely pubescent to glabrous.
The leaves are imparipinnate, 15-40 cm long; leaflets (3–)5–13, elliptic to ovate or rarely lanceolate, 4.5–17 × 2–8 cm, papery, sebaceous glands conspicuous, upper surface largely glabrous, but with dense pubescence on midrib ; undersurface partially glaucous, sparsely to densely pubescent; they have 9-17 secondary veins on each side of the median rib, entire or irregularly crenulated margins, acuminate apex; petiole 0–0.9 cm long; rachis finely pubescent.
The inflorescences are 2.5–18 cm long, finely to densely pubescent; Pedicels 0-0,4 cm long.
The flowers have finely to densely pubescent sepals, green to yellow to white petals, 0.3–0.5 cm long. the follicles are in groups of one to five, glabrous or scarcely pubescent, subglobose, 0.35-0.6 cm long.
The seeds are black, one per follicle, paired with an aborted seed, attached to the follicle via a strip of tissue.
The fruits are red and very ornamental.
It should be noted that the fruits of Tetradium ruticarpum persist after the fall of the foliage, prolonging the season of interest until winter.

Cultivation –
Tetradium ruticarpum is a plant that is cultivated but also harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is mainly grown in China.
It can also be grown as a moderately hardy, cold-hardy tree, tolerating temperatures down to about -15°C when fully dormant.
It is an easy plant to grow even in poorly drained soils if placed in full sun or light shade.
The plant grows rapidly and well when young, entering flower early in its life.
In fact, Tetradium ruticarpum grows rapidly and well, it flowers when young. It takes advantage of warm temperatures but is also satisfied with cooler summer conditions.
The plant propagates by seed, with sowing at the end of winter, to be placed in a greenhouse in more rigid climates. The young seedlings are to be potted when they are already manageable and placed in single pots and grown in the greenhouse at least for their first winter.
The transplant should be done in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. In colder climates it is advisable to give young seedlings some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors.
It can also be propagated by cuttings from semi-mature wood (preferably forced into a greenhouse), 5 – 8 cm, from early summer to August in a warm greenhouse. The percentage of rooting is fair to good.
Root cuttings can also be prepared in late winter.

Customs and Traditions –
Tetradium ruticarpum is called variously: 呉茱萸 (Goshuyu) in Japanese, used in Goshuyu-tou and Unkentou (ja:温経湯). Used in Kampo (漢方) preparations of mixed herbs, the former being named after this plant. The blend is known to have a high concentration (132.6 to 706.3 mmol/100 g) of antioxidants, while the other components of the blend are of lower rank.
Although Tetradium ruticarpum is commonly used in Chinese medicine and in other countries, it should be used with caution because it is mildly toxic and, in excess, can cause diarrhea, dyspepsia, and delirium.
The fruit is an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations, while the plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental plant.
In herbal medicine, Wu Zhu Yu is a pungent and bitter herb that has a marked warming effect on the body and increases blood pressure. Helps relieve pain, including headaches, destroys parasites, controls vomiting, stimulates the uterus.
The fruit, which has a strong bitter taste, is the main part used. It is analgesic, anthelmintic, antibacterial, aperitif, astringent, carminative, decongestant, deconstructive, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and uterus tonic.
It is used in the treatment of a number of digestive system problems including stomach aches and chills, gastritis, nausea, acid regurgitation, diarrhea and roundworm infestations. It is also used to treat headaches, edema, beriberi, painful menstruation and postpartum pain.
It is usually combined with licorice (Glycyrrhiza species) to reduce toxicity and ginger (Zingiber officinale) in the treatment of abdominal chills.
Among the contraindications it seems that, occasionally, allergic reactions have been reported in users of medicinal preparations of the plant.
As for the active ingredients of this plant, it should be noted that scientific studies have still been relatively scarce, with the exception of the antioxidant capacity of one of its blends.
Among the compounds present there are some alkaloids:
– rutecarpine, an indole alkaloid that is a COX-2 inhibitor, 0-hydroxyrutaecarpine, evodiamine, a possible thermogenic and stimulant agent, from the former genus name, dehydroevodiamine, synephrine, an adrenergic receptor agonist, 1-methyl-2- n-nonyl-4(1H)quinolone, evocarpine, dihydroevocarpine.
Among the flavonoids:
– isorhamnetin-7-O-rutinoside and diosmetin-7-O-β-d-glucopyranoside.
In rats, the half-life of most of these compounds was found to be relatively short, between 0.5 and 2 hours.

Method of Preparation –
As mentioned, the fruit of Tetradium ruticarpum is an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations, while the plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental plant.
The partially ripe fruit is harvested in late summer and can be dried for later use; it can also be consumed as food.
Among other preparations, it should be noted that an extract of the fruit is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as a skin balm.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

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Attention: The pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not in any way represent a medical prescription; we therefore decline all responsibility for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

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