Ligustrum is a small shrub native to China, Korea, and Japan but is now commonly found in the south and western parts of the United States. It is an evergreen with white flowers during the summer and small blue-black berries in the fall. The berry of ligustrum is used medicinally.
The primary chemical substance in ligustrum that provides the plants medicinal value is ligustrin (oleanolic acid). Some Chinese studies suggest that ligustrum can stimulate the immune system, decrease inflammation, and protect the liver. However, these same findings have not been substantiated by clinical studies in Europe or the United States. Ligustrum is frequently combined with astragalus in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TMC). 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 or to prove it effectiveness as a medicinal herb.Dosage and Administration
Ligustrum may be taken in the following forms:
- Powdered, encapsulated berries, 1-3 teaspoons (5-15 grams) per day
- 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
- Tinture, take 3/4-1 teaspoon (3-5 ml) of tincture three times per day