Ya Dan Zi – Brucea Seed – Fructus Bruceae

Ya Dan Zi

English Name: brucea seed (fruit)

Literal Translation: “duck’s gallbladder seed”

Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Bruceae

Medica Category: Heat-Clearing and Toxin-Eliminating Herbs

Properties: Ya Dan Zi enters the Large Intestine and Liver channels; it is bitter in nature and cold in temperature.

What is Ya Dan Zi?:

The Chinese Herb Ya Dan Zi is the dried fruit of Java Brucea tree (Brucea Javanica (L) Merr), which in China grows mainly in Guangdong and Guangxi provinces. The fruits are harvested in the late summer and dried in the sun, and it is the seeds which are used medicinally. The seeds are extremely bitter and also slightly toxic (see safety note below**).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Ya Dan Zi:

Ya Dan Zi clears heat and eliminates toxins and is used specifically to treat chronic intermittent amoebic dysentery in which there are periods of rest between attacks. When the condition is active/attacking, Ya Dan Zi is taken on an empty stomach; during remission, Spleen tonics should be given as this herb is very hard on the digestive system (see safety note below**).

Ya Dan Zi is also used to treat a variety of toxic-heat conditions, to include malaria with alternating fever and chills and various cancers connected to the Liver and Large Intestine channels.

Ya Dan Zi softens toxic heat swellings and nodules and is used topically for this purpose.

**safety note: Ya Dan Zi is slightly toxic and intended for short-term use only—its use should be discontinued as soon as symptoms abate.

Contraindications: during pregnancy and while nursing; for use with children; for those with pre-existing liver and kidney disorders; and for those with gastro-intestinal bleeding.