Eucommia bark is one of, if not, the most essential vegan Yang tonic herb. In fact, it’s second as a Yang tonic herb to Deer Antler. It’s associated with the kidneys and liver and is considered the primary herb used to improve yang functions in the body. High-quality Eucommia bark offers abundant Jing. Also, it enhances the strength of the human skeleton and vital connective tissues. Eucommia bark has long been the go-to herb used by popular martial artists for strengthening their sinews and bones. It’s a strong immune tonic.
It’s worth noting that Eucommia bark strongly supports your heart. Here’s a small yet important recommendation: If you’re physically active, consume Eucommia bark on a regular or daily basis. The bark is significantly stronger than the leaves. A great amount of Eucommia products sold in American regions are made from its leaves because it’s cheaper. Eucommia bark, on the other hand, is expensive due to its numerous health benefits and the fact that it can be difficult to find in a more sustainable manner.
However, is it worth it?
Continue reading to learn all about Eucommia bark and its health-promoting content and properties, as well as side-effects (if there are any).
What is Eucommia
Commonly known as the gutta-percha or hardy rubber tree, Eucommmia bark is the grooved, gray bark of the Eucommia ulmoides tree. It is also called Du Zhong, which s the Chinese name of Eucommia bark. This name specifically refers to an old Taoist monk who was believed to be immortal, indicating that Eucommia bark provides good health, long life, and vitality. The Eucommia ulmoides tree is part of the rubber family. It is native to the mountain regions of China. The tree usually grows to around 50 ft in height. Small bark patches are harvested from trees that are at least a decade old from late summer to early autumn.
While the outer bark is carefully peeled away, the smoother, inner bark is moderately dried. The inner bark contains a pure white, elastic latex. It is said to carry the compounds accounting for Eucommia bark’s several healing properties. On the other hand, older and thicker inner bark with notably more latex is considered twice as desirable for herbalists to use compared to younger, thinner bark.
Traditionally, only the Eucommia ulmoides bark was used for healing purposes. However, research in the late 1990s indicated that the leaves had potential healing properties, too. The green leaves are narrow, pointed, and shiny. The flowers are small and aren’t used for healing.
Eucommia health benefits
Several studies have shown the possible therapeutic benefits of the Eucommia ulmoides. However, most of these studies are still limited to small clinical experiments and random animal studies. Nevertheless, here’s what science has to say about Eucommia’s health benefits.
High Blood Pressure
According to the Alternative Medicine Review, Eucommia ulmoides can help combat high blood pressure (hypertension). For this particular research, 30 healthy adults consumed Eucommia (1 gram) 3 times/day for 2 weeks. By the end of the study period, Eucommia lowered blood pressure by 7.5/3.9 mmHg (average).
According to the study authors, compounds found in Eucommia can decrease blood pressure by preventing epinephrine, a hormone that raises blood pressure upon releasing into your bloodstream. A few animal-based studies indicate that the lignans in Eucommia can also aid in managing blood pressure. In fact, a 2011 rat-based research showed that lignans derived from Eucommia helped block hypertension-based cardiac remodeling.
Some preliminary research shows that Eucommia ulmoides can offer osteoarthritis relief. One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology confirmed that treatment with the herb helped reduce the progression of osteoarthritis, partly by diminishing inflammation and hindering cartilage breakdown.
However, to this date, the studies are limited to animal-based research. More and more human research is needed before one can recommend Eucommia ulmoides for the treatment or prevention of arthritis.
Scientists have discovered promising results in the use of Eucommia ulmoides for treating diabetes and preventing diabetic complications. Some early research on diabetic mice showed a 6-week treatment with Eucommia ulmoides significantly reduced blood sugar levels in the animals. More studies show Eucommia can help decrease insulin resistance, which is a condition directly linked to diabetes. Eucommia is also said to help fight obesity.
A few other studies have examined the Eucommia ulmoides its role in preventing all diabetes-based complications. In 2016, an experiment on diabetic rats demonstrated the herb could reduce the level of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatine. It can also improve renal fibrosis, which is the final manifestation of chronic kidney disease. Another study found that Eucommia ulmoides cured erectile dysfunction in several diabetic rats. As you can see, the research has mostly been limited to animals so far. We could definitely use more clinical trials to ensure better results.
Eucommia bark tea health benefits
As a Chinese healing herb, Eucommia ulmoides, aka Du Zhong, has been used in TCM clinical practice for years. All parts of Eucommia, the leaf, and root, in particular, are helpful. Thanks to its numerous health benefits, today Eucommia’s ready-made products like the Eucommia ulmoides tea, extract, powder, and capsules are widely available for use, mostly toward nourishing kidney and liver, strengthening bones and muscles, miscarriage prevention, lowering high blood pressure, etc.
While it isn’t a surefire cure for women with pregnancy issues, the Eucommia ulmoides tea has been known to aid specific fertility problems like miscarriage prevention, recurrent abortion, fetal irritability, bleeding during pregnancy, and so on.
Eucommia ulmoides tea tastes fantastic, unlike most other herbs. The taste is a bit sweet, light, and bright. It can also feel somewhat bitter. In terms of taste, it is quite similar to some of the sweeter green teas out there. The beverage is a light-emerald green.
A Russian trial reported a 25/14 mm Hg drop in blood pressure in adult humans with hypertension treated with Du Zhong tea.
Eucommia tea (leaf extract) is widely used as a functional health food in Japan. It may reduce human exposure to dietary carcinogens and mutagens.
According to a source, in ovariectomized rats, 5 percent of the diet as Eucommia ulmoides appeared to lower the rate of bone loss, and the cortex in doses of 300 to 500 mg (not 100 mg) appeared to lower the loss in bone mass over 16 weeks this had a potency not so different than the reference drug estradiol.
Eucommia side effects
As far as studies go, no major side effects of Eucommia have been found to this date. For centuries, Eucommia ulmoides has been traditionally used in Chinese herbalism with little to no reports of its adverse effects. One report documented potential side effects, such as minor headache, edema, dizziness, and cold.
As for the regular or long-term use of Eucommia ulmoides, little is documented about the safety of this herb. Although there aren’t any reported drug interactions, people taking medications to treat high blood pressure, antiplatelet, anticoagulant, diabetes, or thrombolytic shouldn’t use Eucommia bark unless recommended by a physician.
Additionally, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that some Chinese herbal products have been contaminated with heavy metals, microorganisms, pesticides, toxic compounds, and may have adverse effects. Manufacturing errors, in which one herb is replaced with another mistakenly, also have resulted in severe complications.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners use Du Zhong bark for back pain and joint pain (hips and knees, in particular) and to strengthen your bones, ligaments, and tendons. Du Zhong helps heal tissue that takes longer to restore after an injury or has been debilitated via stress. Studies with rats indicate that both the bark and the leaves of Du Zhong contain a compound that promotes the progression of collagen, a vital part of connective tissues like skin, ligaments, and tendons. Although it could be used separately, Eucommia ulmoides is often used in conjunction with other supportive herbs. If you’re looking for a practical way to consume Eucommia, it will be in your best interest to purchase Du Zhong as a supplement from a quality source.
That said, those taking high/low blood pressure medications are advised to consult with their physician before considering Eucommia or anything that contains it.
Eucommia ulmoides has been reported to promote the release of growth hormone (GH), which is responsible for bone remodeling and bone maturation. Products of powerful, alcoholic extraction from the herb were said to be highly potent in GH secretagogue release. Eucommia ulmoides was also reported to display hormone enhancing and bimodal phytoandrogenic effects. As you know, androgen receptors have a vital role in both male and female psychology, e.g., skeletal structure growth, bone density, sexual drive, etc.
In vivo animal testing conducted via oral administration of Eucommia ulmoides extracts potentiated hormonal and androgenic effects. A tripartite synergism form between sex hormones, sex steroid receptors, and lipidic augmenters separated from Eucommia ulmoides was found by Ong and Tan. It’s been demonstrated that activities of the sex hormone in the human body are optimized with Eucommia ulmoides’s application.
Eucommia ulmoides muscle
Eucommia ulmoides can help enhance overall bone, tissue, and joint health. It helps support joint flexibility, cartilage function, and also improves muscle tissue integrity. Eucommia ulmoides include iridoids, steroids, lignans, phenolics, and several other compounds. Its complementary herbs formula (e.g., tea formula) has shown several medicinal properties.
Eucommia ulmoides leaf has a higher activity related to fruit, flower, and cortex. Its leaves have been shown to improve body muscles and bone strength, thereby leading to promoting fertility in both men and women, as well as longevity. The tea formula collected from the Eucommia ulmoides leaf was documented to decrease fattiness and improve energy metabolism. Also, flavonoid compounds (e.g., rutin, ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid) were proven to manifest antioxidants activity in the Eucommia ulmoides leaves.
Although there is adequate literature on the phytochemical properties of Eucommia ulmoides, few studies existed on the pharmacological properties of several different compounds extracted from the seed, bark, stem, and leaf of the Du Zhong tree. Such compounds extracted from the different parts (seeds, barks, stems, and leaves) of Eucommia ulmoides have potential health-promoting properties and help in building muscle.
Eucommia ulmoides androgen
Eucommia ulmoides, not to be mixed with Long Jack or Eurycoma Longifolia, is a herb that goes beyond basic testosterone boosting. It works via promoting compounds that can activate androgen receptors in your body, unlike any other testosterone enhancer. Eucommia ulmoides were said to exhibit androgenic and phytoestrogenic properties. Eucommia bark possesses isoflavonoids, with estrogen-like properties, that bind to human estrogen receptors.
Note that none of these isoflavonoids boast the male hormone-like effect interacting with the human androgen receptor. The herb has been shown to exhibit bimodal phytoandrogenic, as well as hormone enhancing effects. As mentioned earlier, androgen receptors have a crucial role to play in both male and female physiology like sex drive, skeletal muscle development, and bone density.
Ethanol extracts of Du Zhong were shown to connect in a somewhat weak manner to already activated androgen receptors with higher affinity and elevate testosterone at the rate of 5 to 25 ng in mammalian COS-7 cells. Also, oral induction of the same ethanol extract reported no notable boost in prostatic weights at 1 to 50 mg dose. However, once the dosage is increased up to 5000 μg injection, you can expect to see at least 20 percent boosts in prostatic weights, or at least that’s what the scientists discovered.
Application of Eucommia ulmoides at 50 ng concentration enhanced the estradiol signals in a manner equivalent to androgen receptors. That said, the promoting influence of Eucommia ulmoides on the progesterone and cortisol receptors wasn’t yet observed.
Preparations and dosage
If you made it this far, then you ought to know Eucommia has a sweet, subtle, yet delightful flavor. It properly blends into a cup of coffee or tea. There’s no one way of consuming Eucommia. However, most people prefer taking it by simply stirring 1 tsp in with hot water, a bit of raw honey, and a spritz of lemon juice— simple as that.
Dietary supplements that contain Eucommia extract are usually sold in natural-food stores, as well as stores specializing in various herbal products. You can also look online for a reliable vendor. You will mostly find Eucommia in the capsule form. It is also sold as an extract, dried herbs, and in delicious herbal tea preparations. Dietary supplements can contain extracts from the Eucommia plant’s bark, leaf, stem, and flower, but commonly, the majority of research focuses solely on Eucommia ulmoides, also known as Du Zhong.
We recommend storing supplements at room temperature. Make sure to keep it away from the light. For example, a kitchen cabinet will do the job just fine, unless contrarily specified by the product manufacturer. If you’re concerned about dosage, we’d suggest starting with ¼ to ½ tsp every day for the first few weeks, then increasing to 1 heaped tsp/day, depending on how your body adapts.
Important things to consider
Eucommia ulmoides has varying degrees of regulation on our immune system, central nervous system, circulatory system, endocrine system, and urinary systems. Moreover, it excites the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex system and strengthens the adrenal function. Many studies have also found that Eucommia ulmoides works in an exact manner as Huang Qi (Astragalus) and Dang Shen (Codonopsis) to support ultra immune function. All these research-based shreds of evidence confirm Eucommia ulmoides is not your ordinary herb. Long term use of this herb can help with rejuvenation and weight loss.
Besides the numerous health benefits of Eucommia ulmoides, the key focus on improving muscle and joint health is something both young and old will appreciate immensely. It is the taste that makes Eucommia ulmoides so pleasurable to consume. The health benefits are very practical. The best part? It won’t cost you a fortune to get your hands on this magical herb. It has pretty much all the best and most important features for an excellent daily supplement.
Also, it’s worth noting that whichever dietary supplement or herbal remedy you’re considering right now, we’d always recommend consulting a physician beforehand. Just because a particular herb has a plethora of health benefits, doesn’t mean it is the right choice for you. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
As of writing this Eucommia ulmoides review, there are no proven side effects linked to Eucommia, nor are there any records of toxicity due to overdose. Keep in mind, though, because Eucommia ulmoides has an impact on blood pressure, if you’re taking any blood pressure medications, you should consult with your health care provider before taking Eucommia.
Like we discussed earlier, if you’re on the path of enhancing your physical and mental health, you’ll most likely be bombarded with tons of articles online. We believe that the best and most efficient way to navigate this is to do thorough research. Make sure to try a few different things at first, and then ultimately, take notes of how each makes you feel for future references!
If you have any thoughts or suggestions regarding Eucommia ulmoides, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to provide assistance if needed.
- Helps strengthen tendons
- Improves flexibility
- Physical energy
- Structural stability
- Neurological functions
- Strengthens spinal cord
- Help relieve joint pain
- Leg pain
- Assist with bone growth
- Heals osteoarthritis
- Packed with phytonutrients
- Helps with blood pressure
- Increases libido
- Beneficial for fatty liver
- Adrenal glands
- Enhances the hypothalamus
Ingredients: Wild harvested Eucommia Bark
Parts Used: Bark
Forms: Two ounces of powder or 60 vegetable capsules (550-600 mg).
How to use:
Powder: Take 1/2 tsp of dried powder in 8 oz. glass of favorite juice or smoothie once a day.
Capsules: Take 1 capsule 2 times a day with water or favorite beverage.
The gel caps we use are Vegicaps (vegetable) and are all-natural. No Animal By-Products, Starch Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Preservative Free, Ethylene Oxide, and Sulfite FREE!
Legal Information: The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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