Zhi Zi

Gardeniae Fructus, Gardenia


5-10g, the decoction of the herb is given orally.


LD50 (mice/genipin): 153mg/kg (IV), 190mg/kg (abdominal injection), 237mg/kg (oral). (1)

Chemical Composition

Gardenoside; Ursolic acid; Gardenia jasminoides; Geniposide; Mannitol; D-mannitol; b-sitosterol; Gardenic acid; Shanzhiside; Gardoside; Geniposidic acid; Crocetin; Chlorogenic acid; Crocin glucoside; Gardenolic acid A, B; Crocin; Cerbinal; Limonene; Oleanolic acid; Stigmasterol; Scandoside methyl ester; Methyl deacetylaspelurosidate.

Inorganic Chemicals

It also contains the trace amounts of Ca and Fe


Exercise caution when administering the herb to patients with loose stool due to spleen hypofunction and to those with algogenesis due to stomach cold.


Effects on the gallbladder and the liver

Fed to mice at 7g/kg per day for five days, water-based extract of Zhi Zi can significantly reduce bilirubin in the serum, and inhibit tetrachloromethane- and thioacetamide-induced increase in glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (GPT) in the serum. Administered to rats at 1.5g/kg per day for four days, water-based extract of Zhi Zi can significantly increase biliation and the excretion of bilirubin. (2) Unprocessed Zhi Zi is shown to effectively counteract tetrachloromethane-induced acute liver poisoning. (3) Administered to rats at duodenum at 50mg/kg or 100mg/kg, geniposide, an active component of Zhi Zi, can significantly increase the flow of bile, and decrease the level of cholesterol in the bile, suggesting that geniposide has the potential of changing the composition of bile and preventing the formation of cholesterol calculus. (4)

Effects on experimental acute pancreatitis

Administered to rats with experimental acute pancreatitis, Zhi Zi can significantly improve blood flow in the pancreas, liver, stomach and small intestine. In particular, it can maintain the normal blood flow in the pancreas, and thereby minimizing injuries to the pancreas, improving the prognosis, and lowering the death rate. (5) Zhi Zi can normalize the lower-than-normal activity of Na+-K+-ATP enzyme and Ca2+-Mg2+-ATP enzyme found in the modeled subjects. Furthermore, although Zhi Zi does not significantly alter the level of cAMP, it does significantly lower cGMP, and thereby significantly increasing the cAMP/cGMP ratio (P

Anti-inflammmatory effects

Administered to mice, Zhi Zi can significantly inhibit croton oil-induced auricular inflammation and acetic acid-induced increase in peritoneal capillary permeability. (6) Zhi Zi has a rather pronounced inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus. (7) Moreover, Zhi Zi has a dosage-dependent inhibitory effect on allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). (8)

Effects on resistant arteries

Zhi Zi extract can relax small arteries isolated from the brain, kidney, heart and mesentery of Wistar rats, an effect that appears to be dosage-dependent and selective. Zhi Zi also has a hypotensor effect, possibly achieved by dilating peripheral blood vessels and reducing resistance. (9)

Effects on counteracting active oxides

Water-based extract of Zhi Zi has a dosage-dependent effect of eliminating H2O2. (10)


  1. You Tian Zhen Shu. International Journal of Medicine, volume of TCM. 1983;(4):215-217.
  2. Xu Wei, et al. Journal of Guangdong Medical College. 1995;13(2):107-110.
  3. Zhang Xue Lan, et al. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine. 1996;18(2):18-19.
  4. Zhu Zhen Jia, et al. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1999;30(11):841-843.
  5. Jia Yu Jie, et al. Chinese Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1993;18(7):431-433.
  6. Zhang Xue Lan, et al. Journal of Shandong College of TCM. 1994;18(6):416-417.
  7. Meng Jian Hua, et al. Journal of Hebei College of TCM. 1996;11(3):31-33.
  8. Song Zhi Qi, et al. China Journal of Dermatology. 1997;11(3):143-144.
  9. Yang Yi Feng, et al. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine. 1999;21(9):467-469.
  10. Long Sheng Jin. Journal of Jiangxi College of TCM. 1999;11(2):84.