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Evodia rutaecarpa

Evodia rutaecarpa


No documentation

Vernacular Name

Evodia, Wu zhu yu, gosyuyu


Evodia is the fruit of the Evodia rutaecarpa .  It has an ancient history of use in Asia as a medicinal plant and is has gained popularity as a dietary supplement in western cultures over the past decade.  It is also grown as an ornamental plant and used for landscaping purposes.

E. rutaecarpa grows to a height of about ten meters and is deciduous.  It produces long, shinny leaves during the growth season and has clusters of small white flowers that enhance its use as an ornament plant.  The plant produces a fruit which is picked when red, though it is not fully ripe until it darkens significantly in the fall.

Origin / Habitat

E. rutaecarpa is native to the northern areas of Korea and China and is cultivated globally.  It grows best in areas that provide adequate sunlight with well-drained soil.

Chemical Constituents

Alkaloids including evodiamine, rutaecarpine evocarpin (1), 1-methyl-2-[(4Z,7Z)-4,7-tridecadienyl]-4(1H)-quinolone  and 1-methyl-2-[(6Z,9Z)-6,9-pentadecadienyl]-4(1H)-quinolone, synephrine. [1] , [2] , [3]

Plant Part Used


Medicinal Uses


Weight loss
Gastrointestinal ulceration

Most Frequently Reported Uses

Weight loss


Dosage Range

Dried fruit: 1.5–12.0gm daily as a decoction. Place dried fruit in water – boil 5-10 minutes. Strain and drink, up to 3 times daily.

Most Common Dosage

Standardized E. rutaecarpa is commonly used in weight loss formulations. Dosages vary with manufacturer and are normally proprietary information.

Standardized to

While proprietary products may differ slightly, the average product is standardized to 10-20% evodiamine



Evodiamine and rutaecarpine, alkaloids found in E. rutaecarpa, have been reported to have anti-inflammatory activity.[4] The mechanisms include inhibition of prostaglandin E2 synthesis, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibition, inhibition of iNOS expression and NF-kappaB activation.[5],[6] Another laboratory study found that evodiamine inhibited NADPH oxidase-dependent reactive oxygen species and/or lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO) production and inducible NO synthetase (iNOS) expression in microglial cells.[7]

An in vitro study found that evodiamine and rutaecarpine may be effective for IgE-induced allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis and rhinitis.[8] The two constituents inhibited TNF-alpha and IL-4 protein expression in cells induced by IgE-antigen complex, further supporting the use of anti-inflammatory compounds found in E. rutaecarpa.

Evodiamine, an alkaloid found in E. rutaecarpa, exhibits antitumor activities against the human tumor cells, including multidrug-resistant tumor cells.[9]  A proposed mechanism is evodiamine’s ability to inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis.[10],[11]

E. rutaecarpa (standardized to evodiamine content) is sometimes used in weight loss supplements, commonly in a blend of ingredients to help support thermogenesis. E. rutaecarpa contains synephrine, which is commonly used in weight loss supplements.[12] In laboratory animal studies, evodiamine has been reported to have vanilloid receptor agonistic activities comparable to capsaicin, increasing thermogenesis (heat loss and heat production) and dissipating food energy, preventing the accumulation of perivisceral fat and the resulting body weight increase.[13]

Laboratory animal studies have found that water extracts of E. rutaecarpa fruit may be beneficial in gastrointestinal ulcers, supporting the traditional use of eviodia for digestive problems.[14] The gastroprotective mechanisms maybe due to the strengthening action on gastric mucosal lining and the promotion of nitric oxide synthesis in local gastric mucosa.


No documentation

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation

Interaction with Drugs

Based on pharmacology, use with caution in individuals taking ACE inhibitors.[17]

Based on pharmacology, use with caution in individuals taking MAO inhibitors due to the potential for MAO-B inhibition.[18]

Based on pharmacology, use with caution in individuals taking cardiac medications, including antihypertensives and antiarrhythmics [19]

Based on laboratory studies, use with caution if taking theophylline. Theophylline levels were significantly lowered when using E. rutaecarpa extracts in laboratory animals.[20]

Based on pharmacology, use with caution if taking antiplatelet drugs or anticoagulants, such as aspirin or warfarin.[15]

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

E. rutaecarpa has been reported safe in recommended doses.

E. rutaecarpa may have antiplatelet activity, so caution is advised in those with bleeding disorders.[15]

E. rutaecarpa contains small amounts of synephrine, so use with caution in individuals with heart conditions, such as hypertension or arrhythmias.[16]

Discontinue if allergy occurs.


Do not use in pregnancy or lactation.

Age limitation

No documentation

Adverse reaction

No documentation


  1. Zhao Y, Zhou X, Chen HG, et al. Determination of dehydroevodiamine in Evodia rutaecarpa (Juss.) Benth by high performance liquid chromatography and classification of the samples by using hierarchical clustering analysis. Fitoterapia. Oct2009;80(7):415-420.
  2. Gong X, Zhou X, Cai Z, Zhang J, Zhou W. Studies on chemical constituents of Evodia rutaecarpa. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. Jan2009;34(2):177-179.
  3. Ko HC, Chen KT, Chen CF, et al. Chemical and biological comparisons on Evodia with two related species of different locations and conditions. J Ethnopharmacol. 24Nov2006;108(2):257-263.
  4. Liu YN, Pan SL, Liao CH, et al. Evodiamine represses hypoxia-induced inflammatory proteins expression and hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha accumulation in RAW264.7. Shock. Sep2009;32(3):263-269.
  5. Choi YH, Shin EM, Kim YS, Cai XF, Lee JJ, Kim HP. Anti-inflammatory principles from the fruits of Evodia rutaecarpa and their cellular action mechanisms. Arch Pharm Res. Apr2006;29(4):293-297.
  6. Moon TC, Murakami M, Kudo I, et al. A new class of COX-2 inhibitor, rutaecarpine from Evodia rutaecarpa. Inflamm Res. Dec1999;48(12):621-625.
  7. Ko HC, Wang YH, Liou KT, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects and mechanisms of the ethanol extract of Evodia rutaecarpa and its bioactive components on neutrophils and microglial cells. Eur J Pharmacol. 26Jan 2007;555(2-3):211-217.
  8. Shin YW, Bae EA, Cai XF, Lee JJ, Kim DH. In vitro and in vivo antiallergic effect of the fructus of Evodia rutaecarpa and its constituents. Biol Pharm Bull. Jan2007;30(1):197-199.
  9. Lee TJ, Kim EJ, Kim S, et al. Caspase-dependent and caspase-independent apoptosis induced by evodiamine in human leukemic U937 cells. Mol Cancer Ther. Sep2006;5(9):2398-2407.
  10. Yang ZG, Chen AQ, Liu B. Antiproliferation and apoptosis induced by evodiamine in human colorectal carcinoma cells (COLO-205). Chem Biodivers. Jun2009;6(6):924-933.
  11. Jiang J, Hu C. Evodiamine: a novel anti-cancer alkaloid from Evodia rutaecarpa. Molecules. 18May2009;14(5):1852-1859.
  12. Haaz S, Fontaine KR, Cutter G, Limdi N, Perumean-Chaney S, Allison DB. Citrus aurantium and synephrine alkaloids in the treatment of overweight and obesity: an update.  Obes Rev. Feb 2006;7(1):79-88.
  13. Kobayashi Y, Nakano Y, Kizaki M, Hoshikuma K, Yokoo Y, Kamiya T. Capsaicin-like anti-obese activities of evodiamine from fruits of Evodia rutaecarpa, a vanilloid receptor agonist. Planta Med. Oct2001;67(7):628-633.
  14. Yu X, Wu DZ. [Protective effects of Evodia rutaecarpa water extract on ethanol-induced rat gastric lesions] Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. Nov2006;31(21):1801-1803.
  15. Sheu JR, Hung WC, Lee YM, Yen MH. Mechanism of inhibition of platelet aggregation by rutaecarpine, an alkaloid isolated from Evodia rutaecarpa. Eur J Pharmacol. 30Dec1996;318(2-3):469-475.
  16. Ihara S, Shimoda H, Akiho Y, et al.  Application of Capillary Electrophoresis to Estimate Synephrine Levels in Evodia Fruit. Nat Med. 2003.57(5): 111-113.
  17. Lee HS, Oh WK, Choi HC, et al. Inhibition of angiotensin II receptor binding by quinolone alkaloids from Evodia ritaecarpa. Phytotherapy Research. 1998;12(3):212-214.
  18. Han XH, Hong SS, Lee D, et al. Quinolone alkaloids from evodiae fructus and their inhibitory effects on monoamine oxidase. Arch Pharm Res. Apr2007;30(4):397-401.
  19. Pellati F, Benvenuti S, Yoshizaki F, Melegari M. Development and validation of HPLC methods for the analysis of phenethylamine and indoloquinazoline alkaloids in Evodia species. J Sep Sci. Mar2006;29(5):641-649.
  20. Jan WC, Lin LC, Chieh-Fu-Chen, Tsai TH. Herb-drug interaction of Evodia rutaecarpa extract on the pharmacokinetics of theophylline in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 1Dec2005;102(3):440-445.

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