English: Cherokee rose fruits

Chinese: 金樱子

Parts used: Dried ripe fruits

TCM category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

TCM nature: Neutral

TCM taste(s): SourSweet

Organ affinity: Bladder Kidney Large intestine

Scientific name: Rosa laevigata

Other names: Rosehip

Use of Jin Ying Zi (cherokee rose fruits) in TCM

Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: Harvest when the fruit is ripe and red and dry it.

Dosage: 6 - 9 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Controls Essence. Astringes the Intestines and stops diarrhea. Decreases urination.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Jin Ying Zi may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Spermatorrhea Urinary incontinence Enuresis Abnormal uterine bleeding Leukorrhea Dysentery Diarrhea

Contraindications*: Not for acute conditions caused by Excess Heat.

Key TCM concepts behind Jin Ying Zi's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Jin Ying Zi belongs to the 'Herbs that stabilize and bind' category. This category of herbs is used for treating abnormal discharges and displacement of Organs. This includes conditions such as diarrhea, discharges from the vagina, penis or rectum as well as prolapse of the Uterus or rectum. It is important to note that herbs in this category only treat symptoms, so one should also use herbs to treat the underlying Deficiency.

Furthermore Jin Ying Zi is Neutral in nature. This means that Jin Ying Zi typically doesn't affect the balance in your body. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Eating too many "Hot" (Yang) ingredients can lead to an imbalance whereby one has a Yang Excess. The inverse is true as well: too many "Cold" (Yin) ingredients can lead to a Yin Excess. The Neutral nature of Jin Ying Zi means that you don't have to worry about that!

Jin Ying Zi also tastes Sour and Sweet. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Sour ingredients like Jin Ying Zi helps with digestion and restrain abnormal discharges of Fluids from the body, such as diarrhea or heavy sweating. On the other hand Sweet ingredients tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Jin Ying Zi is thought to target the Bladder, the Kidney and the Large intestine. In TCM the impure water collected by the Kidneys that cannot be used by the body is sent to the Bladder for storage and excretion as urine. The Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body. The Large Intestine receives the "impure" parts of the digested food from the Small Intestine, absorbs the remaining fluids and excrete the remainder as feces.

Research on Jin Ying Zi

The flavonoid-rich extract from R. laevigata Michx fruit has the potential actions for treatment of ischemic stroke due to its anti-oxidant, anti-apoptosis and anti-inflammatory properties.1

There are clear evidences that Rosa laevigata Michx fruit could be effective as a new drug for the treatment of high-fat diet-induced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.2


1. Shuai Zhang, Yan Qi, Youwei Xu, Xu Han, Jinyong Peng, Kexin Liu, C.K. Sun (2013). Protective effect of flavonoid-rich extract from Rosa laevigata Michx on cerebral ischemia–reperfusion injury through suppression of apoptosis and inflammation. Neurochemistry International, 63(5): 522-532. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuint.2013.08.008.

2. Shuai Zhang, Lingli Zheng, Deshi Dong, Lina Xu, Lianhong Yin, Yan Qi, Xu Han, Yuan Lin, Kexin Liu, Jinyong Peng (2013). Effects of flavonoids from Rosa laevigata Michx fruit against high-fat diet-induced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats. Food Chemistry, 141(3): 2108-2116. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.05.019.

Use of Jin Ying Zi as food

Jin Ying Zi is also eaten as food.