English: Palmleaf raspberries

Chinese: 覆盆子

Parts used: Dried fruit

TCM category: Herbs that stabilize and bind

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): SourSweet

Organ affinity: Bladder Kidney

Scientific name: Rubus chingii

Use of Fu Pen Zi (palmleaf raspberries) 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 the fruit when it is green to yellow and remove the stems and leaves. Soak in boiling water or lightly steam, take it out and dry it.

Dosage: 6 - 12g

Main actions according to TCM*: Augments the Kidneys, restrains Essence. Stops leakage of Bodily Fluids.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Fu Pen Zi may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Enuresis Urinary incontinence Premature ejaculation Spermatorrhea Impotence Impaired vision Back pain

Contraindications*: Use with caution for Yin Deficiency patterns.

Common TCM formulas in which Fu Pen Zi is used*

Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan

Source date: 1550 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Formula key actions: Tonifies Kidney Yang. Strengthens the Essence.

In Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan, Fu Pen Zi it tonifies Kidney Yang and stops discharges.

Read more about Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan

Key TCM concepts behind Fu Pen Zi's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Fu Pen 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 Fu Pen Zi is Warm in nature. This means that Fu Pen Zi tends to help people who have too much 'Cold' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Cold in their body are said to either have a Yin Excess (because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang Deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition Fu Pen Zi can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Fu Pen 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 Fu Pen 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 Fu Pen Zi is thought to target the Bladder and the Kidney. 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.

Research on Fu Pen Zi

Palmleaf raspberry leaves were found to have strong antithrombotic activity1


1. N Han, Y Gu, C Ye, Y Cao, Z Liu, J Yin (2012). "Antithrombotic activity of fractions and components obtained from raspberry leaves (Rubus chingii)" Food Chemistry. Volume 132, Issue 1, Pages 181-185

Use of Fu Pen Zi as food

Fu Pen Zi is also eaten as food.