English: Quisqualis fruits

Chinese: 使君子

Parts used: The fluits

TCM category: Herbs that expel parasites

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): Sweet

Organ affinity: Spleen Stomach

Scientific name: Quisqualis indica

Other names: Rangoon Creeper

Use of Shi Jun Zi (quisqualis 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: Collect the fruits, remove impurities and dry

Dosage: 6-12g

Main actions according to TCM*: Kills parasites. Improves children's digestion

Primary conditions or symptoms for which Shi Jun Zi may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Parasites Roundworm Childhood malnutrition Poor appetite Abdominal distention Abdominal pain Poor digestion

Contraindications*: Contraindicated for patients with diarrhea or weak Spleen due to Coldness.

Common TCM formulas in which Shi Jun Zi is used*

Fei Er Wan

Source date: 1156 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Formula key actions: Kills parasites. Reduces accumulation. Strengthens the Spleen. Clears Heat.

Conditions targeted*: AscariasisHookworm and others

Shi Jun Zi is a king ingredient in Fei Er Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

In Fei Er Wan, Shi Jun Zi has a strong effect on killing parasites. 

Read more about Fei Er Wan

Bu Dai Wan

Source date: Late Ming

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Formula key actions: Expels roundworms. Reduces nutritional impairment in children . Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach.

Conditions targeted*: AscariasisParasitic infestation and others

Shi Jun Zi is a king ingredient in Bu Dai Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.

In Bu Dai Wan, Shi Jun Zi is sweet and warm. It is very effective in expelling roundworms and treating childhood nutritional impairment. 

The combination of Aloe vera, Elm seed cake and Quisqualis fruit has a strong anti-parasitic effect and eliminate the parasites via the stool.

Read more about Bu Dai Wan

Key TCM concepts behind Shi Jun Zi's properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shi Jun Zi belongs to the 'Herbs that expel parasites' category. Herbs in this category are used to treat roundworms, tapeworm, hookworm and other intestinal parasites. In most cases, these herbs should be combined with other herbs to assist their action such as 'Purgative herbs that drain downward' or Qi tonics. Typically these herbs should only be prescribed for a short period as they often have some level of toxicity.

Furthermore Shi Jun Zi is Warm in nature. This means that Shi Jun 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 Shi Jun Zi can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Shi Jun Zi also tastes 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. Sweet ingredients like Shi Jun Zi tends 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 Shi Jun Zi is thought to target the Spleen and the Stomach. In TCM the Spleen assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body. The Stomach on the other hand is responsible for receiving and ripening ingested food and fluids. It is also tasked with descending the digested elements downwards to the Small Intestine.