Ligustrum herb and medical properties
March 22 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Nu Zhen Zi (Fructus Ligustri Lucidi) is a Chinese herb. There's little research from Western countries regarding the use of ligustrum herb. A Chinese study has found ligustrum to be useful in lowering blood sugar in mice. Whether this same effect occurs in humans in not clear.

Nat Prod Commun. 2013. In vitro anti-inflammatory activity of Ligustrum vulgare extracts and their analytical characterization. Interest in the anti-inflammatory effects of Ligustrum vulgare L., which has been used traditionally in China and Japan prompted us to determine antiinflammatory effects of the plant's compounds in leukocytes. The leaves of L. vulgare were used to prepare a decoction which was successively extracted with organic solvents (dichloromethane (DCM), n-butanol, ethyl acetate) using liquid-liquid partition. Extracts were tested for inhibition of LTB4, resp. PGE2 biosynthesis. Each extract was evaluated for its in vitro cyclooxygenase-1/2 (COX-1/2) inhibitory activity using assays with purified COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, as well as for their LTB4 formation inhibitory activity using an assay with activated human neutrophil granulocytes. All extracts reported inhibitory actions against COXs in comparison with the synthetic inhibitors NS-398 and indomethacin. The dichloromethane extract of privet leaves showed a considerable inhibitory effect against COX-1 and COX-2 enzyme activity. The DCM extract revealed 2.7 times higher inhibitory activity against LTB4 formation in comparison with the known specific LT inhibitor zileuton. Additionally, oleuropein and echinacoside were detected by HPLC-DAD and LC-MS in the Ligustrum vulgare leaves. Both compounds exhibited weak inhibitory activity on cyclooxygenases and leukotriene formation.

Blood sugar influence
Hypoglycemic effect of fructus Ligustri Lucidi
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1992.
The decoction of Fructus Ligustri Lucidi 15 g/kg ig for 10 days significantly decreased the blood glucose level in normal mice. Ligustrum 30 g/kg before or after the treatment of alloxan also decreased the blood glucose level in alloxan diabetic mice. The elevation of blood glucose level induced by adrenaline or glucose was antagonized by ligustrum.

Immune system influence
Ligustrum herb studies
Studies on immunomodulatory function of polysaccharide of Fructus Ligustri Lucidi
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1999.
To explore the immunomodulatory mechanism of Chinese medicine Fructus Ligustri Lucidi and to find its efficient material base. The effects of ligustrum on the immune activity of mouse spleen lymphocyte were studied in vitro or vivo by means of MTT. Ligustrum could obviously promote the spleen lymphocyte proliferation in normal mice and mice with Yin-deficiency selected by injection with adrenocorticortropic hormone. Ligustrum has an immune influencing function for both normal mice and mice with Yin-deficiency.

Ligustrum vulgare
Planta Med. 2013. Effects of an Aqueous Extract from Leaves of Ligustrum vulgare on Mediators of Inflammation in a Human Neutrophils Model. Department of Pharmacognosy and Molecular Basis of Phytotherapy, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland. Leaves of Ligustrum vulgare (common privet) have been used for treatment of oropharyngeal inflammations or as antirheumatic, diuretic, and hypotensive agents in folk medicine in southern Europe.

Nat Prod Commun. 2013. In vitro anti-inflammatory activity of Ligustrum vulgare extracts and their analytical characterization.