Upright, deciduous shrub growing to 10 ft (3 m). Has large leaves, clusters of red flowers, and blue berries.
Habitat & Cultivation
This herb grows in central and southern China. The leaves are harvested just before it flowers.
Chou wu tong contains clerodendrin, acacetin, and mesoinositol.
History & Folklore
Chou wu tong was first documented in the Illustrated Classic of the Materia Medica (1061 CE).
Medicinal Actions & Uses
In Chinese herbal medicine, chou wu tong is prescribed for joint pain, numbness, and paralysis, and occasionally for eczema. Traditionally regarded as a plant that “dispels wind-dampness,” it is now also being used to help lower blood pressure. The plant is mildly analgesic and, when used with the herb Siegesbeckia pubescens, is anti-inflammatory.
In a Chinese trial, 171 people with high blood pressure were given chou wu tong. In 81% of those tested, blood pressure levels dropped significantly. This effect was reversed when the treatment was stopped.
C. serratum is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine for respiratory conditions.