Physalis Calyx seu Fructus commonly known as Jin Deng Long is the calyx and fruit of Physalis alkekengi, which is a perennial erect herb belonging to the family Solanaceae. It can be used as a food and dietary supplement with a medicinal history of more than 2,300 years.
Physalis alkekengi is commonly known as bladder cherry, Chinese lantern, Japanese lantern, strawberry groundcherry, or winter cherry and is a distant relative of Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry). It has strong adaptability and can grow normally in the temperature range of 3℃-42℃.
This species is native to Eurasia and has now been introduced into the Americas. It is widely cultivated in temperate regions of the world. It is a popular ornamental plant, and all parts of it can be made into medicine.
In Unani medicine, Physalis alkekengi is used as a diuretic, preservative, and tranquilizer. Its roots contain hystonin, which can excite the smooth muscle of the uterus, contract the uterus, and may cause miscarriage. In Japan during the Edo period, its roots were used as abortion drugs.
In the autumn of each year, people pick calyxes and fruits of Physalis alkekengi, wash them with water, remove their impurities, use them directly, or dry them in the sun, and make them into Chinese herbs.
Physalis Calyx seu Fructus contains alkaloids, citric acid, oxalic acid, vitamin C, physalein, palmitic acid, ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, lutein, physoxanthin, α-carotene, β-carotene, auroxanthin, hystonin, sterols, and a variety of amino acids. Generally, the red or orange-red one is the best.
According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Physalis Calyx seu Fructus is relatively cold, with a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung meridian.
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to clear heat and remove toxin, resolve phlegm and relieve sore throat, induce diuresis, treat pemphigus, eczema, respiratory infections, acute bronchitis, pertussis, suppurative tonsillitis, herpetic pharyngitis, and acute tonsillitis.
Health benefits of Physalis Calyx seu Fructus
- Anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and analgesic effects.
- Anti-oxidation, scavenging ABTS free radicals, protecting red blood cell membrane proteins, and delaying the natural aging of human red blood cells.
- Inhibiting influenza virus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and hepatitis B virus surface antigen.
- Inhibiting the proliferation of melanoma A375 cells, melanoma A2058 cells, lung cancer A549 cells, H9c2 cardioblasts, Hela cancer cells, and human skin fibroblasts CCD-966SK.
- Promoting humoral immune response and regulating immunity.
- Reducing blood sugar and blood lipids, preventing type 2 diabetes.
- Enhancing cardiac contraction, preventing cardiac fibrosis, and improving cardiac function.
- Relieving the vasoconstriction induced by phenylephrine and KCl.
- Exciting the smooth muscle of the uterus and contracting the uterus.
- Removing heat toxins, relieving sore throat and hoarseness.
- Resolving phlegm and relieving cough caused by phlegm-heat.
- Inducing diuresis, treating scanty dark urine, and difficult and painful urination.
- Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Shigella dysenteriae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella typhi.
Physalis Calyx seu Fructus is used with other Chinese herbs
- It with Shan Dou Gen (Radix Sophorae Tonkinensis), Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi), and Niu Bang Zi (Fructus Arctii) can alleviate sore throat and hoarseness.
- It with Qian Hu (Peucedanum) and Gua Lou (Fructus Trichosanthis) can resolve phlegm and treat cough caused by phlegm-heat.
- It with Che Qian Zi (Semen Plantaginis), Mu Tong (Caulis Akebiae), Bian Xu (Polygonum Aviculare), and Jin Qian Cao (Lysimachia) can treat scanty dark urine and difficult and painful urination.
- It with Long Dan Cao (Radix Gentianae), Fu Ling (Poria Cocos), and Che Qian Cao (Plantago Asiatica) can treat urolithiasis.
- It with She Gan (Rhizoma Belamcanda), Peng Qi Ju (Wedelia Chinensis), and Xuan Shen (Radix Scrophulariae) can treat acute tonsil enlargement.
Side effects of Physalis Calyx seu Fructus
The fruit of this plant is edible with almost no side effects.
Pregnant women taking it may cause miscarriage.
Precautions of Physalis Calyx seu Fructus
- The dosage of Physalis Calyx seu Fructus should be controlled at 5-9g.
- It can be made into decoction, injection, or mashed for external use.
- People with diarrhea caused by spleen deficiency should not take it.
- Pregnant women should not take it.