Ya Dan Zi (Fructus Bruceae)

Ya Dan Zi also known as Fructus Bruceae is the mature fruit of Brucea javanica, which is a short-lived shrub or small tree belonging to the family Simarubaceae. It first appeared in <Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi> (a supplement to the compendium of materia medica) in the 30th year of Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1,765 AD).

Brucea javanica is also known as Macassar kernels or Java brucea. This plant is distributed from southeastern Asia to northern Oceania. It often grows in light secondary forest and thickets, forest edges, ridges, and even occurring in sunny places on sandy dunes and limestone.

In the autumn of each year, people pick the mature fruits of Brucea javanica, remove their impurities, dry them in the sun, remove their shells, and make them into Chinese herbs.

Ya Dan Zi contains bruceine, bruceoside, brusatol, bruceantin, bruceantinol, bruceaketolic acid, bruceene, dehydrobrusatol, dehydrobruceantinol, dehydrobruceine A, dehydrobruceine B, luteolin, quercetin, apigenin, chrysoeriol, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, daucosterol, D-glucopyranoside, triterpenoids, alkaloids, secoisolariciresinol, pinoresinol, medioresinol, cleomiscosin, chrysophanol, emodin, isolariciresinol, vanilline, vanillic acid, gallicin, oleic acid, and olein.

According to <Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi>, the medicinal property of Ya Dan Zi is relatively cold, with slight toxicity and bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the large intestine and liver meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Ya Dan Zi is often used to clear heat and remove toxin, stop diarrhea and malaria, corrode excrescences, treat a variety of cancers, such as lung cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, brain cancer, liver cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and ENT tumors.

Health benefits of Ya Dan Zi

  • Inhibiting influenza virus and tobacco mosaic virus.
  • Promoting insulin secretion and lowering blood sugar.
  • Anti-inflammation, reducing croton oil-induced ear swelling and agar-induced ear granuloma in mice.
  • Killing amoeba protozoa, whipworm, ascarid, tapeworm, and trichomonas vaginalis.
  • Treating tertian malaria, quartan malaria and falciparum malaria.
  • Clearing the accumulate heat in the large intestine, treating bloody purulent stool, tenesmus, bloody dysentery caused by heat toxins.
  • Drying dampness and treating chronic diarrhea caused by cold accumulation.
  • Corroding excrescences and treating corns, common warts, flat warts, and molluscum contagiosum.
  • Studies have confirmed that it contains bruceine, which can inhibit the growth of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells, MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells, HL-60 blood cancer cells, HeLa cells, liver cancer cells SMMC7721, A-549 lung cancer cells, human colon cancer cells, and pancreatic cancer cells.

Ya Dan Zi is used with other Chinese herbs

  • It with Wu Gong (Centipede) and lime can treat flat warts.
  • It with Di Fu Zi (Fructus Kochiae) and Bai Fan (Alumen) can treat rectal polyps.
  • It with Hai Piao Xiao (Os Sepiae) and Ou Fen (Lotus Root Starch) can treat ulcerative colitis.
  • It with He Zi (Fructus Chebulae), Wu Mei (Fructus Mume), and Mu Xiang (Radix Aucklandiae) can treat chronic diarrhea.
  • It with She Chuang Zi (Fructus Cnidii), Ba Jiao Lian (Dysosma Versipellis), Tu Fu Ling (Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae), Yu Xing Cao (Houttuynia Cordata), Ku Shen (Radix Sophorae Flavescentis), and Lu Feng Fang (Nidus Vespae) can treat condyloma acuminatum.

Side effects of Ya Dan Zi

Ya Dan Zi is poisonous, and its incidence of clinical toxicity reactions is relatively high.

It can inhibit the central nervous system, dilate visceral arteries, cause bleeding, and cause substantial damage to the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and kidney.

Its volatile oil has a strong irritation to the skin and mucous membranes.

Overdose or swallowing or chewing it directly may nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, fatigue, abdominal pain, blood in the stool, gastrointestinal congestion, decreased urine output, fever, conjunctival congestion, numbness or paralysis of the limbs, Coma, or convulsions.

Precautions of Ya Dan Zi

  • The dosage of Ya Dan Zi should be controlled at 0.5-2g.
  • It can be made into tablets, capsules, injections, or ground for external use, but it should not be made into decoction.
  • When using it externally, it is recommended to protect the surrounding normal skin to prevent the surrounding normal skin from being irritated.
  • People with weakness of spleen and stomach or vomiting should not take it.
  • People with gastrointestinal bleeding should not take it.
  • People with liver or kidney diseases should not take it.
  • People with allergic constitutions should not take it.
  • Pregnant women and children should not take it.

Treatments of Ya Dan Zi poisoning

The main cause of Ya Dan Zi poisoning is an overdose or swallowing or chewing directly.

  1. It is recommended to induce vomiting, gastric lavage, and take milk, egg white, or laxatives in the early stage of poisoning.
  2. When taking it to cause severe poisoning, intravenous drip of glucose, saline, and injection of vitamin C, vitamin B1, B6, or K4 are recommended.
  3. When taking it to cause coma or breathing difficulties, it is recommended to use central stimulants and artificial respiration.