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It seems almost as if every day, there’s a new fancy ingredient out there. But what if you want natural or plant-based ingredients that are also effective?

In this case, it’s a good idea to look at what our ancestors have to say. Traditional Asian Medicine is a treasure trove worth trawling. So, if you’re looking to revitalise lifeless skin, take a peek at wu zhu yu, a small, reddish-brown berry. Ever heard what wu zhu extract can do for you?

A little bit of background

The scientific name of wu zhu yu (呉茱萸) is Evodia Rutaecarpa (or Euodia, according to Wikipedia). This plant develops into a tree to a height of usually 5-7 meters. It has long, dark green, and shiny leaves.

Wu zhu yu plant, photo by 阿橋 HQ

It blooms in summer. By August, the white flowers appear and then develop into small reddish-brown fruit. Before the berries fully mature and turn black, they’re harvested and dried for medicinal uses. It originates from China and Korea.

Traditional Chinese Medine

Wu zhu yu was and still is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The berries have a heavy and pungent aroma. They taste bitter and are slightly toxic. It’s known for warming the Interior, expelling Cold, and alleviating pain. It warms the Spleen and helps the Liver by boosting the movement of Qi.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, wu zhu yu was prescribed as an oral medicine to treat intestinal disorders such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It was also used as a painkiller.

Modern science confirms that it indeed raises body temperature and helps digestion. Other research done in Korea has shown that it strongly suppresses the growth of the Heliobacter Pylori bacteria. When this germ enters your body, it lives in your digestive tract. So, the Japanese research confirms its traditional use for treating gastric disorders.

More research has found that wu zhu yu can calm down sensitive or sensitised skin since it’s anti-inflammatory. With this, let’s dive into why wu zhu yu extract is used in skin care.

Wu zhu yu in skin care

Outside of Traditional Chinese Medicine, wu zhu yu is little known, but it’s slowly making its way into the beauty industry. It has pretty incredible benefits for your skin.

It’s a powerful inflammatory agent, so it soothes irritated skin and any infection that causes redness or inflammation. It also provides relief to itchy skin and reduces redness. Lastly, it reduces your skin’s sensitivity to environmental stressors and pollution.

Wu zhu yu has a stimulating effect on your skin’s microcirculation. It was shown to increase blood flow to your skin, boosting the flow of oxygen and nutrients. The result is an all-around improved complexion with finer skin texture giving you a radiant glow.

Recent and ongoing research is finding that compounds found in wu zhu yu can decrease the activity of tyrosinase. This enzyme is needed when your skin produces the pigment melanin. So, by suppressing the tyrosinase activity, the melanin content also decreases. This means it’s beneficial in reducing the appearance of dark spots, blemishes, or other skin discolouration. If you want to know more about addressing age spots and other other skin pigmentation issues, hop over to Brightening or Lightening.

So, if you’re struggling with sensitivity, redness, and dark spots, this unsuspecting, small, reddish-brown berry can effectively address all of these concerns.

Danger zone?

Please note that you should never self-prescribe Traditional Chinese Medicine ingredients. Usually, such an ingredient is almost never taken on its own. Herbalists consider wu zhu yu slightly toxic to eat, so please always consult a professional Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner.

But you can find wu zhu yu extract in skin care formulation for both men and women of every age. Wu zhu yu extract can be found in anti-ageing, moisturising, and, brightening, products.

Since it stimulates microcirculation, you can also find in hair loss and anti-cellulite products.

As always, when you add a new product to your routine, it’s a good idea to first patch test and start slow.

Final words

You probably don’t need to hear that about the most common skin care concerns many of us want to tackle. But if you want to reduce your skin’s sensitivity, all the while improving firmness and skin texture as well as get a healthy glow, look for skin care products formulated with this effective and natural ingredient.

It can even help you address other concerns such as slow-growing hair or the dimples, the visible signs of cellulite.

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