Eucommmia bark is the gray, grooved bark of the tree Eucommia ulmoides, commonly called the hardy rubber tree or the gutta-percha tree. The Chinese name for eucommia bark is Du Zhong. This name refers to a Taoist monk who was said to be immortal, suggesting that the herb provides long life, good health, and vitality. The tree is a member of the rubber family and is native to the mountainous regions of China. It normally grows to about 50 ft (15 m) in height. Small patches of bark are harvested from trees over 10 years old in late summer and early autumn. The outer bark is peeled away and the smooth inner bark is dried. This inner bark contains a pure white, elastic latex that is thought to contain the compounds that account for eucommia bark's healing properties. Older, thicker inner bark with more latex is considered more desirable for the herbalist to use than younger, thinner bark.
Although traditionally only the bark of E. ulmoides was used for healing, research in the later half of the 1990s in Japan indicates that the leaves also have healing properties. The green leaves are shiny, narrow, and pointed. The tree's flowers are very small and are not used in healing.
(Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine | 2005 | Davidson, Tish)
Chemical constituents of Eucommia Bark Extract
Eucommia has many substances including: geniposidic acid, iridoids, aucubin, gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid, epicatechin, catechin, n-octacosanoic acid), tetracosanoic-2,3-dihydroxypropylester,rutin.A new flavonol glycoside, quercetin 3-O-alpha-L-arabinopyranosyl-(1-->2)-beta-D-glucopyranoside, and known flavonols kaempferol 3-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside (astragalin), quercetin 3-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside (isoquercitrin) were isolated from the leaves of Eucommia ulmoides.
The current application of the active ingredient was chlorogenic acid.
Benefits of taking Eucommia Bar Extract supplements:
Eucommia bark has been used in traditional Chinese herbalism for over 3,000 years. Since the tree does not grow widely outside China, this herb was not used in other cultures until recently.
Eucommia bark is strongly associated with the kidneys and to a lesser extent with the liver. In Chinese medicine, the kidneys store jing. Jing is an essential life source and associated with whole body growth and development, as well as normal sexual and reproductive functioning. The kidney and liver jing also affects the bones, ligaments, and tendons.
Eucommia's first fame is in its Kidney tonifying effects. It is in fact the primary herb in Chinese tonic herbalism for building a strong, sturdy, flexible skeletal structure. It is used to strengthen the bones, ligaments and tendons and can be used to help mend damage to these tissues, whether the damage be due to stress, age or trauma. Eucommia is also the primary herb of choice for lower back and knee problems, including pain, stiffness, dislocation, swelling and weakness. Eucommia is one of the few herbs in Chinese tonic herbalism that is sufficiently powerful, balanced and broad spectrum that it may be used alone. However, it will generally be combined with any number of other tonic herbs in a formulation designed to build the Yin and Yang of the Kidney.
The extracts of Eucommia show anti-hypertensive, anti-complementary, anti-oxidative, and anti-gastric ulcer effects, and promoting collagen synthesis, accelerating granuloma formation, and other pharmacological effects. Water extracts of Eucommia eaves have been reported to have potent antioxidant and antimutagenic effects.
>Eucommia ulmoides Research study
Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxant effects of the aqueous extracts of the Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. leaf and bark: implications on their antihypertensive action.
Vascul Pharmacol. 2003. Kwan CY, Chen CX, Deyama T. HSC-4N40, Department of, Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
The vascular effects of three extract preparations from the Chinese medicinal herb, Eucommia ulmoides Oliv., which is historically an active ingredient commonly used in antihypertensive herbal prescriptions in China, were investigated with isometric contraction using isolated rat aortic and dog carotid rings. Both aqueous extracts isolated from eucommia leaf (L) and bark (B) concentration dependently caused endothelium-dependent relaxation in vessels precontracted with 1 microM phenylephrine (PE), but the methanol extract of the leaf (M) had no effect. Vessels precontracted with KCl and de-endothelialized vessels precontracted with PE were not affected by B or L. The endothelium-dependent relaxation evoked by B and L was either abolished or substantially inhibited by NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) and methylene blue (MB), indicating the involvement of the nitric oxide (NO) synthase pathway in the vasorelaxant action of B and L. The relaxation to the aqueous extract of eucommia bark was not inhibited with 1 microM atropine, but was inhibited by 3-5 mM tetraethylammonium (TEA) and 3 mM 4-aminopyridine. This suggests that the endothelium-dependent, NO-mediated relaxation evoked by the aqueous eucommia extracts was not mediated via the activation of endothelium muscarinic receptors and may involve the activation of K+ -channels. Results in this study have provided the first evidence on the in vitro vasorelaxant action of Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. that forms the pharmacological basis for its well-documented antihypertensive action.
In the late 1990s Japanese researchers became interested in eucommia bark. In 2000, researchers at Nihon University in Chiba, Japan, published two studies showing that both the leaves and the bark of Eucommia ulmoides contained a compound that encourages the development of collagen in rats. Collagen is an important part of connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments. However, they found that the compound was present in much greater quantities in fresh leaves and fresh bark, and that much of it was destroyed during the drying process.
In modern Japan, eucommia leaves are also believed to help with weight loss by reducing the urge to eat. For this reason, in the late 1990s eucommia leaves became an increasingly popular herb there. However, there are no scientific studies to support this function of the herb.
Dosage of Eucommia Bark Extract supplement:
Consult your physician if you have any questions about the proper use of Eucommia Bark Extract supplements.