Bu Gu Zhi (Psoralea corylifolia)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Bu Gu Zhi
Psoralea corylifolia
Leguminosae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    Bu Gu Zhi is valued in Chinese herbal medicine as a tonic remedy and is used to improve general vitality[254]. Modern research has shown that it is also of value in the treatment of skin disorders, including vitiligo. Some caution should be employed when applying the herb externally, however, since it can sensitise the skin and cause an allergic reaction to sunlight[254].

    The one-seeded fruits (or the seed plus the seedpod) are highly regarded as an aphrodisiac and tonic to the genital organs[218].

    The seed is anthelmintic, antibacterial, aphrodisiac, astringent, cardiac, cytotoxic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic[4, 147, 176, 178, 218, 240]. It is used in the treatment of febrile diseases, premature ejaculation, impotence, lower back pains, frequent urination, incontinence, bed wetting etc[240, 254]. It is also used externally to treat various skin ailments including leprosy, leucoderma and hair loss[218, 240]. The seed and fruit contain psoralen. This causes the skin to produce new pigment when exposed to sunlight and is used for treating vitiligo and psoriasis[176]. The antibacterial action of the fruit inhibits the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculos[176]. The fruit is gathered when ripe in the autumn and can be dried for later use[254].

    The root is used for treating dental caries[218].

    The plant yields a useful medicinal oleoresin, it treats kidney disorders, impotence, premature ejaculation, lumbago etc[4, 147, 176, 178].

  • Edible Use

    Seed[177]. No further details are given.

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although no specific mention of toxicity for this species has been found, at least some members of this genus contain furanocoumarins, these substances can cause photosensitivity in some people[65].

Cultivation & Habitat

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early to mid spring in a greenhouse. Either sow the seed in individual pots or pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible in order to avoid root disturbance. Grow them on in the pots until planting out in their final positions. It is usually impossible to transplant this species without fatal damage to the root[200]. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. It is virtually impossible to divide this species successfully[200].
We have very little information for this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[1]. Requires a well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Plants are very intolerant of root disturbance, they are best planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small[200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
Asia, from Iran to China, Africa and the Middle East.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.