(Gleditsia sinensis)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Gleditsia sinensis

The pod is used as a soap substitute[46, 61]. The seed is used[178].

Tannin is obtained from the seedpod[61].

Wood – strong, durable, coarse-grained[82]. Used for general construction[46, 61].

  • Medicinal Use

    A decoction of the leaves is used for washing sores[218], including syphilitic skin diseases[174].

    The stem bark is anthelmintic and febrifuge[218].

    The fruit is antibacterial, antifungal, antitussive, astringent, emetic, expectorant, haemostatic and stimulant[174, 176, 178, 218]. It is used in the treatment of bronchial asthma with sticky phlegm, epilepsy and apoplexy with loss of consciousness[176]. Overdosage can cause poisoning of the entire body, haemolysis of the blood[176].

    The seed is emetic, expectorant, decongestant and purgative[147, 218]. They have been used in the treatment of cancer of the rectum[218].

    The root bark is anthelmintic and antifebrile[218].

    The thorns on the plant are antipruritic[176]. They are used in the treatment of acute purulent inflammation, dermatopathies and tonsillitis[176]. They should not be used by pregnant women[176].

    The plant has been used in the treatment of lockjaw, stroke, acute numbness of the throat and epilepsy, but the report does not make clear whether the seed or the thorns of the plant are used[147]

  • Edible Use

    The seed is roasted, dehusked, soaked until soft then boiled and eaten with sugar[179].

    Young leaves – cooked. A famine food used when all else fails[177].

  • Cautionary Notes

    The plant contains potentially toxic compounds[222].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in a greenhouse[78]. The seed should have swollen up, in which case it can be sown, if it has not swollen then soak it for another 24 hours in warm water. If this does not work then file away some of the seed coat but be careful not to damage the embryo[78]. Further soaking should then cause the seed to swell. One it has swollen, the seed should germinate within 2 – 4 weeks at 20¡c. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual deep pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Give the plants some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.
Easily grown in a loamy soil, requiring a sunny position[11]. Succeeds in most soils[200]. Tolerates drought once established[1] and atmospheric pollution[200]. Rather tender when young, it grows best in S. Britain[11]. A tree at Cambridge Botanical Gardens was 13 metres tall in 1985[11]. Trees have a light canopy, they come into leaf late in the spring and drop their leaves in early autumn[200] making them an excellent top storey tree in a woodland garden. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[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].
E. Asia – China.

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.