Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

C. articulatus. Thunb.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Oriental Bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus

Used as a hedge[58].

  • Medicinal Use

    The roots, stems and leaves are antiphlogistic, antirheumatic, depurative and tonic[147, 218]. A decoction of the roots and stems is used internally whilst the crushed fresh leaves are used for external applications[147]. The plant is used in the treatment of paralysis, numbness of the four extremities, headache, toothache, spontaneous abscess formation and snake bites[147].

    Many plants in this genus contain compounds of interest for their antitumour activity[218].

  • Edible Use

    Young leaves – cooked[105, 177].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – gather when ripe, store in dry sand and sow February in a warm greenhouse[78]. Three months cold stratification leads to a higher germination rate[113]. Remove the flesh of the fruit since this inhibits germination[113]. Germination rates are usually good[78]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[188]. Layering in August of the current seasons growth. Takes 12 months[78]. Root cuttings, 6mm thick 25mm long in December. Plant horizontally in pots in a frame[78].
Prefers a deep loamy soil[1] but succeeds in most soils so long as they are not too shallow[202]. Succeeds in full or partial shade[188]. Plants flower more freely if their top-growth is in the sun[182]. Requires a humus-rich soil if it is to be at its best[219]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is hardy to about -25¡c[200]. A rampant climber, it requires ample space and is best grown into an old tree[1, 200. It climbs by means of twining and also by the young stems having prickles[182]. Plants do not normally require pruning[219]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Plants are usually dioecious, in which case male and female plants must be grown if seed is required, but hermaphrodite forms are in cultivation[11, 182, 200].
N.E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea.

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.