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Privet Fruit

  • Ligustrum lucidum
  • Origin: China
Privet Fruit


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Common Name

Standardized: ligustrum
Other: glossy privet, white wax tree

Botanical Name

Ligustrum lucidum W.T. Aiton
Plant Family: Oleaceae


The privet fruit is native to China and Eastern Europe, but has now been naturalized throughout the world. It was introduced into the US in 1852 for use as an ornamental. The glossy fruit of the privet bush is one of the oldest Chinese herbal remedies, used for over 2,000 years, at least from the time of the writing of the Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica in 190 BCE. It has cooling properties that are known to help the yin, and augment weakness in the liver and kidneys. Known in Chinese as the "female chastity seed," privet fruit was an ancient remedy for premature graying of the hair, ringing in the ear, spots before the eyes, and lower back pain, all of which were associated with excessive sexual activity. It has often been combined with chrysanthemum and wolfberries, and then used as a tonic.

Parts Used

Fruit, dried and either whole or powdered.

Typical Preparations

Teas, tinctures, encapsulations, frequently mixed with other herbs.


Sweet and bitter at the same time, privet fruit is added to herbal combinations to clear out the "heat" associated with infection and emotional tension. Chinese medicine also uses privet fruit to treat dizziness and blurred vision, especially if symptoms are worst during times of emotional stress. Modern research has found that the fatty acids in privet fruit are especially helpful for protecting the body from contamination with heavy metals, notably arsenic and cadmium.


Specific: No known precautions.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.