Po Mu

Category: Medicines - plant based



Introduction and description


Phellodendron amurense Rupr. is a species of tree in the family Rutaceae, commonly called the Amur cork tree.

It is a major source of huáng bò (Chinese: 黄柏 or 黄檗), one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine. One of its other common names is Po Mu.

Po Mu is native to eastern Asia; northern China, Manchuria, Korea, Ussuri, Amur, and Japan, it is considered invasive in many parts of North America. The State of Massachusetts lists it as a noxious weed.

Medicinal uses


The observations both from Dr Duke and from other sources show the research that has been done on its medicinal uses, but it has been used as a Chinese traditional medicine for the treatment of meningitis, bacillary dysentery, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and liver cirrhosis.  The bark of the tree is an important herbal medicine in China. The oil has insecticidal properties similar to pyrethrum.

We have provided the full analysis from Dr Duke showing all the findings, but have also summarised the information in certain areas. 

The observations below from Dr Duke and other research show that this tree has anti-fungal, anti-parasitical, antiviral and antibacterial properties.  Since all illness is caused by pathogens such as these or toxins such as heavy metals, radiation and hypoxia, and Po Mu can also offer help here too, I think we need to realise this is a tree of some importance medicinally.



References and further reading

  • Hsu, K. J. Chinese Traditional Medicine; Chinese Pharmaceutical Science and Technology Publication Co.:  Beijing, 1996.
  • Kim J.-H., Huh J.-E., Baek Y.-H., Lee J.-D., Choi D.-Y., Park D.-S."Effect of Phellodendron amurense in protecting human osteoarthritic cartilage and chondrocytes." Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 134 (2) (pp 234-242), 2011

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