Ma Jia Zi (Paliurus ramosissimus)

Botanical Name : Paliurus ramosissimus
Family  : Rhamnaceae
Genus :              Paliurus
Synonyms : Aubletia ramosissima – Lour., Paliurus aubletii – Benth.
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: P. aubletii. Benth.

Common Name: Ma Jia Zi

Habitat : E. Asia – S. China.  Roadsides and riverbanks in W. Hupeh and Szechwan. Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Hedge;

Description:
A decidious Shrub growing to 6m. The shoots are zig-zagged, with a leaf and two stipular spines on the outside of each kink. The leaves are deciduous or evergreen, oval, 2-10 cm long and 1-7 cm broad, glossy green, with three conspicuous veins at the base, and an entire or bluntly toothed margin. The fruit is a dry woody nutlet centred in a circular wing 1-3.5 cm diameter.
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It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil in full sun. Prefers a limy soil. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

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Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame and moved into the greenhouse in February. Fair to good germination. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and overwinter them in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long, December in a greenhouse. Fair to good percentage. Layering.

Chemical Constituents:To study the chemical constituents of the fruits of Paliurus ramosissimus, various chromatographic techniques were used to separate and purify the chemical constituents. Three triterpenes have been isolated and purified by using various column chromatography. Their structures were elucidated by their physico-chemical properties and spectroscopic data. These compounds were determined as: 22S, 23R-epoxy-tirucalla-7-ene-3alpha,24, 25-triol (1), 21S, 23R-epoxy-21, 24S, 25-trihydroxy-apotirucalla-7-ene-3-one (2), 21R, 23R-epoxy-21-ethoxy-24S, 25-dihydroxy-apotirucalla-7-ene-3-one (3), separately. Compound 1 is a new compound, and the others were obtained from this genus for the first time.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses
Diuretic; Tonic; Vulnerary.

The leaves are applied as a poultice to ulcers and abscesses. The fruit is cooling and diuretic. The root is used in the treatment of sore throats, swellings and internal injuries. The thorny branches and flowers are used in the treatment of thoracic congestion, abscesses and swellings. The spines are said to benefit the uro-genital system and to increase virility in married men. The flowers are applied to running sores.


Other Uses

Hair; Hedge; Wood.
The plants are used as a hedge in China. The ashes of twigs are mixed with oil for a hairwash. The hard timber can use for producing farm tools.

The hard wood is used for producing farm tools. The roots, branches, leaves, flowers, and fruit are used medicinally. Oil extracted from the seeds is used for making candles.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Paliurus+ramosissimus
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paliurus_ramosissimus3.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paliurus_ramosissimus4.jpg
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19806894
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paliurus
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200013353

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