Rhus chinensis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chinese sumac
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
R. chinensis
Binomial name
Rhus chinensis
  • Rhus javanica auct.
  • Rhus semialata Murray

Rhus chinensis, the Chinese sumac[2] or nutgall tree, is a deciduous shrub or small tree in the genus Rhus. Growing to 6 m (20 ft) tall, it has downy shoots and leaves comprising several leaflets. These turn red in autumn before falling.[3]

The plant is common in East and South Asia,[4] and is cultivated as an ornamental in temperate climates.

Galls produced on the species that are called Chinese gall, Galla Chinensis, or Wu Bei Zi (五倍子) in Chinese, are a source of gallotannins,[5][6] molecules of hydrolyzable tannins. Infestation of the tree by Chinese sumac aphids (Melaphis chinensis Bell) may lead to production of a gall that is valued as a commercial product in China.

Chinese galls are used in traditional Chinese medicine for coughs, diarrhea, night sweats, dysentery, and intestinal and uterine bleeding.[7] Some research has suggested that chemical compounds found in Rhus chinensis possess in vitro antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer, hepatoprotective, antidiarrheal, and antioxidant activities.[4] However, this evidence is not substantiated by multiple international researchers. The aqueous extracts of the gall also inhibit alpha-glucosidase activity in vitro.[8]


  1. ^ Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) & IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group (2018). "Rhus chinensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T135819132A135819134. Retrieved 23 January 2023.
  2. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Rhus chinensis". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Rhus chinensis". RHS. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  4. ^ a b Djakpo, O; Yao, W (2010). "Rhus chinensis and Galla Chinensis--folklore to modern evidence: Review". Phytotherapy Research. 24 (12): 1739–47. doi:10.1002/ptr.3215. PMC 7167973. PMID 20564459.
  5. ^ Tian, Fang; Li, Bo; Ji, Baoping; Zhang, Guizhi; Luo, Yangchao (2009). "Identification and structure–activity relationship of gallotannins separated from Galla chinensis". LWT - Food Science and Technology. 42 (7): 1289. doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2009.03.004.
  6. ^ Tian, Fang; Li, Bo; Ji, Baoping; Yang, Jinhua; Zhang, Guizhi; Chen, Yang; Luo, Yangchao (2009). "Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of consecutive extracts from Galla chinensis:The polarity affects the bioactivities". Food Chemistry. 113: 173–179. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.07.062.
  7. ^ "Aphid", Henry G. Stroyan, McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 8th Edition, 1997, ISBN 0-07-911504-7
  8. ^ Shim, Y. J; Doo, H. K; Ahn, S. Y; Kim, Y. S; Seong, J. K; Park, I. S; Min, B. H (2003). "Inhibitory effect of aqueous extract from the gall of Rhus chinensis on alpha-glucosidase activity and postprandial blood glucose". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 85 (2–3): 283–7. doi:10.1016/s0378-8741(02)00370-7. PMID 12639753.

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