Rhus chinensis

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Chinese sumac
Rhus javanica var chinensis2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
Species: R. chinensis
Binomial name
Rhus chinensis

Rhus javanica auct.
Rhus semialata Murray

Rhus chinensis, the Chinese sumac[1] or nutgall tree, is a plant species in the genus Rhus.

The species is used to produce galls, called Chinese gall, Galla Chinensis or Wu Bei Zi (五倍子) in Chinese, which are rich in gallotannins,[2][3] a type of hydrolysable tannins. The infestation by Chinese sumac aphids (Melaphis chinensis Bell) can lead to a gall which is valued as a commercial product. Chinese galls are used in Chinese medicine to treat coughs, diarrhea, night sweats, dysentery and to stop intestinal and uterine bleeding.[4]

Rhus chinensis compounds possess strong antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer, hepatoprotective, antidiarrheal and antioxidant activities.[5] The gall of Rhus chinensis, Galla chinensi, has long been considered to possess many medicinal properties.[6]

Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid),isolated from Rhus chinensis, induces apoptosis in human monocytic lymphoma cell line U937 and may be a potential chemotherapeutic agent against lymphoma.[7] The gall of Rhus chinensis inhibits alpha-glucosidase activity.[8]


  1. ^ "Rhus chinensis". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Identification and structure–activity relationship of gallotannins separated from Galla chinensis". Fang Tian, Bo Lia, Baoping Ji, Guizhi Zhang and Yangchao Luo, LWT - Food Science and Technology, Volume 42, Issue 7, September 2009, Pages 1289-1295 doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2009.03.004
  3. ^ "Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of consecutive extracts from Galla chinensis : The polarity affects the bioactivities". Fang Tian, Bo Lia, Baoping Ji, Jinhua Yang, Guizhi Zhang, Yang Chen and Yangchao Luo, Food Chemistry, Volume 113, Issue 1, 1 March 2009, Pages 173-179 doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.07.062
  4. ^ "Aphid", Henry G. Stroyan, McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 8th Edition, 1997, ISBN 0-07-911504-7
  5. ^ Djakpo O, Yao W, "Rhus chinensis and Galla Chinensis--folklore to modern evidence: review." Phytother Res. 2010 Dec;24(12):1739-47
  6. ^ Zhang J, Li L, Kim SH, Hagerman AE, Lü J. 2009. "Anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and other pharmacologic and biological activities of penta-galloyl-glucose." Pharm Res 26: 2066–2080.
  7. ^ Kim NS, Jeong SI, Hwang BS, Lee YE, Kang SH, Lee HC, Oh CH "Gallic acid inhibits cell viability and induces apoptosis in human monocytic cell line U937." J Med Food. 2011 Mar;14(3):240-6
  8. ^ Young-Jun Shima, Ho-Kyung Doob, Se-Young Ahnb, Yong-Suk Kimc, Je-Kyung Seongd, In-Sun Parke, Bon-Hong Mina, "Inhibitory effect of aqueous extract from the gall ofRhus chinensis on alpha-glucosidase activity and postprandial blood glucose." Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 85, Issues 2-3, April 2003, Pages 283-287

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