Herb: Oriental Bittersweet


Latin name: Celastrus orbiculatus


Synonyms: Celastrus articulatus


Family: Celastraceae (Bittersweet Family)



Medicinal use of Oriental Bittersweet:

The roots, stems and leaves are antiphlogistic, antirheumatic, depurative and tonic. A decoction of the roots and stems is used internally whilst the crushed fresh leaves are used for external applications. The plant is used in the treatment of paralysis, numbness of the four extremities, headache, toothache, spontaneous abscess formation and snake bites. Many plants in this genus contain compounds of interest for their antitumour activity.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Climber

Height:
12 m
(39 feet)

Flovering:
July to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets on grassy slopes in lowland and mountains all over Japan. Forest edges in China.

Edible parts of Oriental Bittersweet:

Young leaves - cooked.

Other uses of the herb:

Used as a hedge.

Propagation of Oriental Bittersweet:

Seed - gather when ripe, store in dry sand and sow February in a warm greenhouse. Three months cold stratification leads to a higher germination rate. Remove the flesh of the fruit since this inhibits germination. Germination rates are usually good. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Layering in August of the current seasons growth. Takes 12 months. Root cuttings, 6mm thick 25mm long in December. Plant horizontally in pots in a frame.

Cultivation of the herb:

Thickets on grassy slopes in lowland and mountains all over Japan. Forest edges in China.

Known hazards of Celastrus orbiculatus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.