Cornus officinalis is a species of dogwood known also as Japanese cornel or Japanese cornelian cherry or Cornelian cherries, not to be confused with C. mas, which also known as the “Cornelian cherry.” The correct term would be Korean cornel dogwood or Chinese cornel dogwood since the flower originated from Korea and China.
It occurs in China, Japan and Korea where it is used as a food plant and as a medicinal plant-Shan-zhu-yu,(Chinese) San-syu-yu (Japanese).
1) Its decoction in vitro has different degrees of inhibition on Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus, trichophyton violaceum, influenza viruses, and more;
2) Its injection can improve the function of the heart, raise blood pressure, inhibit platelet aggregation, and prevent thrombosis;
3) Its alcohol extract has a significant hypoglycemic effect on diabetes induced by alloxan, adrenergic and streptozotocin (STZ) in rats;
4) Its fluidextract has a diuretic effect on anesthetized dogs;
5) It can enhance non-specific immune function and in vitro tests it can inhibit ascites tumor cells;
6) It can resist experimental liver injury;
7) It can elevate the decreased white blood cell count induced by radiotherapy;
8) It has antioxidative effect;
9) It has a weak excitatory effect on the parasympathetic nerves;
10) Tannin contained has astringent effect.
Eating cornelian cherry has tons of health benefits. And the acute toxicity test of cornelian cherry dogwood fruit pulp and stones shows that both of them are with very low toxicity – the LD50 of pulp is 53.55g (crude drug)/kg and the LD50 of stones is 90.8g (crude drug)/kg. TCM wise, it shouldn’t be used in cases of flaming fire of the life gate, persistent erection of penis, chronic damp-heat, and painful and difficult urination.
According to Ben Cao Jing Ji Zhu (Explanation of Canon of Materia Medica), it dislikes Jie Geng (Balloon Flower Root), Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae), and Fang Ji (Stephania Tetrandra).
Japanese cornel or Japanese cornelian cherry or Cornelian cherries
Source: ChineseHerbsHealing, http://www.chineseherbshealing.com/japanese-cornelian-cherry/