1.1 What is a Amur grape?
The Amur grape (botanical name: Vitis amurensis, also known as Chinese wild grape; Chinese Pinyin: Shan Pu Tao, Simplified Chinese: 山葡萄), is a species of perennial, flowering, fruit-bearing liana (woody vine) in genus Vitis in the grape family, Vitaceae. The term Amur grape can refer to the plant as well as the fruit of the plant. The plant is dioecious, the flowers are small, greenish to yellow, with 5 petals. The edible fruit is round, small in size between 10-15 mm in diameter with thick black or purple skin. Native to Russia and China and found also in Japan and Korea, habitats of Amur grape include valley, stream banks, forests and hillsides (usually found from between 200 to 21,000 meters in elevation). Characteristics of Amur grape include tolerance for frost, adaptations to different growth conditions, resistance to anthracnose and ripe rot and adaptation to barren lands.
Other simplified Chinese names for Amur grape include: 婴奥, 野葡萄, 黑龙江葡萄, 阿穆尔葡萄, 木龙, 烟黑, 婴舌.
1.2 How does Amur grape taste?
Good Amur grapes has a juicy, taut texture with a flavor that is tart, sour and mildly sweet.
1.3 How is Amur grape used in traditional Chinese medicine?
The roots and stem of Amur grape are considered to be sweet, neutral and nontoxic in nature and to be associated with the lung, spleen and kidney meridians. It is used as antiinflammatory agent, diuretic and discutient in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as stranguria.
2. Uses, Health Benefits of Amur Grape & Medical Formulas
2.1 Eliminate Cancer Cells
Grapes are a good source of antioxidants that help prevent and repair damage caused by free oxygen radicals in the cell level. One key effective group of the compounds are proanthocyanidins (PAs), which are also known as condensed tannins. Studies indicate that antioxidant power of proanthocyanidins is 20 times higher than that of vitamin C and 50 times higher than vitamin E. A team of scientists from the US and China also found out that grape-seed extract can eliminate laboratory leukemia cells by forcing the cancer cells but not the normal cells commit suicide, suggesting that there is great potential value of natural compounds in the treatment of cancer (medicalnewstoday.com 2009).
2.2 Boost Energy Level
Eating Amur grapes supplements the iron content in the body and boosts energy level. At the cellular level, iron is used then to make energy and to fuel enzymes. A lack of energy is one of widely seen signs of an iron deficiency. A low-level of iron means that the blood cannot carry enough oxygen around the body which can affect the energy levels, mood as well as the concentration levels and productivity (livestrong.com 2015). Therefore, drinking Amur grape juice or eating the fruit provides a quick energy boost.
2.3 Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Amur grape is rich in Vitamin C, its seeds also contain bioflavonoids. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids work together as important water-soluble antioxidants in our body. Researches revealed that bioflavonoids have specific capabilities in strengthening health in many different ways, they support strong cell formations and suppress poor cellular growth in order to deliver an anti-carcinogenic effect. Bioflavonoids also combat atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
2.4 Corneal Opacity
[CTM Formula] Immerse Amur grape stems in water and the water can be used externally to treat corneal opacity (an eye disorder that occurs due to scarring of the cornea, making the cornea appear cloudy or white).
[CTM Formula] A decoction of Amur grape roots, Kudzu root and urine of boys under ten is taken orally to treat stranguria (a syndrome characterized by frequent, difficult and painful discharge of urine accompanied by abdominal pain or lumbago).
2.6 Skin Health
[CTM Formula] Dried Amur grape root is powdered and applied externally to treat sores and boils.
The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.
The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.
Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by ChinaAbout.net;. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.
List of reference
livestrong.com 2015 Will Iron Tablets Give Me Energy? [online] Retrieved 21 August 2017. Link: http://www.livestrong.com/article/454503-will-iron-tablets-give-me-some-energy/
medicalnewstoday.com 2009 Grape Seed Extract Kills Cancer Cells In Lab [online] Retrieved 21 August 2017. Link: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/134311.php