Dong Kui Guo (Fructus Malvae)

What Is Dong Kui Guo

Dong Kui Guo commonly known as Fructus Malvae is the ripe fruit of Malva verticillata L., which is an annual to biennial herb belonging to the family Malvaceae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Shennong Ben Cao Jing> in the late Western Han Dynasty (around 100 BCE).

There are about 53 species of Malva, which are widely distributed in temperate and subtropical regions of the world. Some of these species are common ornamentals. Some of these species can be eaten as vegetables. The most representative one is Malva verticillata L.

Malva verticillata L. also known as Chinese mallow or Cluster Mallow is an ornamental and medicinal plant. Their seedlings and young leaves are edible.

Malva verticillata

This plant likes cool and moist environments. They are not resistant to high temperature and severe cold and are suitable for growing in an environment of 15~20°C. They grow well in well-drained, loose, fertile soil that retains water and fertilizer. They originated in Asia and have been introduced to parts of the Americas, Europe, and Africa.

From summer to autumn, people gather the ripe fruits of Malva verticillata L., remove impurities, dry them in the shade, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Dong Kui Guo contains caffeic acid, ferulic acid, quinic acid, 9,12,13-trihydroxy-octadecadienoic acid, 9,12,13-trihydroxy-octadecenoic acid, linolenic acid, oleic acid, myristoleic acid, palmitic acid, myricetin-3-hexoside-glucuronide, quercetin-3-O-hexoside-glucuronide, epigallocatechin, hyperin, kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside, kaempferol-3-O-glucoside, quercitrin, quercetin-3-O-glucuronide, catechin, kaempferide-3-glucuronide, biochanin A, rubone, robinetin trimethyl ether, rutin, nortangeretin-8-O-β-d-glucuronide, isoscutellarein 8-O-glucuronopyranoside, hypolaetin 8-O-glucuronopyranoside, herbacetin 8-O-glucuronopyranoside, herbacetin 3-O-glucopyranosyl-8-O-glucuronopyranoside, isoscutellarein 7-O-glucopyranoside, β-sitosterol, verticilloside, daucosterol, glycerides, volatile oils, polysaccharides, amino acids, oleamide, 1,3-dihydroxyacetone dimer, 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, 2-hydroxy-gamma-butyrolactone, 3,5,6,9-tetrahydroxy-7-megastigmene, and some trace elements.

Generally, the yellow-green Dong Kui Guo with a complete appearance is preferred.

According to the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, the medicinal nature of Dong Kui Guo is relatively cool, with a sweet and astringent taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the large intestine, small intestine, and bladder meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to clear heat and induce diuresis, reduce swelling, promote lactation, induce abortion, and treat dysuria, constipation, hypogalactia, hair loss, stranguria, edema, anuresis, urine retention, leukorrhea, genital itching, thirst, urinary tract infection, urolithiasis, chronic pyelonephritis, renal failure, diabetes, and pathological bone diseases.


  • Anti-oxidation, scavenging DPPH free radicals and ABTS free radicals, reducing ferric tripyridyltriazine (Fe 3+ TPTZ) into ferrous tripyridyltriazine (Fe 2+ TPTZ) [1].
  • Lowering non-fasting blood glucose and fasting blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes model mice [2].
  • Inducing diuresis and treating stranguria due to heat, hematuria, urolithiasis, or pregnancy.
  • Reducing swelling and treating edema, abdominal flatulence, and dysuria with frequent vomiting.
  • Promoting lactation and treating galactostasis, and distending pain of the breast.
  • Moistening the intestines and treating constipation due to intestinal dryness.
  • Its acidic polysaccharide has been reported to show significant reticuloendothelial system-potentiating activity and anti-complementary activity in a carbon clearance test [3].
  • It contains linolenic acid and myristoleic acid, the two kinds of fatty acids that can activate the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and promote the proliferation of human dermal papilla cell DPCs, which can become a new choice for the treatment of hair loss [4, 5].
  • Experiments have confirmed that its petroleum ether extract and ethyl acetate extract can significantly increase the urine volume of rats. Additionally, the petroleum ether extract also significantly increased the urinary potassium excretion of rats [6].
  • Its glycerides are cytotoxic to HepG2, AGS, HCT-15, and A549 cancer cells [7]. Also, it has a preventive effect against buccal mucosa cancer in vivo [8].
  • Studies have found that its water extract can inhibit the RANKL signaling pathway, and further inhibit osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption [9].


Side Effects

  • At present, there is no literature report that Dong Kui Guo has toxic effects, and no data is showing that taking it at the prescribed dose can cause serious adverse reactions.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Dong Kui Guo should be controlled at 3-9g.
  • It can be made into decoctions, pills, or medicinal liquors.
  • People who are allergic to Dong Kui Guo should not take it.
  • Patients with loose stools due to spleen deficiency should not take it.
  • Patients with prolapse due to qi deficiency should not take it.
  • Pregnant women should not take it.
  • Breastfeeding women should take it under medical supervision.