Yu Li Ren (Semen Pruni or Bush Cherry Pit)

What Is Yu Li Ren

Yu Li Ren commonly known as Semen Pruni or Bush Cherry Pit is the mature seed of Prunus humilis, Prunus japonica, or Prunus pedunculata, which is a deciduous shrub belonging to the family Rosaceae. It is a commonly used laxative, which first appeared in <Shennong Ben Cao Jing> in the late Western Han Dynasty (around 100 BCE).

Prunus humilis is commonly called Bush Cherry and is an economic crop. It likes a humid environment and often grows on sunny hillsides, sandy lands, and shrubs at an altitude of 100-1,800 meters. It is distributed in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Shandong, and Henan.

The stems and leaves of this plant are rich in nutrients and can be used as feed for cattle and sheep. Historically, its fruits were used as tributes for the royal family only. This fruit is rich in active calcium and is the best calcium supplement fruit for the elderly and children.

prunus humilis

Prunus japonica is also called Cerasus japonica, Japanese bush cherry, Oriental bush cherry, or Oriental bush cherry and is a widely cultivated ornamental plant. This plant likes light and a warm environment. It often grows on hillsides, under forests and shrubs at 100-200 meters above sea level. The leaves of this plant procure a green dye, while the fruit procures a greenish to grayish dye.

Prunus pedunculata is called long-stemmed almond in China. This plant is cold-resistant and drought-tolerant and is often planted in desert areas as an ornamental tree. It is distributed in China’s Inner Mongolia and Ningxia, Mongolia, and Siberia.

In the summer and autumn of each year, people pick mature fruits of Prunus humilis, Prunus japonica, or Prunus pedunculata, remove their shells and pulps, take out seeds, dry them, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Yu Li Ren contains afzelin, kaempferitrin, Multiflorin, prunuside A, prunuside B, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, arachidic acid, cis-11-eicosenoic acid, leucine, phenylalanine, valine, isoleucine Acid, water-soluble proteins, amygdalin, polysaccharides, and a variety of trace elements.

Generally, light brown or yellow-white Yu Li Ren rich in fat is preferred.

According to <Compendium of Materia Medica>, the medicinal nature of Yu Li Ren is relatively neutral, with a pungent, bitter, and sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the spleen, large intestine, and small intestine meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Yu Li Ren is often used to moisten intestines and relieve constipation, induce diuresis and alleviate edema, and treat senile constipation, habitual constipation, difficult urination, indigestion, bronchial asthma, and beriberi. It is an important component of Wu Ren Wan.


  • Anti-oxidation, scavenging hydroxyl free radicals, superoxide anions, reducing the content of malondialdehyde in serum and liver.
  • Anti-inflammation, inhibiting edema of foot joint in rats and having an analgesic effect.
  • Inhibiting the activity of a-amylase in the small intestine of mice, regulating glucose metabolism in mice, and lowering blood sugar.
  • Regulating glucose and lipid metabolism, reducing fat deposition in obese animals, and promoting the growth of skeletal muscle.
  • Promoting thickening of the bronchial mucosa and eliminating phlegm.
  • Supplementing calcium, dilating blood vessels, and lowering blood pressure.
  • Promoting intestinal peristalsis, alleviating constipation and dry stool caused by intestinal dryness or qi stagnation in the large intestine.
  • Alleviating constipation caused by postpartum gastrointestinal dryness-heat.
  • Inducing diuresis, relieving abdominal flatulence and edema.
  • A small dose of amygdalin can produce hydrocyanic acid in the body, which can calm the respiratory center, relieve cough and asthma.
  • Studies have confirmed that it’s oleic acid can reduce the concentration of low-density lipoprotein, increase the concentration of high-density lipoprotein, and reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases.


Side Effects

  • At present, no relevant information has been found showing that it has toxic effects.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Yu Li Ren should be controlled at 6-12g.
  • It can be made into decoction, pills, or powders.
  • When making its decoctions, it is recommended to crush it and decoct it.
  • People who are allergic to Yu Li Ren should not take it.
  • Patients who have a lot of sputum and a cough should not take it.
  • Patients with loose stools should not take it.
  • Patients with weakness of the spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • Pregnant women and children should not take it.