Using Eucommia for Blood Pressure and Arthritis Relief

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Eucommia (Eucommia ulmoides) is an herb used for centuries in certain systems of alternative medicine, including traditional Chinese medicine. In traditional Japanese medicine, for instance, a tea made from Eucommia extract is commonly taken for health-related purposes.

Said to increase vitality and promote longevity, Eucommia is often touted as a rich source of antioxidants and lignans (naturally occurring chemicals with hormone-like effects).​

Dietary supplements typically contain extracts of the leaf, stem, bark, and flower of the plant.

Uses for Eucommia

In alternative medicine, Eucommia is sometimes used to protect against the following health problems:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes 
  • Fatigue
  • high blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Insulin resistance 
  • Low back pain 
  • Obesity 

Additionally, Eucommia is said to promote weight loss, prevent osteoporosis, offer anti-aging benefits, and enhance heart health.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Eucommia is used to support the function of the endocrine system, improve kidney health, and strengthen the bones and muscles.

The Health Benefits of Eucommia

To date, most of the evidence for Eucommia's health effects comes from preliminary research in animals and small clinical trials. Here's a look at the science behind the potential health benefits of Eucommia.

High Blood Pressure: Eucommia may help fight high blood pressure (a condition also known as hypertension), according to a small study published in Alternative Medicine Review in 2011.

For the study, 30 healthy adults took one gram of Eucommia three times daily for two weeks. At the study's end, Eucommia was found to have lowered blood pressure by an average of 7.5/3.9 mmHg. The study's authors determined that compounds in Eucommia may reduce blood pressure by blocking the action of epinephrine (a hormone known to raise blood pressure when released into the bloodstream).

Some animal-based research indicates that the lignans found in Eucommia may also help with blood pressure management. This research includes a rat-based study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine in 2013, which found that lignans extracted from Eucommia may help prevent hypertension-related cardiac remodeling (i.e., changes to the structure of the heart induced by damage to cardiac muscle).

Arthritis: Several preliminary studies show that Eucommia may offer relief of osteoarthritis. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2015, for example, tests on rats demonstrated that treatment with Eucommia helped slow the progression of osteoarthritis, in part by reducing inflammation and inhibiting the breakdown of cartilage.

Diabetes: Eucommia shows promise in the treatment of diabetes, suggests a preliminary study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2006. In experiments on diabetic mice, scientists observed that six weeks of treatment with Eucommia significantly lowered the animals' blood sugar levels and, in turn, may help prevent and manage diabetes-related complications.

In addition, a preliminary study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2010 found that Eucommia may help reduce insulin resistance (a condition closely linked to diabetes). In tests on rats with metabolic syndrome, the study's authors also found that Eucommia may possess anti-obesity properties.


So far, little is known about the safety of long-term or regular use of Eucommia. If you're considering the use of Eucommia in the treatment of any chronic condition, make sure to consult your physician before you begin taking the herb.

Where to Find It

Dietary supplements containing Eucommia extract are sold in some natural-foods stores and stores specializing in herbal products, as well as online.

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