We humans are energy factories: We make and store heat. The more stress, computer time, smoking, nerve stimulants and congesting rich foods that we consume, the more we store internal heat. When we are weak, tired, stressed or dehydrated, the more heat we store up. External or internal heat penetrates us deeper. This is serious in scorching hot weather. But we feel it even if we are not suffering from hot weather; we can have internal heat from hormonal changes or other reasons. We may feel dizzy, have a blasting headache, red hot hands and feet. In fact an acupuncture treatment for heat stroke is for an acupuncturist to take a drop of blood from “ting points” the tips of all fingers and toes – the extremities of the acupuncture meridians in order to rid associated internal organs from excess heat that causes extreme symptoms.
Traditional Chinese medicine teaches how trapped heat, originating from inside the body or outside, can cause wind which is sudden, severe nerve irritation that rises to the head, causing dizziness, fever, nausea, heat stroke. When heat trapped in the body rises, we can die. Heat enters our organs and blood.
Fortunately, Chinese herbal medicines provide a category of herbs that “cool the blood.” For example they are certain bitter herbs. Some also contain antibiotic properties or help to release bile in order to correct digestive problems. One such blood cooling herb is cooling and supports body fluids. It is Cape Jasmine Fruit/ Shan Zhi Zi also called Gardenia Fruit.
The fruit of gardenia, Gardenia jasminoides Ellis, a traditional Chinese folk medicine, is used in the treatment of an array of illnesses including jaundice, headaches, fever, inflammation, hepatic disorders, and hypertension. (sciencedirect.com)
Gardenia Fruit: Actions: Clears heat throughout the body in the chest, stomach, gut and gallbladder system. It mildly drains dampness which means it improves digestion. Gardenia pod “cools the blood” (it stops excess bleeding which may result from menstrual inflammation or other causes.) It eliminates toxicity. How? Because it is bitter it stimulates bile which is laxative and cleansing.
The herb reduces fire from the heart [palpitations and chest pain]. It helps to cool lungs, and stomach to ease restlessness. It has been used topically to reduce swelling and blood stasis due to trauma. (chineseherbinfo.com)
Because Gardenia fruit Zhi Zi can act directly on the blood to help cool it, the fruit may be used to stop hemorrhages and speed the healing of traumatic injuries by encouraging the circulation of stagnant blood. It can treat nosebleeds, blood in the urine, and vomiting blood.
The fruit of Gardenia jasminoides ELLIS has strong antihyperlipidemic activities and could improve hyperlipidemia (i.e. a condition in which there are high levels of fat particles in the blood). https://www.meandqi.com/herb-database/cape-jasmine-fruit - source2
According to traditional sources: Gardenia jasminoides AKA: Cape Jasmine Fruit, Mudan, Zhizi, Yuetao, Mountain Gardenia, Branch, Xiaochengzi, Yellow Gardenia, Yellow Zhizi, Mountain Yellow Gardenia, Mountain Gardenia
The dried mature fruit of the Rubiaceae plant Gardenia is used for “clearing away heat, purging fire and cooling blood to “cure fever, irritability, insomnia, jaundice, gonorrhea, diminished thirst, red eyes, sore throat, vomiting blood, epistaxis, blood dysentery, blood in urine, heat toxin sores, sprain swelling and pain.”
People with spleen deficiency and loose stools [watery diarrhea] are not allowed to take it.
Add it to Tea
A simple way to use this herb is to add a couple of Gardenia pods to your daily green or white tea. The flavor is mild if not used to excess. Watch for signs that your body is cooler. You may be able to breathe with more ease, feel less debilitated from hot weather and sleep better. If you feel chilled or develop diarrhea, reduce the dose and add digestive herbs such as ginger and mint.