Eucommia ulmoides or “Arbre à gomme” in French, belongs to the Droseraceae botanical family. It is a tree that can be 20 m tall. Native to China where it is mostly cultivated, it grows in lower mountains, valleys or sparse forests.
The timber is used for furniture and fuel; the solidified latex is used for lining pipes, insulating electric cables, and for filling teeth.
The bark has been used in traditional Chinese Medicine for at least 2000 years for its functions of tonifying liver and kidney, strengthening muscles and bones etc. It has been reported to have antihypertensive, hypolipidemic, antidiabetic, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, bone metabolism, hepatoprotective, kidney protective, anti-fatigue, anti-aging, sedative and hypnotic, antidepressant, enhancement of cognition and other improvement effects.
Its main constituents are iridoids, phenols, flavonoids, lignans, sterols, gutta-percha ; among which triterpenes, fatty acids, coumarin, chromone, flavonoids and cyclopeptide alkaloids.