Cornus officinalis is a species of dogwood known also as Japanese cornel or Japanese cornelian cherry or Cornelian cherries.
In Korean it is known as sansuyu, in Chinese as shan zhu yu and in Japanese as sanshuyu.
It occurs in China, Japan and Korea where it is used as a food plant and as a medicinal plant-Shan-zhu-yu,(Chinese) San-syu-yu (Japanese).
The plant contains oleanolic acid and ursolic acid. Ursolic acid has shown in vitro protective effects on auditory cells.
Ethanolic extracts of the fruit of C. officinalis has been shown to prevent hepatic injuries associated with acetaminophen-induced liver injury-induced hepatotoxicity (in mice) by preventing or alleviating oxidative stress.
The chemical constituents isolated from the fruit (Corni fructus) have protective effects on beta cells in vitro, and may control postprandial hyperglycemia by alpha-glucosidase inhibition.
Cornel iridoid glycoside, a chemical extracted from Cornus officinalis, promoted neurogenesis and angiogenesis and improved neurological function after ischemia in rats.
A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study found that a Chinese herbal formula that mainly consisted of Cornus officinalis was not only effective at improving erectile function, but it was also safe for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. A chemical substance isolated from Cornus officinalis also may enhance the motility of human sperm.
Cell cultures of C. officinalis contain gallotannins in the forms of tri-, tetra- and pentagalloylglucoses. The main tannins are 1,2,3,6-tetragalloylglucose, 1,2,6-trigalloyl-glucose, 1,2,3,4,6-pentagalloyl-glucose and 6-digalloyl-1,2,3-trigalloyl-glucose.
Cornelian cherry juices are rich in potassium, calcium, sodium, iron, zinc, manganese, and copper. Compared to other juices obtained from plum, pear, and apple, Cornelian cherry juice contained higher levels of dietary minerals.