Privet ( ligustrum lucidum)

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP:

tea kettleDyeMortar

2017-08-30 14.40.02

Also known as:

Uses: Medicinal Remedies, Dye, Tea

Parts Used:  Berries, Flowers, Leaves, Bark

Preparation:  Tea, Vinegar, Oil, Tincture, Infusion, Flower Essence








  • Symbolizes:   Healing old wounds, letting go of blocks
  • Language of Flowers meaning:  Mildness, Prohibitive
  • Associated with:  Sacral Chakra
  • Element:  Water
  • Governed by: Moon

Part of the olive family (Oleaceae)

I planted what I thought was a small shrub five years ago that was gifted to us. With no identifying information to go along with I was surprised after two years when it began stretching, spreading and growing taller.  It is now 10 feet high and getting wider.  According to different sources of information could grow from 15 to 30 feet high.  The is the evergreen that many topiary cuttings are created with and it is popular for use in Bonsai.  It flowered for the first time two years ago and this year there are many fruits developing as we enter into fall.  The flowers are a nice fragrance to begin with but slowly they become less attractive over the days as the blooms diminish.  This year this Privet is gifting us with an abundance of fruit that are forming from the spent flowers.  When the fruits are ripe in the fall, these are the main part of this plant used in Traditional Chinese and Herbal Remedies.  The leaves, flowers and bark can also used.  You will find the dried berries ground up in many medicinal and beauty products!

Nutrients & Qualities: 

Privet has applications as a  diuretic, astringent, antiseptic, immuno-stimulant, anti-cholestrolemic and it has anti-cancer properties.  It is known to invigorate the immune system.

  • Constituents:
    • quercetin glycosides;  flavonol glycosides, secoiridoids (oleuropein, ligustaloside A, ligustaloside B, and ligstroside)
    • kaempferol glycosides
    • polyphenols
    • oleanolic
    • palmitic
    • linoleic
    • ursolic acids
    • mannitol
    • glucose
    • starch
    • bitter resin
    • bitter extractive
    • albumen
    • salts
    • ligustrin

Therapeutic Uses:

  • Flowers:
    • Headaches
    • Vaginal Irritations
    • Menstrual Problems
  • Leaves:
    • Diarrhea
    • Bladder disorders
    • Stomach ulcers
    • Indigestion
    • Increase appetite
    • Sore throat & eyes
    • Ulcers
    • Swellings
    • Mumps
    • Chapped lips
    • Throat cancer
  • Leaves & bark: 
    • Headaches
    • Tumours
    • Bronchitis
    • Coughs
    • Light-headedness
    • Chronic bowel problems
    • Vaginal douche
    • Mouthwash or gargle
    • Wash for skin problems
  • Berries/Seeds:
    • Liver & Kidney ailments
    • Increase energy
    • Menopause
    • Insomnia
    • Premature aging
    • Grey hair
    • Heart palpitations
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Tinnitus (a ringing in the ear)
    • Backache
    • Eye issues including cataracts, glaucoma & cataract
    • Contagious ailments: hepatitis B & sexually transmitted diseases (STD)
    • High blood pressure (hypertension)
    • Pneumocystis Carinii pneumonia (a fungal infection of the lungs)
    • Respiratory problems

How to use Leaves & Bark:

Boil 1 tsp. leaves or bark in 1 cup water. Take 1 to 2 cups a day.

Recommended Reading:

  • Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992
  • Book Review:  Wonderful Book, everyone should have a copy
    • on June 24, 1997 – I have every single one of this authors books. The information in them is terrific, including this one. It covers the different types of herbal philosophies. Mainly the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems. He integrates them both with western herbs, and makes it work. I won’t say his book has everything and every herb but it has a lot, and some of the more unusual herbs you usually can’t find in the regular every day herb books. It’s wonderful, and worth every penny you pay for it

Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.