The Loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica) is a large evergreen shrub or tree grown commercially for its fruit or cultivated as an ornamental. Loquat is also known as Japanese plum or Chinese plum. In China, loquat is commonly referred to as *Pipa* as the leaves resemble the shape of the Chinese stringed musical instrument the lute or Pipa. The loquat Leaves - Pi Pa Ye in Mandarin - contain the most medicinal properties and has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years for clearing lung qi.
Loquat leaf is cold in nature and effective in descending qi energy, which stops the flaring up of fire and returns respiratory order. Loquat acts is a demulcent and an expectorant, as well as to soothe the digestive and respiratory systems often upset by heat in the lungs. Loquat syrup is a traditional remedy for congestion, cough, and sensitivity to lung irritations. In laboratory studies, models have found that Loquat reduces sneezing, the effects of histamines, and slowed allergic reactions. Loquat syrup is used for a variety of coughs including wheezing, chronic bronchitis, kid’s coughing, coughing with mucus, and irritated itchy throats.
The benefits of Loquat go well beyond the respiratory system. The antioxidant known as Amygdalin or B-17 is present and supports the liver. It also contains linoleic acids and plant sterols, which encourage normal liver function. Loquat also contains triterpene, in particular, tormentic acid, which encourages polysaccharide production — a necessary component of insulin production. Loquat leaf has been used to extinguish red, swollen, uncomfortable gums, and also has the ability to support normal brain operation and protect against oxidative stress to improve memory function. In Japan, loquat leaves are dried to make a beverage known as biwa cha to beautify the skin and heal inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
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