Botanical Name: Ligustrum lucidum | Family: Oleaceae

Common name(s): Chinese Privet, Glossy privet, White Wax Tree, Tree Ligustrum


  • Evergreen shrub | Zones 8-11 | 32 feet high, 9 feet wide  | White flowers from August – September, followed by berries
  • Pollinated by insects
  • Full sun to deep shade | most soils except for highly alkaline, prefers them moist but not waterlogged


Harvest berries when ripe, September – October


Decoction: Simmer 5-15 grams of the berries in 1 cup of water for 10-15 minutes. Take over the course of a day.

Tincture: 3-5 ml, 3/day

Tea: powdered berries can be added to a tea.

Note: dosage in decoction/tea form is 5-15 grams/day.


Constituents: Oleanic acid, ursolic acid, mannitol,fructose, glucose, fatty oil, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium

Actions: Blood and nutritive tonic, demulcent, immunomodulator

Uses: Deep immune activation, burn out, premature aging (including graying of hair and vision loss), tinnitus

Combinations: often combined with astragalus


  • Sweet, bitter and neutral


The Indian Herbalogy book speaks of Ligustrum vulgare and amurense, noting that vulgare is hardy in the north, from New England to Virginia. This species uses the leaves but the book notes that the bark is thought to be as effective. It does not speak of its immune system effects, so it was not used as a primary source for this plant profile, just mentioned here in the notes. I actually couldn’t find Ligustrum in most of my herbal references, and I have A LOT of them!

Consequentially, this was a hard materia medica to do. I needed to rely on some additional online sources. David Hoffman’s book only mentions the plant in his section on the immune system, but no dosages or constituents. Those came from Michael Tierra’s book and the Naturopathy Digest link.