The fruit of the lovely yellow forsythia bush has been utilized in Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years. It is one of the 50 key herbs in the Chinese herbal ‘cookbook.’ While the bush is native to mainland China, they grow almost everywhere on the earth, and are often among the first plants to bloom in the first flush of spring in many northern climates. The forsythia fruit occupies a very important position in traditional Chinese medicine. It was known for its potent antiviral properties, which explains its use as a first line of defense against colds and flu. The ancient Chinese also used the forsythia fruit to alleviate the symptoms of fever, coughs and chest pain. In Western medicine, the first recorded use of the forsythia fruit was in an herbal book dated 1789. Although little scientific study has been done on the health benefits of the forsythia fruit, the anecdotal evidence that stretches back thousands of years continues to provide a strong foundation for the medicinal properties of the plant in modern times.
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