Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 68, Issue 2, pp 97–106 | Cite as

Biological Activities of Extracts from Chinese Bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.): A Review

  • Chongde Sun
  • Huizhong Huang
  • Changjie Xu
  • Xian LiEmail author
  • Kunsong Chen
Original Paper


Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.) is a subtropical fruit tree native to China and other Asian countries, and culture of this Myricaceae plant has been recorded in Chinese history for more than 2000 years. Bayberry fruit is delicious with attractive color, flavor, and high economic value. Compared with other berries, bayberry fruit is a rich source of cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G, e.g., 64.8 mg/100 g fresh weight in ‘Biqi’ cultivar), which accounts for at least 85 % of the anthocyanins in the fruit. Bayberry is also a plant with high medicinal value since different organs have been used historically as folk medicines. Research efforts suggest bayberry extracts contain antioxidants that exhibit bioactivities counteracting inflammation, allergens, diabetes, cancer, bacterial infection, diarrhea and other health issues. Bayberry compounds have been isolated and characterized to provide a better understanding of the chemical mechanisms underlying the biological activities of bayberry extracts and to elaborate the structure-activity relationships. As the identification of compounds progresses, studies investigating the in vivo metabolism and bioavailability as well as potential toxicity of bayberry extracts in animal models are receiving more attention. In addition, breeding and genetic studies of bayberry with high accumulation of health-benefiting compounds may provide new insight for the bayberry research and industry. This review is focused on the main medicinal properties reported and the possible pharmaceutically active compounds identified in different bayberry extracts.


Chinese bayberry Bioactivity Bioactive compounds 



2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid)








Epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate


Ferric reducing antioxidant power


Minimal inhibitory concentrations


Matrix metalloproteinase


Prodelphinidin B-2 3,3′-di-O-gallate


Reactive oxygen species



We thank Prof. Donald Grierson from the University of Nottingham (UK) for his kind suggestions and efforts in language editing. The work was supported by the Special Scientific Research Fund of Agricultural Public Welfare Profession of China (201203089), the National Project of Scientific and Technical Supporting Programs Funded by the Ministry of Science & Technology of China (2012BAD33B08), the National Science Foundation of China (31171668), the Program for Key Innovative Research Team of Zhejiang Province (2010R50032-5), the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2013AA102606).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11130_2013_349_MOESM1_ESM.doc (3.7 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 3.70 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chongde Sun
    • 1
  • Huizhong Huang
    • 1
  • Changjie Xu
    • 1
  • Xian Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kunsong Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Fruit Quality Biology/The State Agriculture Ministry Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Growth, Development and Quality ImprovementZhejiang University, Zijingang CampusHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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