Apocynum venetum, commonly known as luobuma or rafuma, is a small shrub, the leaves of which make a tea that is particularly popular in China.
Apocynum venetum is said to have cardioprotective, diuretic, and sedative properties. Apocynum venetum tea has been found to reduce blood pressure in rodent studies, but there is currently no human evidence for these effects.
Drinking Apocynum venetum tea may also have a minor anti-anxiety effect, and a mild antidepressant effect. Both of these claims are based on animal evidence, with no human evidence available at this time.
Further research is needed to determine Apocynum venetum’s main mechanism.
Though there is minimal human evidence for Apocynum venetum’s effects, it appears to be safe to drink. Apocynum venetum and St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) have some similar bioactive compounds, including hyperforin. This means that Apocynum venetum may have interactions with other drugs, like St. John’s wort does, but this has not been sufficiently tested.