The traditional Chinese medicinal properties associated with Ku Ding include its ability to disperse wind-heat, clear the head and the eyes, and resolve toxin, thus being used for common cold, rhinitis, itching eyes, red eyes, and headache. It is also said to calm fidgets and alleviate thirst, especially when one is suffering from a disease that causes fever or severe diarrhea. It transforms phlegm and alleviates coughing, thus used in treating bronchitis. Finally, it is said to invigorate digestion and improve mental focus and memory.
Modern research suggests that the herb, derived from either ''Ilex'' or ''Ligustrum'', promotes blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, and lowers blood lipids, including cholesterol. It has the reputation of preventing deterioration of the heart and brain function and maintaining proper body weight. It has also be found that Ku Ding tea made from ''L. robustum'' has similar anti-oxidative effects to tea in addition to additional anti-inflammatory properties.