Salvia Root As Medicine – Ben Cao Medical Book


Salvia miltiorrhiza (simplified Chinese: 丹参; traditional Chinese: 丹參; pinyin: dānshēn), also known as red sage, Chinese sage, tan shen, or danshen, is a perennial plant in the genus Salvia. The roots of salvia miltiorrhiza is a major herb in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it can help improve the blood circulation and also effectively treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and other cardiovascular problems for hundreds of years.

Odour & Nature:

Bitter, slightly astringent, non-toxic,


Salvia miltiorrhiza functions by influencing the heart and liver.

Indications & Formulas:

Salvia miltiorrhiza root water (boiling salvia miltiorrhiza root in water, then cooling and straining the liquid) can help improve blood circulation and control blood pressure.

A decoction of salvia miltiorrhiza roots, fleece-flower root, oriental wormwood, parasitic loranthus, hawthorn fruit and cassia occidentalis can be used to reduce the lipid levels in blood.

Powdered salvia miltiorrhiza roots can be taken with warm wine to treat irregular menstruation and periumbilical pain

Ointment made with salvia miltiorrhiza roots, stone-like omphalia and lard oil can be applied externally to treat acute infantile convulsion due to fright.

Ointment made from salvia miltiorrhiza roots, Angelica root and peony root can be applied on affected part to treat acute mastitis.

A mixture of salvia miltiorrhiza roots, mutton fat and water can be used to treat skin burns.

The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.

The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.

Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.

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