Chinese Salvia Root (Dan Shen)


Red sage root (Danshen)

Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Salviae militiorrhizae

Botanical Name: Salvia miltiorrhiza Bge.

Common Name: Salvia root, Red sage root

Source of Earliest Record: Shennong Bencao Jing

Part Used: The roots are dug in autumn, and then cleaned, soaked, cut into slices and dried in the sun. They can also be fried with wine.

Natural Properties & Taste: Bitter and slightly cold

Meridians: Heart, pericardium and liver

Therapeutic Effects:
1. To invigorate blood and move stagnation.
2. To cool blood and reduce carbuncles.

3. To clear heat in the heart and soothe irritability.

1. Internal blood stagnation manifested as irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, abdominal pain or postpartum abdominal pain. Red sage root (Danshen) is used with Motherwort (Yimucao), Peach seed (Taoren), Safflower (Honghua) and Chinese angelica root (Danggui).

2. Qi and blood stagnation manifested as cardiac pain, abdominal pain or epigastric pain. Red sage root (Danshen) is used with Amomum fruit (Sharen) and Sandalwood (Tanxiang) in the formula Danshen Yin.

3. Blood stagnation manifested as general pain or joint pain. Red sage root (Danshen) is used with Chinese angelica root (Danggui), Chuanxiong rhizome (Chuanxiong) and Safflower (Honghua).

4. Carbuncles, furuncles and swellings. Red sage root (Danshen) is used with Honeysuckle flower (Jinyinhua), Forsythia fruit (Lianqiao) and Frankincense (Ruxiang) in the formula Xiaoru Tang.

5. Febrile disease with pathogenic wind invading the nutritive level manifested as high fever, irritability, dull maculopapule and a red or deep red tongue proper with scanty coating. Red sage root (Danshen) is used with Fresh rehmannia root (Shengdihuang), Scrophularia (Xuanshen) and Bamboo leaf (Zhuye).

6. Deficiency of nutritive blood with internal heat manifested as palpitations, irritability and insomnia. Red sage root (Danshen) is used with Wild jujube seed (Suanzaoren) and Multiflower knotweed (Yejiaoteng).

Dosage: 5-15 g

Cautions & Contraindications: Blood invigoration is enhanced by frying with wine. Do not combine with the herb Black false bellebore (Lilu).

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Grace Chen. I’m enthusiastic about Traditional Chinese Medicine, natural healing including Chinese Medicinal Herbs, Acupressure, Qi-Gong, foot massage and more. My passion for herbs had been a lifelong journey beginning as a young girl always been fascinated by my grandfather’s Chinese Herbal Medicine chest, full of amazing goodies helping people get well. To chase my dreams, I created a website, to share my passion, my grandfather Dr. Chen’s herbal recipes, interesting new and the translation of the classical Chinese herbal formulas with the world. Hope you enjoy it!