DANSHEN Overview Information
Danshen is an herb. People use the root to make medicine.
Danshen is used for circulation problems, “brain attack” (stroke), chest pain (angina pectoris), and other diseases of the heart and blood vessels. It is also used for menstrual disorders, chronic liver disease, and trouble sleeping caused by complaints such as rapid heartbeat and tight chest. Some people use danshen for skin conditions including acne, psoriasis, and eczema. It is also used to relieve bruising and to aid in wound healing.
How does it work?
Danshen appears to thin the blood by preventing platelet and blood clotting. It also causes blood vessels to widen, and this can improve circulation.
- Chest pain (angina). Early research suggests that taking danshen by mouth for up to 6 months is as effective as isosorbide dinitrate for reducing chest pain in heart disease patients.
- Bronchitis. Early research suggests that injecting danshen in addition to usual treatment reduces symptoms of chronic asthmatic bronchitis and improves lung function after 3-4 days. However, by day 10, adding danshen to conventional therapy does not seem to produce additional benefit.
- High cholesterol. Early research suggests that adding danshen acupoint injections to lipid-lowering medications for 30 days decreases total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol, and certain blood fats called triglycerides it people with high cholesterol. It also seems to help increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol.
- A type of stroke caused by a blood clot (ischemic stroke). Early research shows that receiving danshen by mouth or injecting danshen intravenously (by IV) might improve brain function after an ischemic stroke.
- Kidney transplant. Early research suggests that receiving an injection with danshen for 10 days along with usual treatment improves kidney function after a kidney transplant, but does not reduce the risk of a transplant rejection.
- Blood circulation problems.
- Menstrual problems.
- Abdominal masses.
- Sleeplessness (insomnia) .
- Skin conditions.
- Chronic liver inflammation (hepatitis).
- Wound healing.
- Other conditions.
DANSHEN Side Effects & Safety
Danshen is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth by most people. It can cause some side effects, including itching, upset stomach, and reduced appetite.
There is some concern that it might also cause drowsiness, dizziness, and a blood condition called thrombocytopenia. But there isn't enough information to know for sure if danshen causes these side effects.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking danshen if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Bleeding disorders: There is a concern that danshen might increase the risk of bleeding. If you have a bleeding disorder, don’t use it.
Low blood pressure: Danshen might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking danshen might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.
Surgery: Danshen might slow blood clotting, so there is a concern that it might increase the risk of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using danshen at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Major Interaction Do not take this combination
- Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with DANSHEN
Digoxin (Lanoxin) helps the heart beat more strongly. Danshen also seems to affect the heart. Taking danshen along with digoxin can increase the effects of digoxin and increase the risk of side effects. Do not take danshen if you are taking digoxin (Lanoxin) without talking to your healthcare professional.
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with DANSHEN
Danshen might slow blood clotting. Taking danshen along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
- Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with DANSHEN
Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Danshen might increase how long warfarin (Coumadin) is in the body, and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
The appropriate dose of danshen depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for danshen. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.