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Overview Information

Cnidium is a plant that is native to China. It has also been found in the US in Oregon. The fruit, seed, and other plant parts are used as medicine.

Cnidium has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years, often for skin conditions. It’s not surprising that cnidium is a common ingredient in Chinese lotions, creams, and ointments.

People take cnidium by mouth for increasing sexual performance and sex drive, and for treating erectile dysfunction (ED). Cnidium is also used for difficulty having children (infertility), bodybuilding, cancer, weak bones (osteoporosis), and fungal and bacterial infections. Some people also take it to increase energy.

Cnidium is applied directly to the skin for itchiness, rashes, eczema, and ringworm.

How does it work?

Chemicals in cnidium might decrease itching.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of cnidium for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

There is not enough information about cnidium to know if it is safe.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of cnidium during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.



We currently have no information for CNIDIUM Interactions.



The appropriate dose of cnidium 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 cnidium. 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.

View References


  • Cai JN, Basnet P, Wang ZT, Komatsu K, Xu LS, Tani T. Coumarins from the fruits of Cnidium monnieri. J Nat Prod 2000;63:485-8.. View abstract.
  • Chiou WF, Huang YL, Chen CF, Chen CC. Vasorelaxing effect of coumarins from Cnidium monnieri on rabbit corpus cavernosum. Planta Med 2001;67:282-4.. View abstract.
  • Kitajima J, Ishikawa T, Aoki Y. Glucides of Cnidium monnieri fruit. Phytochemistry 2001;58:641-4.. View abstract.
  • Matsuda H, Ido Y, Hirata A, et al. Antipruritic effect of Cnidii Monnieri Fructus (fruits of Cnidium monnieri CUSSON). Biol Pharm Bull 2002;25:260-3. View abstract.
  • Matsuda H, Tomohiro N, Ido Y, Kubo M. Anti-allergic effects of cnidii monnieri fructus (dried fruits of Cnidium monnieri) and its major component, osthol. Biol Pharm Bull 2002;25:809-12. View abstract.
  • Meng F, Xiong Z, Sun Y, Li F. Coumarins from Cnidium monnieri (L.) and their proliferation stimulating activity on osteoblast-like UMR106 cells. Pharmazie 2004;59:643-5.. View abstract.
  • Oh H, Kim JS, Song EK, et al. Sesquiterpenes with hepatoprotective activity from Cnidium monnieri on tacrine-induced cytotoxicity in Hep G2 cells. Planta Med 2002;68:748-9. View abstract.
  • Tohda C, Kakihara Y, Komatsu K, Kuraishi Y. Inhibitory effects of methanol extracts of herbal medicines on substance P-induced itch-scratch response. Biol Pharm Bull 2000;23:599-601. View abstract.
  • Yang LL, Wang MC, Chen LG, Wang CC. Cytotoxic activity of coumarins from the fruits of Cnidium monnieri on leukemia cell lines. Planta Med 2003;69:1091-5. View abstract.

More Resources for CNIDIUM

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.