Ch'ih Shen, Chinese Red Sage, Chinese Salvia, Dan Shen, Dan-Shen, Huang Ken, Pin-Ma Ts'ao, Racine de Salvia, Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae, Radix Salvie Miltiorrhiae, Red Rooted Sage, Red Sage, Sage Miltiorrhiza, Salvia bowelyana, Salvia miltiorrhiza, Salvia przewalskii, Salvia Przewalskii Mandarinorum, Salvia Root, Salvia yunnanensis, Salviae Miltiorrhizae, Sauge Rouge, Sauge Rouge Chinoise, Shu-Wei Ts'ao, Tan Seng, Tan-Shen, Tzu Tan-Ken.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Danshen is an herb. People use the root to make medicine.

Danshen is used for circulation problems, type of stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain (ischemic stroke) , chest pain (angina pectoris), fat build up in the blood vessels (atherosclerosis), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack, and other diseases of the heart and blood vessels. It is also used for menstrual disorders, high blood pressure during pregnancy, diabetes, chronic liver disease, inflamed pancreas, 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 for weight loss, to relieve bruising, and to aid in wound healing.

Danshen is given with a needle for a type of stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain (ischemic stroke) and high cholesterol. It is also used by people that have received a new kidney.

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.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Chest pain (angina). Early research suggests that taking danshen with other ingredients by mouth for up to 6 months is as effective as isosorbide dinitrate for reducing chest pain in heart disease patients.
  • High cholesterol. Early research shows 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.
  • High blood pressure. Early research shows that taking danshen with other ingredients along with medication to lower blood pressure might help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure better than taking blood pressure-lowering medication alone.
  • A type of stroke caused by a blood clot (ischemic stroke). Early research shows that receiving danshen with other ingredients by mouth or injecting danshen intravenously (by IV) might improve brain function after an ischemic stroke.
  • Kidney transplant. Early research shows 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 transplant rejection.
  • Abdominal masses.
  • Acne.
  • Blood circulation problems.
  • Bruising.
  • Chronic liver inflammation (hepatitis).
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Skin conditions.
  • Sleeplessness (insomnia) .
  • Wound healing.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of danshen for these uses.

Side Effects

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.<br><nb>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.

View References


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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.

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