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Salvia miltiorrhiza

|}} Salvia miltiorrhiza (), also known as red sage, Chinese sage, tan shen, or danshen, is a perennial plant in the genus Salvia, highly valued for its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. Native to China and Japan, it grows at elevation, preferring grassy places in forests, hillsides, and along stream banks. The specific epithet miltiorrhiza means "red ochre root".


S. miltiorrhiza is a deciduous perennial with branching stems that are tall, with widely spaced leaves that are both simple and divided. The inflorescences are covered with hairs and sticky glands. Flowers grow in whorls, with light purple to lavender blue corollas that are approximately long, with a dark purple calyx. Salvia miltiorrhiza prefers well draining soil, with about half a day of sunlight. It is hardy to approximately . Most Salvia seeds have a higher germination rate when exposed to light, though it is not required.

Traditional Chinese medicine

Salvia miltiorrhiza has been used in China and, to a lesser extent, in Japan, the United States, and European countries for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. In China, Salvia miltiorrhiza (alone or combined with other Chinese herbal medicines) has been used for a variety of diseases such as angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and acute ischemic stroke. A 2007 Cochrane review concluded that the quality of clinical studies is poor and there is no evidence that Dan Shen agents has any benefit for acute ischaemic stroke. Danshen is used in traditional Chinese medicine in an attempt to treat chronic renal failure and the root (Radix Salvia miltiorrhiza) is used with Kudzu root (Radix Puerariae lobata) in an attempt to treat coronary heart disease. Danshen is one of five ingredients in tangzhiqing (TZQ) used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating diabetes. The other ingredients of TZQ are red peony root, mulberry leaf, lotus leaf, and hawthorn leaf.

Drug interactions

Danshen has been shown to potentiate the effects of the common anticoagulation drug warfarin, leading to gross anticoagulation and bleeding complications. Therefore, danshen should be avoided by those using warfarin. Danshen causes interference when measuring digoxin levels when measured using chemiluminescence immunoassays (CLIA).

Chemical constituents

Chemical compounds isolated from Salvia miltiorrhiza include salvianolic acid (or salvianolic acid B), dihydrotanshinone, tanshinone I, and tanshinone IIA. Tanshinone IIA is one of the most abundant constituents of the root of Salvia miltiorrhiza.


Further reading

  • Keys, J.D. Chinese Herbs - Their Botany, Chemistry and Pharmacodynamics, Rutland 1976.

External links

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This article based upon the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_miltiorrhiza, the free encyclopaedia Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Further informations available on the list of authors and history: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Salvia_miltiorrhiza&action=history
presented by: Ingo Malchow, Mirower Bogen 22, 17235 Neustrelitz, Germany