Salvia miltiorrhiza

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Salvia miltiorrhiza
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia
S. miltiorrhiza
Binomial name
Salvia miltiorrhiza

Salvia miltiorrhiza (simplified Chinese: 丹参; traditional Chinese: 丹參; pinyin: dānshēn), 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.[2] Native to China and Japan, it grows at 90 to 1,200 m (300 to 3,940 ft) 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 30 to 60 cm (0.98 to 1.97 ft) tall, with widely spaced leaves that are both simple and divided. The 30 cm (0.98 ft) inflorescences are covered with hairs and sticky glands. Flowers grow in whorls, with light purple to lavender blue corollas that are approximately 2.5 cm (0.082 ft) long, with a dark purple calyx. Salvia miltiorrhiza prefers well draining soil, with about half a day of sunlight. It is hardy to approximately −10 °C (14 °F).[3] Most Salvia seeds have a higher germination rate when exposed to light, though it is not required.[4]

Traditional Chinese medicine[edit]

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.[medical citation needed] A 2007 Cochrane review of clinical studies of the use of danshen for acute ischaemic stroke found that the quality of evidence was poor and there is no evidence of benefit.[5]

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.[6][7]

One TCM combination is a patent medicine called "xuebijing" which is given by injection; along with danshen it includes dang gui, safflower, Chinese peony, and Ligusticum striatum.[8]

Drug interactions[edit]

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.[9][10] Danshen causes interference when measuring digoxin levels when measured using chemiluminescence immunoassays (CLIA).[11]

Chemical constituents[edit]

Chemical compounds isolated from Salvia miltiorrhiza include salvianolic acid (or salvianolic acid B),[12][13] dihydrotanshinone, tanshinone I, and tanshinone IIA.[14][15] Tanshinone IIA is one of the most abundant constituents of the root of Salvia miltiorrhiza.[16][17]

Salvianolic acid B has shown to be protective after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage.[18]


  1. ^ "Salvia miltiorrhiza". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2008-03-31.
  2. ^ Ji X-Y; Tan BK-H; Huang S-H; et al. (2004). "Effects of Salvia miltiorrhiza After Accute Myocardial Infarction in Rats". In Tan, BK-H; Bay B-H; Zhu Y-Z. Novel compounds from natural products in the new millennium: potential and challenges. Singapore: World Scientific. pp. 183–95. ISBN 978-981-256-221-0.
  3. ^ Clebsch, Betsy; Barner, Carol D. (2003). The New Book of Salvias. Timber Press. pp. 196–198. ISBN 978-0-88192-560-9.
  4. ^ Sutton, John (2004). The Gardener's Guide to Growing Salvias. Workman Publishing Company. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-88192-671-2.
  5. ^ Wu, B.; Liu, M.; Zhang, S. (2007-04-18). "Dan Shen agents for acute ischaemic stroke". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2): CD004295. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004295.pub3. ISSN 1469-493X. PMID 17443544.
  6. ^ Zhou L; Zuo Z; Chow MS (December 2005). "Danshen: an overview of its chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and clinical use". J Clin Pharmacol. 45 (12): 1345–59. doi:10.1177/0091270005282630. PMID 16291709.
  7. ^ Cheng TO (September 2007). "Cardiovascular effects of Danshen". Int. J. Cardiol. 121 (1): 9–22. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2007.01.004. PMID 17363091.
  8. ^ Li, C; et al. (31 May 2018). "Efficacy and safety of Xuebijing injection (a Chinese patent) for sepsis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 224: 512–521. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2018.05.043. PMID 29860133.
  9. ^ Dhamananda, Ph.D, Subhuti. "Salvia". Institute for Traditional Medicine. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  10. ^ Chan TY (April 2001). "Interaction between warfarin and danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza)". Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 35 (4): 501–4. doi:10.1345/aph.19029. PMID 11302416.
  11. ^ Yang, TY; Wei, JC; Lee, MY; Chen, CM; Ueng, KC (2012). "A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of Fufang Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) as add-on antihypertensive therapy in Taiwanese patients with uncontrolled hypertension". Phytother. Res. 26 (2): 291–298. doi:10.1002/ptr.3548. PMID 21887804.
  12. ^ Wang QL; Tao YY; Yuan JL; Shen L; Liu CH (2010). "Salvianolic acid B prevents epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition through the TGF-beta1 signal transduction pathway in vivo and in vitro". BMC Cell Biol. 11: 31. doi:10.1186/1471-2121-11-31. PMC 2874764. PMID 20441599. open access publication – free to read
  13. ^ Liu CL; Xie LX; Li M; Durairajan SS; Goto S; Huang JD (2007). "Salvianolic acid B inhibits hydrogen peroxide-induced endothelial cell apoptosis through regulating PI3K/Akt signaling". PLoS ONE. 2 (12): e1321. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001321. PMC 2117346. PMID 18091994. open access publication – free to read
  14. ^ Lee WY, Cheung CC, Liu KW, et al. (May 2010). "Cytotoxic effects of tanshinones from Salvia miltiorrhiza on doxorubicin-resistant human liver cancer cells". J. Nat. Prod. 73 (5): 854–9. doi:10.1021/np900792p. PMID 20455578.
  15. ^ Yoon Y; Kim YO; Jeon WK; Park HJ; Sung HJ (December 1999). "Tanshinone IIA isolated from Salvia miltiorrhiza BUNGE induced apoptosis in HL60 human premyelocytic leukemia cell line". J Ethnopharmacol. 68 (1–3): 121–7. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00059-8. PMID 10624871.
  16. ^ Yin HQ, Kim YS, Choi YJ, et al. (May 2008). "Effects of tanshinone IIA on the hepatotoxicity and gene expression involved in alcoholic liver disease". Arch. Pharm. Res. 31 (5): 659–65. doi:10.1007/s12272-001-1209-2. PMID 18481025.
  17. ^ You Z, Xin Y, Liu Y, et al. (July 2012). "Protective effect of Salvia miltiorrhizae injection on N(G)-nitro-D-arginine induced nitric oxide deficient and oxidative damage in rat kidney". Exp. Toxicol. Pathol. 64 (5): 453–8. doi:10.1016/j.etp.2010.10.013. PMID 21112748.
  18. ^ Zhang X, Wu Q, Lu Y, et al. (June 2018). "Cerebroprotection by salvianolic acid B after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs via Nrf2- and SIRT1-dependent pathways". Free Radical Biology & Medicine. 124: 124:504–516. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.06.035. PMID 29966698.

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