Salvia miltiorrhiza

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Salvia miltiorrhiza
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia
Species: 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] 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.[5][6] 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.[7]

Danshen is used in traditional Chinese medicine for chronic renal failure[8] and the root (Radix Salvia miltiorrhiza) is used with Kudzu root (Radix Puerariae lobata) for coronary heart disease.[9] Danshen is one of five ingredients in tangzhiqing (TZQ) used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating diabetes.[citation needed] The other ingredients of TZQ are red peony root, mulberry leaf, lotus leaf,[clarification needed] and hawthorn leaf.[10]

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.[11][12] Danshen causes interference when measuring digoxin levels when measured using chemiluminescence immunoassays (CLIA).[13]

Chemical constituents[edit]

Chemical compounds isolated from Salvia miltiorrhiza include salvianolic acid (or salvianolic acid B),[8][14] dihydrotanshinone, tanshinone I, and tanshinone IIA.[15][16] Tanshinone IIA is one of the most abundant constituents of the root of Salvia miltiorrhiza.[17][18]


  1. ^ "Salvia miltiorrhiza information from NPGS/GRIN". 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. ^ 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. PMID 16291709. doi:10.1177/0091270005282630. 
  6. ^ Cheng TO (September 2007). "Cardiovascular effects of Danshen". Int. J. Cardiol. 121 (1): 9–22. PMID 17363091. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2007.01.004. 
  7. ^ Wu, B.; Liu, M.; Zhang, S. (2007-04-18). "Dan Shen agents for acute ischaemic stroke". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2): CD004295. ISSN 1469-493X. PMID 17443544. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004295.pub3. 
  8. ^ a b 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. PMC 2874764Freely accessible. PMID 20441599. doi:10.1186/1471-2121-11-31.  open access publication – free to read
  9. ^ Chiu PY, Wong SM, Leung HY, et al. (April 2011). "Long-term treatment with danshen-gegen decoction protects the myocardium against ischemia/reperfusion injury via the redox-sensitive protein kinase C-ε/mK(ATP) pathway in rats". Rejuvenation Res. 14 (2): 173–84. PMID 21204655. doi:10.1089/rej.2010.1094. 
  10. ^ Tao W, Deqin Z, Yuhong L, et al. (April 2010). "Regulation effects on abnormal glucose and lipid metabolism of TZQ-F, a new kind of Traditional Chinese Medicine". J Ethnopharmacol. 128 (3): 575–82. PMID 20123010. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.01.044. 
  11. ^ Dhamananda, Ph.D, Subhuti. "Salvia". Institute for Traditional Medicine. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Chan TY (April 2001). "Interaction between warfarin and danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza)". Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 35 (4): 501–4. PMID 11302416. doi:10.1345/aph.19029. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ 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. PMC 2117346Freely accessible. PMID 18091994. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001321.  open access publication – free to read
  15. ^ 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. PMID 20455578. doi:10.1021/np900792p. 
  16. ^ 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. PMID 10624871. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00059-8. 
  17. ^ 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. PMID 18481025. doi:10.1007/s12272-001-1209-2. 
  18. ^ 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. PMID 21112748. doi:10.1016/j.etp.2010.10.013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Keys, J.D. Chinese Herbs - Their Botany, Chemistry and Pharmacodynamics, Rutland 1976.
  • Geng, QX; Zhu, XL; Zhang, XH (2004). ". Effect of combined therapy of shenmai and compound Danshen injection on myocardial reperfusion injury after percutaneous coronary interventions in patients with acute myocardial infarction". Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine (24): 496–499. 

External links[edit]