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  • Basic Info
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Generic: dan-shen
treats Dialysis, Stroke, Tinnitus, Syncope, Asthmatic bronchitis, Diabetic complications, Kidney disease, Chronic prostatitis, Glaucoma, High cholesterol, Burn healing, Weight loss, Liver disease, Cardiovascular disease / angina, and Pancreatitis

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Alternate Title

Alternate Title

Salvia miltiorrhiza


Herbs & Supplements


3,4- dihydroxyphenyl- lactic acid, caffeic acid, Ch'ih Shen (scarlet sage), Chinese Salvia, cryptotanshisone, dangshem, Dan- Shen, Dan Shen, danshen root, danshensu, dihydrotanshinone, ethyl acetate, fufangdenshen, horse- racing grass, Huang Ken, Hung Ken (red roots), Labiatae (family), Lamiaceae (family), lithospermic acid B, miltirone, neo- tanshinlactone, phenolic acids, Pin- Ma Ts'ao (horse- racing grass), protocatechualdehyde, protocatechuic acid, protocatechuic aldehyde, Radix salvia miltiorrhiza, rat- tail grass, red- rooted sage, red roots, red sage, red sage root, red saye root, roots of purple sage, Salvia bowelyana, Salvia miltiozzhiza, Salvia miltiozzhiza bunge, Salvia przewalskii, Salvia przewalskii mandarinorum, salvia root, Salvia yunnanensis, salvianolic acid B, scarlet sage, Sh'ih Shen, Shu- Wei Ts'ao (rat- tail grass), Tan Seng, Tan- Shen, tanshisone I, tanshisone IIA, tanshisone IIB, Tzu Tan- Ken (roots of purple sage), yunzhi danshen.

Note: Danshen should not be confused with sage. Danshen is often used in combination with other products; combination products are not specifically discussed in this monograph.


Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), often in combination with other herbs. Remedies containing danshen are used traditionally to treat a diversity of ailments, particularly cardiac (heart) and vascular (blood vessel) disorders such as atherosclerosis ("hardening" of the arteries with cholesterol plaques) or blood clotting abnormalities.

The ability of danshen to "thin" the blood and reduce blood clotting is well documented, although the herb's purported ability to "invigorate" the blood or improve circulation has not been demonstrated in high- quality human trials. Because danshen can inhibit platelet aggregation and has been reported to potentiate (increase) the blood- thinning effects of warfarin, it should be avoided in patients with bleeding disorders, prior to some surgical procedures, or when taking anticoagulant (blood- thinning) drugs, herbs, or supplements.

In the mid- 1980s, scientific interest was raised in danshen's possible cardiovascular benefits, particularly in patients with ischemic stroke or coronary artery disease/ angina. More recent studies have focused on possible roles in liver disease (hepatitis and cirrhosis) and as an antioxidant. However, the available research in these areas largely consists of animal studies and small human trials of poor quality. Therefore, firm evidence- based conclusions are not possible at this time about the effects of danshen for any medical condition.

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