June 24, 2016

Danshen

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What other names is Danshen known by?

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.

What is Danshen?

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

Danshen is used for circulation problems, "brain attack" (stroke), chest pain (angina pectoris), and other diseases of the heart and blood vessels. It is also used for menstrual disorders, chronic liver disease, 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 to relieve bruising and to aid in wound healing.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Chest pain (angina). Early research suggests that taking danshen by mouth for up to 6 months is as effective as isosorbide dinitrate for reducing chest pain in heart disease patients.
  • Bronchitis. Early research suggests that injecting danshen in addition to usual treatment reduces symptoms of chronic asthmatic bronchitis and improves lung function after 3-4 days. However, by day 10, adding danshen to conventional therapy does not seem to produce additional benefit.
  • High cholesterol. Early research suggests 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.
  • A type of stroke caused by a blood clot (ischemic stroke). Early research shows that receiving danshen by mouth or injecting danshen intravenously (by IV) might improve brain function after an ischemic stroke.
  • Kidney transplant. Early research suggests 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 a transplant rejection.
  • Blood circulation problems.
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Abdominal masses.
  • Sleeplessness (insomnia) .
  • Acne.
  • Skin conditions.
  • Bruising.
  • Chronic liver inflammation (hepatitis).
  • Wound healing.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of danshen for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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