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Dan Shen (Salvia Root)

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Slightly Cold Dan Shen (Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae)
Bitter, Slightly Cold
Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae
Tone Marks:
dān shēn
Cinnabar Root


  • Invigorates Blood and Dispels Stasis
    For gynecological disorders such as irregular menses, amenorrhea, and post-partum abdominal pain. It is also for chest, epigastric, and abdominal pain as well as traumatic injury. It disperses masses and accumulations.
  • Clears Heat and Soothes Irritability
    For restlessness, irritability, palpitations, and insomnia due to heat in the nutritive (Ying) level. Can also be used for Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency patterns.
  • Cools Blood and Reduces Abscesses
    Has a potent action to reduce swelling in toxic sores and breast abscesses. It cools the blood to treat symptoms of febrile disorders or the presence of heat in the ying or xue levels with symptoms of delirium, high fever, unconsciousness, irritability, insomnia, purpura or subcutaneous bleeding.
  • Nourishes the Blood and Calms the Spirit
    Treats palpitations and insomnia due to heat in the ying and xue levels, heat in the heart and heart blood deficiency.

Contraindications and Cautions

  • Do not use during pregnancy.
  • Do not use in cases with hypermenorrhea, hemoptysis or hematuria.
  • Do not use for Yin Xu patients.
  • Do not use when a pathogen is in the Qi level
  • Do not use during post-partum bleeding
  • Do not use for early menses or obstructed menses due to lack of blood
  • Do not use for restless fetus due to lack of blood unable to nourish.

Herb-Drug Interactions

  • Dan Shen may interfere with Anti-Coagulating drugs.
  • Decreases warfarin clearance and increases its bioavailability.

Toxicity and Overdose

  • Allergic reactions affecting the skin and respiratory system have been reported. Possible side effects include: dry mouth, dizziness, general weakness, numb and swollen feeling in the hands, shortness of breath, anxiety, tachycardia, nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal symptoms. These symptoms gradually disappear, usually without terminating treatment.


  • 6-15 grams in decoction (Bensky)
  • 5-10 Grams in decoction, maximum 30 Grams (Chen)

This Herb Appears in the Following Formulas:

This herb is incompatible with:
  • Li Lu (Radix Et Rhizoma Veratri)

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