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Guang Fang Ji (Aristolochia Root, Stephania)

Previous Herb in CategoryNext Herb in Category Herb 13 of 28 in Herbs that Regulate Water and Drain Dampness

Cold Guang Fang Ji (Radix Aristolochiae Fangchi)
Mixed with Han Fang Ji?
Bitter, Spicy, Cold, Toxic
Radix Aristolochiae Fangchi
Tone Marks:
guăng fáng jĭ
Alt Names:
Fang Ji, Mu Fang Ji


  • Expels Wind Damp Heat and Relieves Pain
    For diffuse painful joints and achinesss due to Wind Damp or Wind Damp Heat.
  • Promotes Urination, Reduces Swelling
    For dysuria, edema, and leg qi.

Contraindications and Cautions

  • Use with caution in cases with Yin Deficiency
  • Use with caution in cases with Spleen and Stomach Deficiency and Cold

Herb-Drug Interactions

  • This herb should not be used with other nephrotoxic or hepatotoxic compounds.

Toxicity and Overdose

  • This herb is considered toxic (while some Chinese herbs are toxic, it must be noted that many come prepared, or are combined, to mitigate their toxicity).


  • 4.5-9 grams in decoction 12
  • 4.5-9 grams in decoction 13


  • Guang Fang Ji contains aristolochic acid, a known nephrotoxic compound. The traditional method of preparation (boiling in water) is believed to lower the toxicity since aristolochic acid has a low water solubility but extreme care should be taken.
  • In Belgium, a weight loss clinic used a large dose of the raw powder along with acetazolamide and several other compounds resulting in at least 53 cases of renal fibrosis.
  • See Eric Brand's blog post: Are You Using the Correct Fang Ji?

Clinical Studies and Research

  • Aristolochic acid has demonstrated anti-inflammatory actions by inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis.
    McGuffin M, Hobbs C., et al. Botanical Safaety Handbook, CRC. Press, 1997; 131-132.

This Herb Appears in the Following Formulas: