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Ku Shen (Sophora Root)

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Cold Ku Shen (Radix Sophorae Flavescentis)
Bitter, Cold
Radix Sophorae Flavescentis
Tone Marks:
kŭ shēn
Bitter Root


  • Eliminates Heat and Dries Dampness
    Used for jaundice, acute dysentery, leukorrhea, and sores.
  • Stops Wind, Itching, and Kills Parasites
    Used for damp skin toxins with chronic itching, genital itching and bacterial infections, trichomonas, ringworm, eczema, pus, and bleeding anywhere on the skin. Can be used both internally and topically.
  • Promotes Urination
    For acute urinary tract infections due to heat, for patterns such as Damp-Heat in the small intestine, and heat induced edema.

Contraindications and Cautions

  • Do not use in cases of cold from deficiency of the spleen and stomach. Traditionally this herb is noted to be incompatible with Semen Cuscutae Chinensis (tu si zi), Rhizoma et Radix Veratri (li lu), and Bulbus Fritillariae (bei mu).

Herb-Drug Interactions

  • This section is being researched, and is not completed.

Toxicity and Overdose

  • This section is being researched, and is not completed.


  • 3-15 grams, up to 30g when used as an external wash.
  • Part used: root.

This Herb Appears in the Following Formulas:

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

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