Ban Lan Gen - Isatis indigotica

Professional Data
 Pin Yin
Ban Lan Gen
Radix Isatis indigotica
 Introduction Back to Top
This herb is the dried root of Isatis indigotica Fort. (Fam. Cruciferae). The drug is collected in autumn, removed from soil, and dried in the sun.

 Western medical Back to Top
This herb is indicated in the treatment of mumps, erysipelas, carbuncles, epidemic encephalitis B, diphtheria, chickenpox, infectious hepatitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, upper respiratory infection, etc..

 Eastern medical Back to Top
  • Pattern: Clears Heat, removes Toxin, cools Blood and benefits the throat.
  • Properties: Bitter, cold.
  • Channels entered: Heart and Stomach.
 Chemical constituents Back to Top
The main constituents in this herb are indoxyl--glucoside, -sitosterol, isatin, indigotin, indirubin, etc..

 Pharmacological actions Back to Top
Antibacterial action

Ban Lan Gen has antibacterial action on various gram positive and negative bacteria. Decoction or water extract of Ban Can Gen has inhibitory effect on staphylococcus aureus, pneumococcus, -streptococcus, A-meningococcus, escherichia coli, typhoid bacillus, shigella dysenteiae, hemophilus Influenzae, etc.. Ban Lan Gen Injection also has antiendotoxin action.

Antiviral action

50% Ban Lan Gen Injection has obvious inhibitory effect on influenza virus strain PR8 and Jingke 68-1. 100% Ban Lan Gen decoction can delay the cytopathy caused by strain Jingke 68-1 and adenovirus-7. Besides, it can also inhibit arbovirus, mumps virus and surface antigen of hepatitis B virus.

Influence over immunologic function

Intraperitoneal injection of 50mg/kg Ban Lan Gen polysaccharide can enhance the immunologic function of mice, significantly increase the spleen weight, WBC and lymphocyte numbers of normal mice. Ban Lan Gen can also resist the decreased spleen index, numbers of WBC and lymphocyte in hydrocortisone-immunosuppressed mice. It can significantly increase the delayed allergy in normal and cyclophosphamide-immunosuppressed mice caused by dinitrochlorobenzol; increase peripheral T cell percentage; and promote the function of monocytemacrophage system.

Influence over cardiovascular system

Ban Lan Gen can lower the blood pressure of anaesthetized rabbits for a short time, especially the high pressure increased by noradrenalin. It can also lower the myocardial oxygen consumption in mice.


Ban Lan Gen has certain inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation induced by ADP. It can also induce the generation of interferon and lower the blood fat.

 Clinical Studies Back to Top
Epidemic encephalitis B

As a prevention measure, Ban Lan Gen 9g was decocted for oral administration, 1 dose every day, 5 days in succession. As a treating measure, 50% or 200% Ban Lan Gen Injection 2ml for intramuscular injection, 2~3 times daily; or decoct Ban Lan Gen with water for oral administration, or nasal feed for unconscious patients, 60g daily for those younger than 12 years old, 60~120g for those over 13 years. The decoction could be taken once or in two times, 2~3 weeks in succession. It could also be taken every two hours, 6~8g for adults, 3~6g for those younger than 15 years old, stop the administration 2 days after the body onload="highlight();" temperature returned to normal. Methods of western medicine, acupuncture etc. were applied too. 190 cases of encephalitis B were treated with above methods; the clinical cure rate was over 90%. Most cases' body onload="highlight();" temperature came down within three days.


Ban Lan Gen decoction (1g/ml) was used to treat 12 cases of diphtheria, and the therapeutic effect was quite satisfactory. The symptoms of fever, hoarseness of voice and qi stagnation disappeared 3~4 days after the administration averagely, the bacterial culture of pseudomembrane exfoliative cells turned negative too. Usually, 20ml every time for children of 3 years old, 25ml for 3~5 years old, 35ml for over 10 years old, three times every day, taken orally. Stop the administration after the pseudomembrane broke off and symptoms disappeared.


18 cases of chickenpox were treated with intramuscular injection of 50% Ban Lan Gen Injection 2ml, once every day. The body onload="highlight();" temperature lowered during 24~72 hours, and all the pox formed crusts within 3~9 days.


Ban Lan Gen 60~120g, halved dosage for children, was decocted with water, one dose every day. 30% Ban Lan Gen solution was applied externally at the same time. 387 cases of mumps were treated with this method. Results: 377 cases were cured, 5 improved, 5 ineffective.

Infectious hepatitis

Ban Lan Gen 30g, Zhi Zi Gen 45g, were decocted with water, 1 dose every day. 53 cases of acute icterohepatitis was treated with this method and all were cured, the course of treatment varied from 10 to 50 days.

HBsAg carrier

Ban Lan Gen Injection was used for acupoint injection, 4ml every time. Four acupoints were selected (Gan Shu, Pi Shu; Dan Shu, Wei Shu; Yang Ling Quan, Zu San Li). Once daily, 10 times as a course of treatment, 1 week's interval between two courses. 30 cases of HbsAg were treated, HBsAg, HbeAg, HBV-DVA turned negative in 12 cases; in 11 cases, titres of HBsAg lowered to a stable level below 1:64, and HbeAg or HBV-DVA turn negative; in 6 cases, titres of HBsAg was below 1:64; or HBeAg turned negative, or anti HBV-DVA turned negative; 1 case didn't have any change because of interrupted treatment.

Allaying fever

Ban Lan Gen, Zhi Zi, Da Qing Yi, 5g each; Da Huang 1g, promethazine hydrochloride 0.13g; dexamethasone 0.05g; confortid 0.13g; proper amount of glycerol and glycerogelatin were made into 10 pieces of rectal suppository. 43 cases of febrile infants were treated with the rectal suppository, 3~4 times every day. Results: the average time of allaying fever was 2.1 0.31 days; average time of hospitalizaion was 2.7 0.31 days. The results were significantly better than those of the control groups (which were treated with intravenous drip of penicillin and oral administration of acetaminophem).


Wu Gen Tang (Ban Lan Gen, Shan Dou Gen, Ge Gen, Lu Gen, Bai Mao Gen) was decocted with water, 1 dose every day, adjust the dosage according to different age of the patients. Continue the administration for another 10 days after the fever was removed. 50 cases of suppurative tonsillitis were treated, 41 cases were markedly effective, 7 effective, 2 ineffective. No side effects were observed.


Ban Lan Gen 2ml, dexamethasone 0.5mg, vinegar 4ml were used for pharyngeal aerosol inhalation, once every day, 15 minutes every time, 1 week as a course of treatment. 30 cases of chronic pharyngitis were treated, and the total effective rate was 85%.

Upper respiratory infection

100% Ban Lan Gen Injection was used for intramuscular injection to treat 80 cases of cold. Dosage: 1~6ml due to the age and state of illness, 2~4 times every day. Results: 78 cases were cured, 2 ineffective. The fever was generally removed within 1~3 days, the symptoms disappeared within 2~5 days.

Infantile cough and asthma

The treated group was treated with aerosol inhalation of Ban Lan Gen Injection 1ml, 2ml bamboo juice which were mixed into 20ml physiological saline solution, (the control group was treated with gentamycin and 20000 unit and dexamethasone 2.5mg), twice daily, 15 minutes every time, 18 days as a course of treatment. 26 cases were treated with this method, 24 were cured, 2 effective, and the therapeutic effect was significantly better than that of the control group.


Ban Lan Gen Injection 4ml, once daily, for intramuscular injection, 30 times as a course of treatment. 40 cases of gout were treated, the total effective rate was 87.5%.

Herpes simplex

Ban Lan Gen Injection was applied to the affected area (sterilize the local area with 75% alcohol before application), 7~8 times every day. 50 cases of herpes simplex were treated, 20 cases were cured within 1 day, 30 cases were cured within 5~6 days.


Ban Lan Gen Granule 10~20g was taken orally, three times daily. This method was sued to treat 50 cases of zoster, mild cases were cured within 2~3 days, while severe cases were cured within 3~7 days.

Flat wart

50% Ban Lan Gen Injection 2ml for intramuscular injection, 1~2 times daily, 10~20 days as a course of treatment. 45 cases of flat wart were treated, 39 cases out of them were cured or effective.

Acute conjunctivitis

Ban Lan Gen was made into 10% or 5% eye drops for eye drip, 4 times every day. 235 cases of acute conjunctivitis were treated, the curative effect within 4 days were 94.9%.


Ban Lan Gen Eye Drop or Injection was used to treat 30 cases of trachoma, 22 cases were cured. This method had better effect on trachoma in active stage than that in regressive stage.


Ban Lan Gen Injection was mixed into 6ml physiological saline solution to make eye drops of 1:3 proportion, 6~8 times every day, 2 drops every time. For cases with geographic or deep ulcers, 0.5ml of this eye drop could be injected subconjunctivally, once every other day; in severe cases, 0.6~0.8ml, once daily. Routine mydri asis, oral administration of vitamin or confortid tablet were also applied. 52 cases of dendritis keratitis, 20 cases of geographic keratitis, and 11 cases of deep ulcers (including uveitis) were treated, the curative rate were 100%, 95.25% and 92.68% respectively, and the average healing time were 18.58 days, 29.26 days and 33.15 days respectively.

Herpes simplex stomatitis

30 mg Ban Lan Gen was made into 60ml decoction, for infants between 1~3 years old, 10~20ml every time, three times daily. 11 cases of herpes simplex stomatitis were treated. Within 2~3 days all cases' fever were removed, salivation relieved and congestion disappeared. The stomatitis healed on the 4th or 5th day.


Ban Lan Gen, Chai Hu, Huang Qi and Jin Yin Er, 15g each were made into 200% decoction, 30ml every time for oral administration, 3 times daily, 4~6 weeks as a course of treatment. 100 cases of recurrent aphtha were treated, 82 cases were cured, 16 effective and 2 ineffective.

 References Back to Top

Except those noted, all references come from Weng Weiliang, et al., Clinical Chinese materia medica, Henan Science & Technology Press, 1998