Chuan Xiong - Ligusticum wallichii

Professional Data
 Pin Yin
Chuan Xiong
Radix Ligustici chuanxiong
(Radix Ligustici wallichii)
 Introduction Back to Top
Rhizoma Ligustici chuanxiong is officially listed in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia as the dried rhizome of Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. (Fam. Umbelliferae). The drug is collected in summer when the node of stem becomes obviously swollen and purplish, removed from soil, baked gently to dryness after sundried, and removed from rootlet.

 Western medical Back to Top
This herb is indicated in the treatment of headache, rheumatic arthralgia, abdominal pain with mass formation, pricking pain in the costal regions, swelling and pain due to traumatic injury, arthralgia due to cold, spasm of tendons, menstrual disorders, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea.

 Eastern medical Back to Top
  • Pattern: Regulates the blood, invigorates the blood, dispels wind and relieves pain.
  • Properties: Acrid, warm.
  • Channels Entered: Liver, Gallbladder and Pericardium.
 Chemical constituents Back to Top
The rhizome of Radix L. chuanxiong is known to contain phthalides, alkaloids, acids, esters and neutral substances. In addition to the phthalides, some nitrogen-containing substances were isolated and identified. Compounds without nitrogen were also identified.

 Pharmacological actions Back to Top
Actions on the Heart and Coronary circulation

The phthalides isolated from Ligustici have been shown to exhibit antiarrhythmic effect and dilatating activity on coronary arteries.

Actions on Platelet aggregation and Thrombosis

Ligustrazine inihibited platelet aggregation and might have the ability to displace CA2+ from platelet membranes. It prevented arterial thrombus formation, probably by inhibiting platelet aggregation.

Actions on the Peripheral Blood Vessels and Blood Pressure

Radix L. chuanxiong decreases vascular resistance in anethetized dogs, and increased blood flow in the brain, femoral artery and lower limbs. Marked and prolonged hypotensive action and a marked reduction in blood pressure.

Action on the Central Nervous system

Radix L. chuanxiong has significant sedative action.

Action on the Smooth muscles

Antispasmodic action was provided by ferulic acid and the neutral constituents.

Anti-Radiation effect

A definite therapeutic effect was exhibited by the decoction of Radix L. chuanxiong on experimental radiation sickness in animals.


Radix L. chuanxiong counteracted vitamin E deficiency.

 Clinical Studies Back to Top

Radix L. Chuanxiong proved clinically effective for the treatment of headaches.

Coronary disease

Clinical investigations showed that after treatment with the extract of Radix L. chuanxiong, platelet aggregation, B-thromboglobulin, platelet factor IV, and thrombone B2 were decreased and 6-keto-prostaglandin F1x was increased, indicating that L. Chuanxiong is a good inhibitor of platelet aggregation and thromboxane synthesis.

 References Back to Top

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