Bai Zhi - Angelica dahurica

Professional Data
 Pin Yin
Bai Zhi
Radix Angelicae dahuricae
 Introduction Back to Top
Radix Angelicae Dahuricae is officially listed in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia as the dried root of Angelica Dahurica (Fisch. ex Hoffm.) Benth. et Hook. f. (Fam. Umbelliferae). The drug is collected in summer and autumn when the leaf turns yellow, removed from rootlet and soil, and dried in the sun or at a low temperature.

 Western medical Back to Top
Headache particularly pain in the forehead, toothache, ocular irritation, rhinorrhea, fresh hematochezia, hemorrhoids, pinkish and white leukorrhea, dermal dryness, pruritis.

 Eastern medical Back to Top
  • Pattern: Releases Exterior Conditions.
  • Properties: Pungent flavor, warm.
  • Channels Entered: Lung & Stomach Meridians.
 Chemical constituents Back to Top
Chemical Constituents- A. dahurica is known to contain a number of coumarin and furocoumarin derivatives. Besides these, stigmasterol, sitosterol and some lactones such as B-angelica lactone were isolated and identified.

 Pharmacological actions Back to Top
Analgesic, sedative and antiinflammatory effect

In experiments with mice A. dahurica was shown to prolong the animals reaction time to pain, thus showing a clear analgesic effect. Sedation was again clearly indicated with intraperitoneally administered A. dahurica. Intragastric administration of A. dahurica reduced both formaldehyde induced paw swelling and increased the rapidity of subsidence.

Anti-bacterial effect

Escherichia coli, Shigella dysenteriae, Proteus vulgaris, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholerae, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis var. hominis were found to be susceptible to the decoction of Angelica Dahurica.

The MIC of xanthotoxin against Mycobacterium tuberculosis var hominis H37RV was being 1:2500 Umbelliferone was a potent inhibitor of Brucella organisms, the MIC being 1:2500.

Anti-gastric ulcer action

The furanocoumarins have an anti-gastric ulcer action. Experiments with rats showed that bergapten and pimpinellin afforded reasonable protection against experimental gastric ulcer. Breastcancer in rats caused by chemicals was apparently inhibited by scopoletin.

Xanthotoxin and bergapten were lethal to Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells.

 Clinical Studies Back to Top
Use in ophthalmology

A burn ointment, which included ground Radix A. duhurica has been effective in promoting healing and avoiding deleterious sequelae from corneal ulcers secondary to flash burns.

Use in otolaryngology

A powder made up of ground Radix A. dahurica and Borneol, when inhaled through the nostrils, has been effective for headache and toothache. It also proved to be of use in trigeminal neuralgia.

 References Back to Top

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