Information on Red Chinese Sage Root

Latin NameSalvia miltiorrhiza
Part UsedRoot
Herb FormsBulk herb for tea, tincture.
AffectsLiver, Cardiovascular system
CautionsAvoid large doses.
Botanical InfoA small shrubby perennial from the Mint family with short spikes of purple flowers.
DescriptionRed Chinese sage root is called Dan Shen in Chinese medicine. The herb is an important remedy that has been known for 2,000 years to help break up thick, sluggish blood and get it moving. It is especially valuable for relieving pain due to blood stagnation in the lower abdomen accompanied by sluggish or stopped menses, or to treat masses such as fibroid cysts. It is also well-known as a cardiovascular herb and is considered effective for preventing and treating symptoms of clogged arteries, such as angina. Lastly, it is used in formulas along with tonic herbs (such as rehmannia) to counteract heat and irritability due to pathogenic heat affecting the heart leading to such symptoms as insomnia and restlessness.
With many of the above symptoms, it is often wise to consult a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist or other qualified practitioner for an herbal formula and complete health program.


Decoction6-12 grams daily

Ailments Treated by Red Chinese Sage Root

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Fibroid cystsblood movertea
Angina, mildcardiac tonictea
Dysmenorrheaemmenagoguetea, tincture, capsules
Uterine cystsblood movertea, tincture


McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Bensky, D. and A. Gamble. 1986. Chinese Herbal Medicine. Seattle: Eastland Press.