SCIENTIFIC NAME(S):Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge,
Family: Labiatae

COMMON NAME(S):Danshen, Tan-Shen, Tzu Tan-Ken (roots of purple sage), Hung Ken (red roots), Shu-Wei Ts'ao (rat-tail grass), Ch'ih Shen (scarlet sage), pin-Ma Ts'ao (horse-racing grass)


The herb has been used for menstrual irregularity, to "invigorate". the blood, and for other ailments such as abdominal pain and insomnia.

Botany :- Danshen is a perennial herb found mainly on sunny hillsides and stream edges. Violet-blue flowers bloom in the summer. The leaves are oval, with finely serrated edges. The fruit is an oval brown nut. Danshen's roots, from which many of the common names are derived, are a vivid scarlet red. Danshen is related to common sage, the culinary herb.

Uses of Danshen

Danshen has been used for circulation improvement. Danshen has also, used to alleviate menstrual irregularity, abdominal pains, and insomnia.

Drug Interactions: Adverse effects of warfarin are exaggerated when danshen ;warfarin are coadministered.

Side Effects of Danshen

Severe clotting abnormalities and an interaction between danshen and methylsalicylate medicated oil have been reported.

Individuals who have hemophilia or other disorders of blood clotting should avoid taking danshen because chemicals in danshen are known to interfere with blood clotting.


Talk with your caregiver about how much Dan Shen you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Dan Shen. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.


Coadministration of danshen and warfarin results in exaggerated warfarin adverse effects. Both pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic parameters were affected when studied in rats. Observed interactions such as increased warfarin bioavailability, decreased warfarin clearance, and prolonged prothrombin times are all indicative of clinically important interactions if danshen and warfarin are taken together. Severe clotting abnormalities have been reported in a case where danshen induces over coagulation in a patient with rheumatic heart disease. Another case report is available describing an interaction between danshen and methylsalicylate medicated oil.

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