Long Dan Cao

Long Dan Cao

Long Dan Cao (Radix Gentianae) is from the root and rhizome of the perennial plant Gentiana scabra Bye. or G. triflora Pall., family Gentianaceae. It is produced in all parts of China, but mostly in the Northeast. It is collected in the autumn and dried in the sun. It is then cut into segments and used in this unprocessed form.

Category: Heat clearing and Damp elmininating.

Common Name: Chinese Gentian Root.

Channels Entered: Liver, Gall Bladder, Stomach and Bladder.

Properties and Functions: Long Dan Cao is bitter in flavour and cold in nature. It acts to clear Heat, drain Dampness and drain fire from the Liver and Gall Bladder.

Indications: Long Dan Cao is clinically indicated for:

  • All syndromes of Damp-Heat affecting the Lower Jiao especially those manifesting as jaundice, pruritus vulvae, brownish urine, leukorrhoea, eczema etc.
  • Headaches due to Liver-Fire marked by conjunctivitis, deafness, hypochondriac pain, red eyes and bitter taste in the mouth.
  • Wind syndrome due to domination of Liver-Heat with high fever, spasms or convulsions.

Dosage: 3 – 9g

Cautions and Contra-Indications: Use with caution in cases of deficiency and Cold of the Spleen and Stomach or consumption of body fluids due to Yin deficiency. As it is both bitter and Cold, long term use should be avoided as it can easily injure Stomach Qi.