Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong)

Source: Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong) is from the rhizome of Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. After harvesting, the medicinal material is dried by fire and cut into pieces. It is used in either this crude form or after being stir-baked with medicinal wine.

Category: Blood invigorating and blood-stasis resolving.

Common Name: Szechuan Lovage Root.

Channels Entered: Liver, Gallbladder and Pericardium.

Properties and Functions: Chuan Xiong is pungent and warm in nature. Its’ main actions are activating the blood, promoting qi movement and relieving pain. It is also used for dispelling wind.

Indications: Chuan Xiong has the following clinical indications:

  1. Blood and qi stagnation resulting in irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea and post-partum abdominal pain.
  2. Pain, numbness and sorness of the hypochondrium and limbs.
  3. It is an essential herb in the treatment of headaches primarily due to exterior attack of wind-damp. It is also used in the treatment of painful obstruction (Bi) syndrome as well as dizziness.
  4. Skin problems caused by wind.

Dosage: 3 – 9g in decoction or 1 – 1.5g in powdered form.

Cautions and Contra-indications: The following contra-indications are noted for Chuan Xiong:

  1. Pregnancy.
  2. Bleed easily or profuse menses.
  3. Fire due to Yin deficiency.
  4. Red, dry tongue and dry mouth.

It antagonises Shan Zhu Yu and Huang Qi, counteracts Hua Shi and Huang Lian, and is incompatible with Li Lu. It should be used with caution as overdose may cause vomiting or dizziness.