Yuan Zhi

Polygalae Radix, Polygala Root, Polygalin Root

Dosage

Internal administration: decoction, 3-10g. 5:1 concentrated extract: 0.6-2 grams/day.

Toxicity

LD50 (mice/endogastric infusion): 16.95 ± 2.01g/kg.

Chemical Composition

Tenuigenin A, B; Tenuifolin; Onjisaponin A, B, C, D, E, F, G; Tenuifoliside A, B, C, D; D-(3-O-sinapoyl)-frutofuranosyl-D-(6-O-sinapoyl)-glucopyranoside; Tenuifoliose A, B, C, D, E, F; 6-hydroxy-1, 2, 3, 7-tetramethoxyxanthone; 1, 2, 3, 6, 7-pentamethoxyxanthone; 1, 7-dihydroxyxanthone; 1, 7-dimethoxyxanthone; 1, 7-dihydroxy-2, 3-dimethoxyxanthone; Onjixanthone I, II; 1, 6-dihydroxy-3, 7-dimethoxyxanthone; 1, 7-dihydroxy-3-methoxyxanthone; 1, 6-dihydroxy-3, 5, 7-trimethoxyxanthone; 1-hydroxy-3, 6, 7-trimethoxyxanthone; 1, 3, 6-trihydroxy-2, 7-dimethoxyxanthone; 3, 4, 5-trimethoxycinnamic acid; Polygalitol; N-acetylglucosamine; Tenuidine; Arillatanoside A, B, C, D; Polygala saponin XXXV; Bromine. (1) , (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6)

Precautions

Exercise caution in prescribing this herb to pregnant women, patients with hyperactive fire due to yin deficiency, or patients with spleen and stomach deficiencies. There have been reports of Yuan Zhi causing allergic reactions and vomiting. (7) , (8) , (9) , (10)

Pharmacology

Tranquilizing effect

Yuan Zhi contains a high level of bromine, and because of that, it has a tranquilizing effect. (11)

Antibacterial effect

Experiments have shown that when administered to mice at 20mg/kg by intraperitoneal injection, polygalin can inhibit Bacillus coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus proteus. (12)

Anti-tussive effect

Experiments show that when administered to mice by intraperitoneal injection, polygalin has an anti-tussive effect. (13)

Lowering blood pressure

When administered to mice by endogastric infusion, polygalin can lower the subjects’ blood pressure. At 2mg/kg, 4mg/kg, 8mg/kg, 20mg/kg, and 40mg/kg, it can lower the subjects’ blood pressure (mean arterial pressure) by 31%, 37%, 50%, 21%, and 31%, respectively. When administered to healthy rats and rats with renal vascular hypertension by endogastric an infusion at 40mg/kg, polygalin can lower the subjects’ blood pressure by 38.0% and 26.8% at the 60 and 90 minute marks, respectively. (14)

Effects on isolated smooth muscles and hearts

Experiments show that polygalin excites isolated rabbit smooth muscles, and inhibits isolated rabbit hearts. (15)

References

  1. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica, State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai Science and Technology Press. 1998.
  2. Jin Bao Yuan, et al. Alkaloids of Yuan Zhi. Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1993;18(11):675-677.
  3. Mao Shi Long, et al. Isolation and identification of Huanghua Yuan Zhi components. Journal of Pharmacy. 1996;31(2):118-121.
  4. Mao Shi Long, et al. Two new components of Huanghua Yuan Zhi. Journal of Pharmacy. 1997;32(5):360-362.
  5. Wu Zhi Jun, et al. New components of Huanghua Yuan Zhi. Yunnan Journal of Botany. 1999;21(3):357-363.
  6. Ou Yang Guang Ying. Trace elements of 11 tonifying herbs from the Dunhuang region. Journal of Gansu College of TCM. 1990;7(4):24-25.
  7. Li Bing Shun, et al. One case of allergic reaction caused by internal administration of Yuan Zhi. Hunan Journal of TCM. 1993;93(3):back cover.
  8. Yang Shu Xian, et al. One case of allergic reaction caused by Yuan Zhi. Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1993;18(4):246.
  9. Hu Zi Shui. Vomit caused by pairing Jie Geng and Yuan Zhi. Shandong Journal of TCM. 1995;14(5):224-226.
  10. Sun Siu Fang. One case of allergic reaction caused by Yuan Zhi. Xinjiang Journal of Medicine. 1997;15(1):38.
  11. Ou Yang Guang Ying. Trace elements of 11 tonifying herbs from the Dunhuang region. Journal of Gansu College of TCM. 1990;7(4):24-25.
  12. Peng Wen Duo, et al. Polygalin’s expectorant and anti-tussive effects. Journal of Pharmacy. 1998;33(8):491.
  13. Peng Wen Duo, et al. Polygalin’s expectorant and anti-tussive effects. Journal of Pharmacy. 1998;33(8):491.
  14. Peng Wen Duo. Polygalin’s blood pressure-lowering effect. Journal of Pharmacology. 1999;20(7):639-642.
  15. Pen Wen Duo. Onjisaponin H’s effects on isolated smooth muscles and hearts. Journal of Pharmacy. 1999;34(4):241-243.