Bai Zhu

Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma, Atractylodes


Decoction 3-15g.


LD50 (mice/peritoneal injection/herb decoction): 133.00 mg/kg.value for abdominal administraction of Bai Zhu decoction for mice is 13.3g/kg. (1)

Chemical Composition

(-, and (-humulene; (-elemol; (-curcumene; Eudesmol; Palmitic acid; Hinesol mh; (-selinene; Atractylon; Atractylenolide I, II, III; (-elemene; Mannan AM-1; Mannan A,-3; Fructose AM-2; Scopoletin; Fructose; Inulin; Aspartic acid; Serine; Glutamic acid; Alanine; Glycine; Valine; Isoleucine; Leucine; Tyrosine; Phenylalanine; Lysine; Histadine; Arginine; Proline; Sesquiterpene lactone; 3 b-acetoxyatractylon; Hydroxy-atractylodis lactone; Selina-4(14), 7(11)-di-ene-8-one; 8-b-Ethoxy atractylenolide III; 12-senecioyl-2E, 8Z, 10E-atractylentriol; 14 (-methyl butyryl-2E, 8Z, 10E-atractylentriol; 14-acetyl-12-senecioyl-2E, 8z, 10E-atractylentriol; 14-acetyl-12-senecioy-12E, 8E, 10E-atractylentriol; 12 (-methyl butyryl-14-acetyl-2E, 8Z, 10E-atractylentriol; 12 (-methyl butyryl-14-acetyl-2E, 8E, 10E-atractylentriol. (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) , (7) , (8) , (9) , (10) , (11)


Patients with endogenous heat due to yin-deficiency and deficient body fluids should use with caution. There have been reports of fever, mouth and nose bleeding, and hematochezia in patients taking formulas containing Bai Zhu. (12)


Effects on uterine smooth muscles

Alcohol-based extract of Bai Zhu has a significant inhibitory effect on the spontaneous contraction of in-vitro uteruses of virgin mice, and on the excitatory uterine contraction induced by oxytocin or Yimucao. This effect increases with herbal concentration. It can also completely counteract oxytocin-induced uterine tonic contraction in pregnant guinea pigs. (13)

Anti-mutation effects

Research has found that Chinese herbs that invigorate the spleen and tonify the kidney, such as Bai Zhu, have anti-mutation effects. (14)

Effects on total serum proteins

Experiments show that Bai Zhu is effective in raising the total serum proteins in rats of vinegar-induced spleen-qi deficiency. The herb can significantly strengthen the spleen. (15)

Immunoregulatory effects

Experiments on animals show that Bai Zhu can significantly increase the TH cell count and the TH/TS ratio, correct the maldistribution of T-cell subpopulation, and increase the decreased IL-2 cell count and the expression of IL-2R on the surface of T lymphocytes. (16) Administered at certain dosages, Bai Zhu polysaccharides can 1) increase the weight of the thymus gland and the spleen, 2) counteract the cyclophosphamide-induced decrease in leukocytes, 3) increase the phagocytic function of celiac macrophage, and 4) promote T lymphocyte transmission and hemolysin production. (17)

Diuretic effects

Bai Zhu's effect of regulating mice's peritoneal pores indicates that the herb has strong regulatory effects on peritoneal pores. It is an effective treatment for ascites. (18)

Anti-aging effects

Administered to mice by gastric infusion for four consecutive weeks, Bai Zhu decoction enhanced the activity of total blood GSH-PX. (19) Studies also show that it may be able to increase the activity of SOD in mice older than 12 months, counteract red blood cell hemolysis by self oxidation, and clear active oxygen free radicals. (20)

Effects on ileum contraction

Experiments show that administered at smaller dosages, the decoction of Bai Zhu has a slight inhibitory effect on the contraction of isolated guinea pig ileum smooth muscles; administered at larger dosages, however, it tends to strengthen the contraction, and this effect appears to increase with dosage. (21)

Counteracting aging of the kidney

Based on Bai Zhu's effects on the number and size of renal corpuscles, the rate of sclerosis renal corpuscles, the width of Bowman's space, etc., research concludes that Bai Zhu has an antiaging effect on the kidney. (22)

Effects on anemia

Experiments show that Bai Zhu can significantly promote the proliferation rate of CFU-E and BFU-E colonies. (23)


  1. Wang Xiu Wen, et al. Xinjiang Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1987;(4):42-45.
  2. Zhang Qiang, et al. Journal of Chinese and Western Pharmacy. 1997;12(2):119-120.
  3. Ma Quan Ming, et al. Journal of Modern Applied Pharmacy. 1996;13(3):11-13.
  4. Gu Yu Cheng, et al. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1992;23(10):507-508.
  5. Gu Yu Cheng, et al. China Journal of Pharmacy. 1993;2(5):175-177.
  6. Chen Liu Rong, et al. Journal of Modern Applied Pharmacy. 1996;13(4):11-12.
  7. Chen Liu Rong, et al. Journal of Zhejiang University of TCM. 1996;25(6):270-271.
  8. Zhang Hong Gui, et al. Journal of Bethune Medical University. 1993;19(6):560-561.
  9. Wen Hong Mei, et al. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1999;22(3):125-126.
  10. Bu Ding Zhong, et al. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1988;11(60):38-39.
  11. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Techonology Press; 1998.
  12. Tang Wen An. Journal of Guiyang College of TCM. 1987;(4):45.
  13. Zhou Hai Hong, et al. Journal of Anhui College of TCM. 1993;12(4):39-40.
  14. Qiu Jia Xin, et al. China Jounral of Medicine. 1993;8(5):272-275.
  15. Peng Cheng, et al. Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Application of TCM. 1994;10(4):21-25.
  16. Xu Shang Cai, et al. Shanghai Journal of Immunology. 1994;14(1):12-13.
  17. Tang Xin Hui. Journal of Research in Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1998;11(2):7-9.
  18. Lu Zhi Lian, et al. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1996;37(9):560-561.
  19. Li Huai Jing, et al. Journal of Jiamusi Medical College. 1996;19(1):9-10.
  20. Lu Gui Yuan, et al. Journal of Modern Applied Pharmacy. 1996;13(5):26-29.
  21. Ma Xiao Song, et al. New Journal of Digestive Diseases. 1996;4(11):603-604.
  22. Jing Wei Zhe, et al. China Journal of Geriatrics. 1997;17(6):365-367.
  23. Hou Dun, et al. Journal of Jiangxi College of TCM. 1999;11(1):28.