Cang Er Zi

Xanthii Fructus, Xanthium


Decoction: 3-10g.


MTD (mice/peritoneal infusion/alcohol-based extract): 138 times the recommended adult dosage of 1.8 grams/day (5:1 concentrated extract). (1)

Chemical Composition

Palmitic acid; Stearic acid; Oleic acid; Linoleic acid; Ceryl alcohol; b-,g-,and s-sitosterol; Lecithin; Cephalin; Glucose; Fructose; Sucrose; Tartaric acid; Succinic acid; Fumaric acid; Malic acid; Leucine; Henylalanine; Glycine; Aspartic acid; Asparagine; Glutamic acid; Alanine; Valine; Lysine; Tyrosine; Threonine; Proline; Arginine; Phenylalanine; Hydroquinone; A-tracyloside; 1,3,5-tri-O-caffeoylquinic Acid; 3,5-di-o-caffeoylguinic acid; Strumaroside (b-sitosterol-b-d-glucoside); Carboxy atractyloside. (2) , (3) , (4)


It is contraindicated for patients with headache, numbness, and pain due to blood deficiency. There have been reports of chronic poisoning of Cang Er Zi leading to myocardial and liver damages. (5) Other adverse effects of Cang Er Zi include contact dermatitis, (6) , (7) and exfoliative dermatitis. (8)


Anti-allergic effects

Experiments show that Cang Er Zi has a significant inhibitory effect on histamine-induced increase in capillary permeability. (9)

Anti-viral effects

Experiments show that a solution of Cang Er Zi extract with a concentration of 0.05g/ml (dried herb) can completely inhibit the growth of the herpes simplex virus, and that a concentration of 0.025g/ml (dried herb) can inhibit the growth of 100TCID50 herpes virus. (10)

Analgesic effect

Body-twisting tests show that water-based extract of Cang Er Zi water extract has an analgesic effect. (11)


  1. He Fu Li, et al. China Journal of Integrated External Medicine. 1998;4(2):107-108.
  2. Ma Ping, et al. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1999;30(8):634-636.
  3. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Techonology Press; 1998.
  4. Wang Hua Chang, et al. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine. 1995;17(5):51.
  5. Wu Xiu Zheng. Journal of Medical Theory and Application. 1996;9(7):312.
  6. Zhang Feng Shan, et al. Journal of Anhui College of TCM. 1996;10(1):60-61.
  7. Feng Jie, et al. Journal of Medical Theory and Application. 1996;10(5):318.
  8. Lu Jun De. Fujian Journal of Medicine. 1979;(2):60-61.
  9. Huang Shu Ying, et al. Journal of TCM Pharmacology and Clinical Application. 1996;12(3):28-29.
  10. Jiang Ke Yuan, et al. Journal of Shizhen Medicinal Material Research. 1997;8(3):217.
  11. Jing Zhuan Shan, et al. Journal of Anhui College of TCM. Feb2000;19(1):54-56.