Chuan Xiong

Rhizoma Ligustici Wallichi, Ligusticum Rhizome


3-10g decoction; 1-1.5g powder infusion; or in powder or pill form.


LD50 (mice/IV injection/chuanxiongzine): 239mg/kg13

Chemical Composition

Chuanxiongzine; Perlolyrine; Ligustilide; Wallichilide; 3-butylidene-phthalide; Butyl-phthalide; (3S)-chuanxiongol; Neocnidilide; Senkyunolide; (E)-senkyunolide E; Senkyunone; Senkyunone B-H; Hydroxybenzoic acid; Vanillic acid; Caffeic acid; Protocatechuic acid; Ferulic acid; Chrysophanic acid; Sedanonic acid; Uracil; Trimethylamine-HCl; Chloinechloride; Palmitic acid; Vanillin; 1-acetyl-(-carboline; Spathulenol; b-sitosterol; Linoleic acid; Sucrose; Dilinoyl palmitoyl glyceride; L-valyl-L-valine anhydride; 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy styrene; L-isoleucyl-L-valine anhydride; 3-butylidene-7-hydroxyphthalide; Cis-6,7-dihydroxyligustilide; Trans-6, 7-dihydroxyligustilide J-Q; 2-(1-oxopentyl)-benzoic acid, methyl ester; 2-methoxy-4-(3-methoxy-1-propeyl)phenol; (1-hydroxy-1-(3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenyl)ehane; (3-n-butyl-3, 6, 7-trihydroxy-4, 5, 6, 7-tetrahydrophthalide; (5-hydroxymethyl-6-endo-3'-methoxy-4'-hydroxyphenyl-8-oxabicyclo[3.2.1]-oct-3-en-2-one1. (1)


Effects on the cardio-cerebral vascular system

    Effects on the heart: Chuanxiongzine, a Chuan Xiong extract, has dosage-specific inhibitory effect on isolated hamster hearts. This inhibitory effect, however, does not seem to significantly affect the heartbeat rate. (2) Both before and during oxygen deprivation, chuanxiongzine weakens myocardial contraction, decreases diastolization, and slows down the heartbeat. (3) Effects on blood vessels and the blood pressure: Chuanxiongzine can inhibit thoracic aorta's contraction that is induced by noradrenalin, potassium chloride, or calcium chloride. It can also dilate pulmonary vessels in rats, inhibit pulmonary vessel contraction due to oxygen deprivation, and right ventricle hypertrophy. (4) , (5) , (6) Effects on the volume of coronary blood flow: Both Chuan Xiong and chuanxiongzine can significantly increase the volume of coronary blood flow in isolated hearts of rats and hamsters. (7) Effects on myocardial ischemia: Administered by abdominal injection and by oral feeding, respectively, chuanxiongzine and perlolyrine can increase mice's survival time under low pressure and oxygen deprivation. (8) They can also counteract pituitrin-induced acute myocardial ischemia in rabbits. (9) Effects on cerebral circulation and cerebral ischemia: Administered by IV injection at 4mg/kg, Chuanxiongzine can dilate cerebra vessels in dogs, decrease vessel resistance, and significantly increase cerebral blood flow. (10) In experimental artherosclerosis rabbits, Chuan Xiong can counteract pathologic changes to cerebral hemodynamics such as decreases in the averages of carotid blood flow and blood flow speed, and increase in peripheral resistance of cerebral vessels. (11) Effects on microcirculation: Administered to golden hamsters, Chuan Xiong and chuanxiongzine can relieve noradrenaline-induced buccal micromovement, and vein and capillary convulsion, increasing both decreased blood flow speed and volume. (12) Chuan Xiong can delay the occurrence of adrenaline-induced microcirculatory disturbance such as arteriole blood flow cessation or slowdown, arteriole contraction. (13)

Effects on the blood system

Experiments on rabbits show that Chuan Xiong and chuanxiongzine can significantly inhibit blood platelet aggregation induced by ADP, collagen and thrombase. (14) Chuanxiongzine can inhibit the activation of platelets in extracorporeal circulation and the formation of arterial thrombus. (15)

Effects on the urinary system

Chuanxiongzine can significantly increase renal blood flow in rabbits, an effect that is dosage-specific. Chuanxiongzine is also an effective diuretic. (16) Experiments on rabbits and rats show that chuanxiongzine also has a moderate therapeutic effect on Masugi nephritis, experimental membranous nephritis, and in-situ nephritis. (17) , (18) , (19)

Effects on the immune system

Chuanxiongzine can strengthen the phagocytic function of mononuclear phagocytes in mice, increase lymphocytes' transformation rate in rats, and the percentage of positive results in ANAE testing. (20) , (21) , (22) It can also promote the formation of sheep red blood cell (SRBC) antibody in mice. (23)

Effects on the respiratory system

Chuanxiongzine has a moderate inhibitory effect on the contraction of hamsters' in-vitro trachea induced by leukotrienes C4, D4, histamine, and prostaglandin F2. (It does not, however, counteract acetylcholine-induced bronchi contraction.) (24)

Effects on the prevention and treatment of pancreatitis

Experiments show that chuanxiongzine has a preventive and therapeutic effect on sodium taurocholate-induced acute hemmorage necrotic pancreatitis (AHNP) in rats, increasing the pancrease's relative blood flow and perfusion, ameliorating pathological damages to the pancrease, sustaining normal TXA2/GPI2, decreasing peroxide lipid in the blood serum, inhibiting elatstin enzyme, and improving the chance for survival. (25) , (26)

Anti-neoplastic and anti-radiation effects

Administered at 20mg/kg daily for 18 consecutive days, chuanxiongzine can significantly inhibit the metastasis of B16-F10 melanoma through artificial lungs. Chuanxiongzine can enhance the activity of splenic natural killer cells (NK) in both normal and cancerous mice, counteract cyclophosphamide's inhibition of NK activity. (27) Furthermore, chuanxiongzine can inhibit the growth of and proliferation of fibrocytes, decreasing radiation-induced fibrous tissue hyperplasia. (28)


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