Chuan Xu Duan

Dipsaci Radix, Dipsacus (Chuan)



Chemical Composition

Sweroside; Lloganin; Cantleyoside; Akebiasaponin D,3-O-a-L-arabinopyranosyl hederagenin-28-O-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→6)-b-D-gluco-pyranoside; 3-O-(4-O-acetyl)-a-L-arabinopyranosyl hederagenin-28-O-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→6)-b-D-gluco-pyranoside; 3-O-a-L-arabinopyranosyl oleanolic acid-28-O-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→6)-b-D-gluco-pyranoside; 3-O-a-D-glucopyranosyl(1→3)-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-á-L-arabinopyranosyl hederagenin-28-0-â-D-glucopyranosyl(1→6)-b-D-gluco-pyranoside; 3-O-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→3)-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→3)-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-a-L-arabinopyranovl hederagenin-28-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→6)-b-D-gluco-pyranoside; 3-O-[b-D-xylopyranosyl(1→4)b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→4)][a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→3)]-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→3)-a -L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-a-L-arabinopyranosyl hederagenin; 3-O-[b-D-xylopyranosyl(1→4)-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→4)][a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(l→3) -b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→3)-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-a-L-arabinopyranosyl hederagenin-28-O-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→6)-b-D-gluco-pyranoside]; 3-O-[b-D-xylopyranosyl(1→4)-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→4)][a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→3)]-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1-3)-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(l→2)-a-L-arabinopyranosyl hederagenin-28-O-b-D-gluco-pyranoside; 3-O-a-L-arabinopyranosyl hederagenin; 3-O-a-L-arabinopyranosyl hederagenin-28-O-b-D-gluco-pyranoside; Hederagenin-28-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→6)-b -D-gluco-pyranoside; 3-O-[b -D-glucopyranosyl(1→4)][a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→3)]-b -D-glucopyranosyl(1→3)-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-a -L-arabinopyranosyl hederagenin; 3-O-[b -D-glucopyranosyl(1→4)][a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→3)]-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→3)-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-a-L-arabinopyranosyl hederagenin-28-O-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→6)-b-D-gluco-pyranoside; 3-O-[b-D-xylopyranosyl(1-4)-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→4)][a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→3)]-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→3)-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-a-L-arabinopyranosyl oleanolic acid-28-O-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→6)-b-D-gluco-pyranoside; 3-O-[b-D-xylopyranosyl(1-4)-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→4)][a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→3)]-b-D-galactopyranosyl(1→3)-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-a-L-arabinopyranosyl hederagenin, asperosaponin F; 3-O-[b-D-xylopyranosyl(1-4)-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→4)][a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1-3)-b-D-galactopyranosyl(1-3)-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-a-L-arabinopyranosyl-hederagenin-28-O-b-D-glucopy-ranosyl(1→6)-b-D-gluco-pyranoside, asperosaponin H1; Carvotanacetone; 2,4,6-tri-t-butylphenol; 3-eihvl-5-methylphenol; 2,4-dimethylphenol; 4-methylphenol; 3-methylphenol; 2-eihyl-4-methylphenol; 2,6-bis(1,1-dimethyleihyl)-4-methylphenol; Phenol; 4-trimethyl-3-cyclohexene-methanol; 4-methyl-1-(1-methylethyl)-3-(cylohexene-1-ol); 4-(3-Methyl-2-butenyl)-4-cyclohexene-1, 3-dione; Dibenzofuran; Phenanthrenen; 2’-hydroxy-4’-methoxyacetophenone; 1,2-dimethoxybenzene; Ethylpropionate; Hederagenin; Daucosterol; Sucrose


Chuan Xu Duan has been reported to cause allergic dermatitis: A woman, age 26, had been taking a formula for leukorrhagia. Because of knee and lower back pain, the original formula was modified to include 15 grams of Chuan Xu Duan. One hour after taking the modified formula, the patient started experiencing itchiness all over the body, her skin turned red, and papula began to appear. The formula was discontinued, and a modified version of Xiao Feng San had to be administered for three months before the patient fully recovered. Afterwards, Chuan Xu Duan was administered as a single herb to the patient to verify the suspected cause-effect relationship between the herb and the symptoms experienced. Again, one hour after taking the herb, the same symptoms appeared; and again, the same modified Xiao Feng San formula was used for recovery. (1) , (2)


Anti-inflammatory effect

Experiments show that oral administration of Chuan Xu Duan can inhibit feet swelling in hamsters; and in mice, it can inhibit dimethyl benzene-induced ear inflammation, acetic acid-induced abdnominal capillary permeability, and paper-induced proliferation of granulation tissue. (3)

Effects on the uterus

Extract, total alkaloid, and volatile oil of Chuan Xu Duan all have a significant inhibitory effect on the uterus of both pregnant and non-pregnant mice. (4) , (5)

Immunoregulation effect

Abdominal injection of water decoction of Chuan Xu Duan can increase mice’s tolerance for hypoxia, improve their weight-carrying swimming ability, and enhance the phagocytic function of their macrophage. (6)

Anti-spasmic and anti-abortion effects

Administered to pregnant hamsters, total alkaloid of Chuan Xu Duan can significantly inhibit the uterus’ spontaneous smooth muscle contraction, decrease contraction amplitude and tension, and counteract oxytocin-induced increase in contraction amplitude and tension; it can also counteract miscarriages caused by the removal of ovaries. (7)

Effects on bone fracture

Xu Duan can increase the number and activity of osteocytes, promote calcification of bone tissue and growth of osteotylus, thus promoting recovery from bone fracture. (8) Both water decoction of Xu Duan and total saponin extract can significantly promote recovery from bone injury. (9)


  1. Zhou Han Jun, et al. Heilongjiang Journal of TCM. 1989;(2):40.
  2. Chen Kai Zong. Sichuan Journal of TCM. 1984;2(4):25.
  3. Wang Yi Tao, et al. Journal of TCM Pharmacology and Clinical Research. 1996;12(3):20-30.
  4. Gong Xiao Jian, et al. Journal of University of Pharmacy of China. 1995;26(2):115-119.
  5. Gong Xiao Jian, et al. Journal of University of Pharmacy of China. 1996;27(1)48:51.
  6. Shi Kou Lan, et al. Journal of TCM Pharmacology and Clinical Research. 1998;14(1):36-37.
  7. Gong Xiao Jian, et al. Journal of University of Pharmacy of China. 1998;29(6): 459-461.
  8. Hong Ding Gang, et al. China Journal of TCM Orthopedic Traumatology. 1999;7(3):4-7.
  9. Ji Shun Xin, et al. Journal of Chinese Herbal Medicine. 1997;28(2):98-99.