Yi Mu Cao

Herba Leonuri, Motherwort


10-15g of the decoction is orally taken.


LD50 (mice/IV/raw herb): 31.9g/kg.

Chemical Composition

Stachydrine; Leonurine; Prehispanolone; Hispanolone; Preleoheterin; Leoheterin; Galeopsin; Preleoheterin; Lavadulifolioside; Verbascoside; Leonoside A and B; Humulene; Leosibirin; Leosibiricin; Preliosibirin; Arginine; Leonurine nitrite; 4-guanidino-1-butanol; 1-octylene-3-alcohol; Trans-caryophyllene. (1) , (2) , (3) , (4)

Inorganic Chemicals

It also contains many trace elements, such as Zn, Cu, Mn, Fe, Ni, Pb, As, Se, Ge, and Rb, among which Fe, Mn, Zn, and Rb are of relatively high content levels.


Patients suffering from blood deprivation due to yin deficiency, profuse menstruation or platycoria should avoid this herb. Parched Yi Mu Cao can be used to remove blood stasis and stop bleeding. However, the total alkaloids (active ingredient) of parched Yi Mu Cao will be lost by 36%. (5)


Effects on the uterus

Yi Mu Cao decoction has an excitatory effect on isolated uteruses of mice. (6) Yi Mu Cao injection significantly strengthens the contracting force of myometrium. (7) Oral administration of Yi Mu Huan Hong Dan (a formula with Yi Mu Cao as its main ingredient) promotes uterine development in mice. It can enhance the body's nonspecific immune function, and has significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. (8) Water-based extract of Yi Mu Cao can promote the contraction of isolated human myometrium. (9)

Anti-coagulant effect

Administered to rabbits at 16-48mg/kg, Yi Mu Cao injection can reduce the subjects blood viscosity and fibrinogen. The heffect is strongest at the 12-hour mark after administration. (10) Tiao Jing Yi Mu Pian (consisting of Yi Mu Cao and Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae) can decrease the wet weight of blood platelet thrombus in rats, reduce platelet concentration in mice, and extend bleeding time and blood-coagulation time in mice. (11)

Effects on the cardiovascular system

Yi Mu Cao can significantly improve the ultrastructure of cardiac muscles, decrease the accumulation of calcium in cardiac muscle cells and reduce the content of CPK. (12) Both intra-arterial or intravenous injection can significantly decrease the resistance in cerebral blood vessels and increase the blood flow in the coronary artery. (13)

Effects on the kidney

The damage to the epithelial cells of the proximal convoluted tubule in rats with acute renal failure caused by gentamicin is gradually aggravated as the medicating time extends. However, the extent of damage in the Yi Mu Cao group is significantly less than that in the gentamicin group, indicating that Yi Mu Cao has some effect of preventing and treating gentamicin-induced acute renal failure in rats. (14) Similarly, experiments show that Yi Mu Cao has some effect of preventing and treating acute incipient renal tubular necrosis. (15)

Promoting immune functions

Prehispanolone, an active ingredient of Yi Mu Cao, has a relatively strong effect of promoting hyperplasia on T-lymphocytes activated by Con A, and can strengthen cells immune functions. (16)


  1. Ke Yan, et al. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1999;30(4):270-271.
  2. Huang Zhi, et al. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1998;29(6):414-417.
  3. Ren Xiao Wei, et al. Journal of Popular Medicine of Chinese Ethnic Minorities. 1999;5(4):37.
  4. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Techonology Press; 1998.
  5. Ma Ya Ming, et al. Journal of Shaanxi College of TCM. 1994;17(2):32-33.
  6. Shi Mi Yang, et al. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1995;20(3):173-175.
  7. Teng Jia Ming, et al. Journal of Tongji Medical University. 1992;21(2):103-105.
  8. Jing Cui Ying, et al. Chian Journal of New Herbal Medicine. 1993;2(3):5-8.
  9. Li Zhong Kai, et al. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Information. 1994;11(3):31-33.
  10. Han Zhong Xiu, et al. Journal of Shengyang College of Pharmacology. 1992;9(3):196-199.
  11. Zhou Jiu Yao, et al. Journal of Guangzhou University of TCM. 1997;14(3):190-192.
  12. Wei Hong Chang, et al. Shanghai Journal of Medicine. 1997;20(5):267-269.
  13. Guo Xin Zong, et al. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine. 1993;(8):28.
  14. Xia Xiao Hong, et al. China Journal of Pathology and Physiology. 1997;13(2):183-187.
  15. Xia Xiao Hong, et al. China Journal of Pathology and Physiology. 1994;10(2):147-150.
  16. Xu Hang Min, et al. Journal of Pharmacology. 1992;27(11):812-816.