Yin Yang Huo

Epimedii Herba, Epimedium


Decoction: 3-9g, large dosages can use up to 15g.

Chemical Composition

Icariin; Ceryl alcohol; Triacontane; Phytosterol; Oleic acid; Linoleic acid; Palmitic acid; Quercetin; Quercetin-3-O-b-D-glucoside; Icaritin-3-O-a-rhamnoside; Anhydroicaritin-3-O-a-rhamnryside; Sagiitatoside A, B, C; Epimedin A, B, C; Sagittain A, B; Icariside A1, B2, B6, B9, D5, E6, E7, H1; Icarisidin B1; Icariol A1, A2; Dilignol 5; 1,2-bis-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-propane-1, 3-diol; 5-methoxy-(-)-isolariciresinol; Olivil; Syringaresinol-O-b-D-glucopy-ranoside; Dihydrodehydrodiconiferyl alcohol; Phenethyl glucoside; (Z)-3-hexenyl glucoside; Blumenol C glucoside. (1) , (2) , (3) , (4) , (5)


Contraindication: Patients with yin deficiency and prone to ministerial fire flare-ups.


Affecting the cardiovascular system


    The heart: Experiments show that, to varying degrees, non-amino acid components of alcohol-based extract of Yin Yang Huo improves the subjects’ myocardial ischemia and EKG readings, and that Yin Yang Huo increases coronary blood flow, decreases heartbeat rate, and improves myocardial ischemia tolerance. Blood pressure: Yin Yang Huo lowers the blood pressure by one of the following mechanisms: 1) effecting a sympathetic block; 2) counteracting endogenous catecholamine; 3) dilating arteria coronaria, arteria femoralis, and cerebral vessels; and 4) blocking the ROC and PDC Ca2+ channels of vascular smooth muscles. Blood rheology: Experiments on rabbits show that Yin Yang Huo lowers whole blood viscosity and inhibits red blood cell aggregation. In a healthy person, Yin Yang Huo significantly lowers the rate of ADP-induced blood platelet aggregation, inhibits blood platelet aggregation reaction, and lengthens blood zymogen coagulation time. (6) Arrhythmia: Administered by vena jugularis injection at the dosages of 60mg/kg and 120mg/kg, the total flavone glycoside of Epimedium koreanum Nakai can significantly counteract barium chloride-induced arrhythmia in hamsters and adrenaline-induced arrhythmia in guinea-pigs. (7)


Effects on the immune system


    Regulating macrophage: Yin Yang Huo, Yin Yang Huo polysaccharide, and Yin Yang Huo glycoside can enhance the function of mice’s abdominal macrophage. Under LPS stimulation, they can also promote IL-1 and TNF production by mice’s abdominal macrophage to stimulate. Regulating T-lymphocytes: Administered to mice with cyclophosphamide-impaired immune systems, Yin Yang Huo can restore their ANAE to the normal level, and increase the permeating ability of their thymocyte 3H-TdR. (8) , (9) Regulating B-lymphocytes: Experiments show that Yin Yang Huo can promote antibody production in hydrocortisone- and hydroxyurea-treated mice (i.e., mice whose immune system has been inhibited). Regulating NK and LAK cells: Yin Yang Huo can significantly enhance the activity of NK cells in senile hamsters; similarly, it can enhance the activity of LAK cells, and act synergistically with IL-2.


Anti-aging effects

Yin Yang Huo can enhance the activity of LH, FSH, T, E2, and IL-2 and NKC. (10) , (11)

Anti-inflammatory effects

Yin Yang Huo can significantly lower the prostaglandin E content in inflammation exudate, enhance erythrocyte catalase activity in mice, inhibit ear swelling in mice with the adrenal grand removed, and does not significantly affect the weight of the adrenal gland or the vitamin C level in hamsters. (12)

Promoting fracture recovery

Administered to patients with fractures, Yin Yang Huo can promote hematoma polarization and absorption, cartilaginous calcification, callus growth, porotic bridging and rebuilding, and increase both the number and activity of cells of fractured bones. (13)


  1. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Technology Press; 1998.
  2. Sun Peng Yue, et al. Korean Yin Yang Huo chemical composition. Journal of Pharmacy. 1998;33(12):919-922.
  3. Zhu Chao De, et al. Research in dynamic changes of total flavone and icariside levels in Jian Ye (arrow leaf) Yin Yang Huo leaves. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1998;23(1):21.
  4. Yan Wen Mei, et al. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1998;23(12):735-736.
  5. Jia Xian Sheng, et al. Research on Chu Mao Yin Yang Huo root’s chemical composition. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1998;23(3):162-164.
  6. Wang Chang Lin, et al. Pharmacology research on Yin Yang Huo and its effective components. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1998;23(3):183-185.
  7. Liu Shou Yi, et al. Experimental research on Korean Yin Yang Huo total icariin counteracting cardiac arrhythmia. Journal of TCM Pharmacology and Clinical Application. 1998;5(4):148-150.
  8. Yang Chao Ye. Research on Yin Yang Huo’s immuno-regulation effects. Journal of Chinese Patent Medicine. 1999;21(6)322-323.
  9. Lu Jun, et al. Yin Yang Huo’s effect on T-lymphocyte subgroups in hemodialysis patients. Journal of Practical First-Aid Application of Integrated Medicine. 1998;5(4):148-150.
  10. Meng Xian Li, et al. Research in Yin Yang Huo polysaccharides’ effect on nervous endocrine immune regulation in aged rats. Journal of TCM Pharmacology and Clinical Application. 1998;14(3):19-20.
  11. Meng Xian Li, et al. Research in Yin Yang Huo total flavone’s effect on nervous endocrine immune regulation in aged rats. Journal of TCM Pharmacology and Clinical Application. 1998;14(4):10-11.
  12. Zhang Yi Fan, et al. Anti-inflammation effects of Yin Yang Huo total flavone. Journal of Shengyang College of Pharmacy. 1999;16(2):122-124.
  13. Hong Ding Gang, et al. Yin Yang Huo’s effect on bone fracture recovery’s bone histology and bone tissue morphological measurement. China Journal of Orthopedics. 1999;11(2):3-4.