Zhi Mu

Anemarrhenae Rhizoma, Anemarrhena


The decoction is orally taken at a dose of 6-12g.


Measured by changes to the heart rate, blood pressure, electrocardiogram, and self-reported signs, oral administration of timosaponin at 2mg/kg to healthy persons does not produce effects significantly different than the placebo effect.

Chemical Composition

Zhimusaponin A; Anemarsaponin A1; Prototimosaponin A-III; Anemarsaponin A2; Desgalactotigonin; F-gitonin; Smilageninoside; Timosaponin B-I; Anemaran A, B, C and D; Hinokiresinol; Oxy-cis-hinokiresinol; b-sitosierol; Mangiferin; Nicotinic acid; Nicotinamide; Pantothenic acid; P-hydroxyphenyl crotoni acid; Monomethyl-cis-hinokiresinol; Pseudoprototimosaponin A-III; 2,4-6-trihydroxy-4-methoxy benzophenon; Timosaponin A-I, A-II, A-III, A-IV, B-I and B-II; Markogenin-3-O-b-D-glucopyranosyl(1→2)-b-D-galactopyranoside B. (1)


Contraindications: spleen-yang deficiency, and loose stool.


Effects on the endocrine system

Research shows that the plasma cAMP concentration in mice of thyroid hormone-induced elevated isoprenaline is significantly above the normal level, and timosaponin, an active component of Zhi Mu, is known to counteract this. Furthermore, a radioligand combination assay indicates that timosaponin can counteract thyroid hormone-induced increase in the Rt value of b-receptors in rats. (2)

Effects of removing free radicals

Research shows that Zhi Mu can significantly inhibit radiation-induced increase in LPO content (but does not affect SOD), and helps eliminate free radicals. (3) , (4)

Anti-inflammatory effects

Experiments show that total polysaccharides of Zhi Mu (TPA) have a significant inhibitory effect on various inflammation models (but cannot curb carrageenin-induced foot swelling in rats with both adrenal glands removed). They can also significantly raise the plasma corticosterone level in rats, and lower the adrenocorticotropic hormone level, suggesting the total polysaccharides of Zhi Mu can significantly inhibit both acute and chronic inflammation. (5)

Anti-aging effect

The early stage of senescence in rats is mainly characterized by a reduction in M receptors, and Zhi Mu, a yin-nourishing herb, has the effect of increasing M receptors, without affecting the density of b-receptors. (6)

Preventing asthma

Studies show that Zhi Mu has a preventive effect on asthma similar to that of suprarenal glycocorticoid hormone, an effect that might have been achieved by reducing the production of No and ET-1. (7)


  1. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Techonology Press; 1998.
  2. Han Li Ping, et al. Journal of New Chinese Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology. 1998;9(4):224-226.
  3. Zhang Hong Yu, et al. China Journal of Pharmacology. 1999;20(6):555-558.
  4. Wang Chong Dao, et al. China Journal of Wild Botanic Resources. 1999;18(1);12-14.
  5. Chen Wan Sheng, et al. Journal of Second Military Medical College. 1999;20(10):758-760.
  6. Hu Ya Er, et al. Journal of Shanghai Second Medical University. 1999;19(3):211-213.
  7. Li Gui Ping, et al. China Journal of Pharmacy. 1999;34(1):14-17.