Chen Pi

Reticulatae Pericarpium, Citrus Peel


decoction 3-6g, or in pill or powder form.


LD50: (mice/citrus oil/abdominal injection): 1mg/kg.

Chemical Composition

Limonene; (-myrcene; (-, (-pinene; (-terpinene; (-thujene; Sabinene; Octanal; (-phellandrene; P-cymene; (-ocimene; (-terpinene; Terpinolene; Linalool; 4-terpineol; (-terpineol; Decanal; Citronellol; Perillaldehyde; Carcavrol; (-farnesene; Benzyl alcohol; Nerol; Neral; Octanol; Thymol; Citronellal; Sabinene hydrate; Sinensetin; Nobiletin; Sudachiflavone; Tangeritin; Xanthomicrol; Hesperidin; Neohesperidin; Citromitin; (-sitosterol; Limonin; Ferulic acid; 3, 7-dimethyl-7-octenal; 5-O-desmethylcitromitin; 5, 7, 4'-trimethoxyflavone; 5, 7, 8, 4, -tetramethoxyflavone; 5, 7, 8, 3', 4'-pentamethoxy flavone; 4-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-benzenemethanol; 5-hydroxy-7, 8, -4' –trimethoxyflavone; 5, 4'-dihydroxy-7, 8-dimethoxyflavone; 5, 5'-oxydimethylene-bis(2-furaldehyde); 5-hydroxy-6, 7, 8, 4'-tetramethoxyflavone; 4'-hydroxy-5, 6, 7, 8-tetramethoxyflavone; 5-hydroxy-6, 7, 8, 3', 4'-hexamethoxy flavone; 5-hydroxy-6, 7, 8, 3', 4'-pentamethoxy flavone; 5, 7, 4'-trihydroxy-6, 8, 3'-trimethoxyflavone. (1) , (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) , (7) , (8)


1.Contraindications: qi deficiency, yin deficiency, and dry cough with little or no phlegm.

2.Reported adverse effects include allergic reaction, (9) , (10) hematochezia, (11) and death due to perforation of the digestive tract. (12)


Effects on immune functions

Administered to guinea pigs by hypodermic injection, the 100% injection of alcohol-based precipitant of Chen Pi water decoction can significantly increase the level of serum lysozyme, the number of cardiac blood T-lymphocytes, and the E rosette forming rate. At the same time, it also significantly inhibits the T-lymphocyte transformation rate. (13)

Effects on the digestive system

Chen Pi can shorten sheep's small intestine's myoelectric cycle, and improve the intestine's digestive function. (14) In-vitro experiments show that Chen Pi decoction (10%) can significantly enhance the activity of human saliva amylase. (15)

Effects on hemodynamics

Administered to cats by IV injection, Chen Pi can rapidly and significantly alter the subjects' hemodynamic parameters: rapidly raising the blood pressure, increasing the pulse pressure differential and cardiac output, increasing the internal pressure while decreasing the end-diastolic phase pressure in the left ventricle, and increasing the cardiac index, stroke index, cardiac output per stroke, and left ventricular function index. (16)

Raising blood pressure

Administered to rats by IV injection, Chen Pi's water-soluble alkaloids (1000mg/kg, 500mg/kg, or 250mg/kg) can significantly raise the subjects' blood pressure. Within a certain dose range, this effect is both dose and time-dependent; the effect lasts only a short period of time, and disappears quickly. (17)

Counteracting germinal cell damages

Experiments show that Chen Pi extract (0.1g/kg) can significantly counteract cyclophosphamide-induced germinal cell damages in mice. (18)

Eliminating free radicals

Chen Pi extract can eliminate the superoxide anion free radicals generated in the hypoxanthine-xanthine oxidase system and the hydroxide free radicals generated in Fenton reaction. It also can inhibit oxygen free radical generating system (FRGS)-induced lipid peroxidation in mice's myocardial homogenate tissue. (19)

Expectorant effects

Research has compared the expectorant effects of the water decoction and volatile oil of Chen Pi stored for different lengths of time, and found that the water decoction of Chen Pi stored for 6 months and the volatile oil of Chen Pi stored for 18 months have the best expectorant effects. (20)

Dissolving gallstones

In-vitro experiments show that citrus oil is an excellent solvent of cholesterol calculus. (21)

Antispasmotic effects

Experiments show that the water decoction of Chen Pi stored for various lengths of time invariably has a dose-dependent effect of decreasing the contraction amplitude and tension of isolated rat duodenum. (22)


  1. Liu Wen Can, et al. Journal of Zhongshan Medical University. 1991;12(2):136-138.
  2. Cheng Cun Gui, et al. China Journal of Pharmacy. 1993;28(11):679-680.
  3. Chen Li, et al. Journal of Fujian College of TCM. 1998;8(1):29-30.
  4. Chen You Gen, et al. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1998;29(6):373-374.
  5. Chen You Gen, et al. Journal of Jiangxi College of TCM. 1998;10(2):79-80.
  6. Shi Li Fu, et al. Journal of Second Military Medical College. 1993;14(3):249-251
  7. Qian Shi Hui, et al. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1998;21(6):301-302.
  8. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Technology Press; 1998.
  9. Guo Jian Feng. Henan Journal of TCM. 1989;9(2):31.
  10. Tong Xiang Gu. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1997;28(2):103.
  11. Wu Yan Fu. Traditional Chinese Medicine Bulletin. 1988;13(10):630.
  12. Ding Lin Zhang, et al. China Journal of Integrated Medicine. 1992;12(3):156.
  13. Jin Zhi Cui, et al. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1992;23(11):612.
  14. Kuang Ling, et al. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Research. 1996;(1):49-50.
  15. Zhang Wen Zhi, et al. Liaoning Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1989;13(4):30.
  16. Shen Ming Qin, et al. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1996;19(10):517-520.
  17. Shen Ming Qin, et al. China Journal of Pharmacy. 1997;32(2):97-100.
  18. Liu Qian, et al. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1998;21(2):88-90.
  19. Wang Zhu Mei, et al. Journal of University of Pharmacy of China. 1998;29(6):462-464.
  20. Huang Min, et al. China Journal of Wild Botanic Resources. 1999;18(1):36-37.
  21. Zhou Qun, et al. Guizhou Journal of Medicine. 1981;(2):2.
  22. Huang Min, et al. China Journal of Wild Botanic Resources. 1999;18(1):38-40.