Yin Chen

Herba Artemisiae, Oriental Wormwood


Decoction: 10-15g, large dosages can use up to 30-60g.


LD50 (mice): 497mg/kg (oral/6, 7-dimethoxyl coumarin); 6.98mg/kg (stomach perfusion/norcapillene); 0.5g/kg (abdominal injection/p-hydroxyacetophenone). (1) , (2) , (3)

Chemical Composition

a-,b-pinene; Limonene; a-,g-terpinene; Myrcene; b-caryophyllene; a-humulene; b-gurjunene; a-bergamotene; b-elemene; Capillone; Norcapillene; Capillanol; O-methoxycapillene; 5-phenyl-1, 3-pentadiyne; Phenol; O-cresol; P-cresol; M-cresol; O-ethylphenol; P-ethylphenol; Eugenol; Palmitic acid; Stearic acid; Linoleic acid; Oleic acid; Myristic acid; Lauric acid; Capric acid; Caproic acid; Butyric acid; Azulene; 3, 5-dimethoxyallylbenzene; Dehydrofalcarinol; Dehydrofalcarinone; Capillarisin; 4’-methylcapillarisin; 7-methylcapillarisin; 6-demethoxy-4’-methylcapillarisin; 6-demethoxycapillarisin; Flavonois; Cirsilineol; Genkwanin; Arcapillin; Isoarcapillin; Capillartemisin A and B; Scopoletin; Isoscopoletin; Capillartemisin; 7-methyl capillartemisin; Artepillin A and C; Capillarin; 4’-methyl capillartemisin; Flavonoids; Isorhamnetin; Quercetin; b-rhamnocitrin; Cacticin; Isorhamnetin-3-0-glucoside hyperin; Caffeic acid. (4)


Contraindications: insufficiency of the spleen and blood, with sallow complexion and jaundice.


Protecting the liver

Yin Chen can induce the activity of microsome CEase in rat liver (P

Cholagogic effects

Yin Chen water decoction can increase the level of P540 in mice liver, and increase the liver/body weight ratio, and decrease pentobarbital-induced sleep time. This indicates that Yin Chen can induce drug-metabolizing enzyme in mice. Its decoction has strong cholagogic effects in normal rats. It can promote bile secretion, enhance bile flow and protect the functions of hepatocytes. (5) , (6)

Antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects

Administered to Wistar rats either orally or by intraperitoneal injection, capillarin has a significant dose-dependent hypothermal effect. It has a significant antipyretic effect on yeast-, 2, 4-dinitrophenol (DNP)-, and expired typhoid vaccine-induced fever in rats. Furthermore, 6, 7-dimethoxy coumarin is known to have an analgesic effect on acetic acid-induced body twisting, and an anti-inflammatory effect on carrageenin-induced foot swelling in rats. (7) , (8)

Inhibiting the central nervous system

Capillarin has a significant inhibitory effect on mice spontaneous activity. It prolongs the incubation period of electric stimulation-induced excitation in mice. It enhances the sleep-inducing effects of barbital sodium and sodium pentothal in sub-threshold dose, speeding up the onset of sleep. Lastly, it decreases strychnine’s convulsion and mortality rates. (9)

Antineoplastic effects

Administered to mice orally, Yin Chen decoction is shown to antagonize AFB1-induced genetic injuries to living cells. At 12-50g/kg (raw herb), Yin Chen have a significant dose-dependent inhibitory effect on AFB1-induced micronucleus, chromosomal anomaly in mice. In-vitro experiments show that Yin Chen extract can kill gastric carcinoma cells BGC-823, with the lowest inhibition concentration being 2 mg/ml, and IC50 being 2.5 mg/ml (at 8 mg/ml, all test cells are killed). Administered to rats of experimental esophageal carcinoma at various concentration levels (5%, 2.5%, and 1.25%), Yin Chen is shown to significantly decrease the degeneration occurrence rate and the level of middle molecule substance in the plasma. Administered to mice orally, Yin Chen can induce the generation of tumor necrosis factors in the serum. (10) , (11) , (12) , (13)

Inhibiting pathogenic microorganism

Experiments show that acne propionic acid bacillus is highly sensitive to Yin Chen. At the concentration level of 5%, Yin Chen extract can inhibit some superficial fungi. (14) , (15)

Anticarious effects

Carpillarisin and other active components of Yin Chen can significantly weaken and reduce mutation streptococcus’s ability to adhere to the teeth, indicating that Yin Chen has a strong anticarious effect. (16)

Effects on the cardio-cerebral system

Administered to rabbits by IV injection, 6, 7-dimethoxyl coumarin can decrease the subjects’ blood pressure, and promote cerebral blood flow. This effect of Yin Chen appears to be dose dependent, and it does not affect femoral artery blood flow, indicating that Yin Chen might selectively dilate cerebral blood vessels. At 1.25, 2.5, 5mg/kg, dimethoxyl coumarin can affect the cardiac hemodynamics of anesthetic cats. Intravenous injection of dimethoxyl coumarin can lower rabbits’ blood pressure, and increase their cerebral blood flow. In particular, at 5mg/kg, it can lower the heart beat, indicating that it has an inhibitory effect on myocardial activities. (17) , (18)

Hypoglycemic effects

Experiments show that Yin Chen can inhibit alloxan-induced increase in fasting blood glucose in mice, lower the FBG level in diabetic mice, but does not affect the FBG level in either healthy or hyperlipidemic mice. Yin Chen can lower the serum total cholesterol level and the atherogenic index, and increase the HDL-C level in both hyperlipemic and alloxan-modeled mice. Yin Chen has biguanide-like hypoglycemic effects, and is used to treat diabetes mellitus and its chronic complications. (19)

Effects on the immune system

One study analyzed the effects of seven different herbs of the Compositae family on clearing oxygen free radicals. The results show that they all have a significant effect on clearing and inhibiting oxygen free radicals. Among them, herba artemisiae (Yin Chen) and herba taraxaci had the strongest effects. (20)

Antidotal effects

Administered to nitrogen mustard-treated mice and rats, either before or after the treatment, capillarin at various dosages can significantly increase the subjects’ survival rate, and promote gain of weight and recovery among the surviving subjects. Capillarin does not affect nitrogen mustard’s treatment effect on S180 and U14; it also does not affect the anticancer effects of the following medicines: captothecine, 5-fluorouracil, vincristin, etc. Capillarin is also an effective antidote for cyclophophamide. (21)

Preventing and treating on pancreatitis

Administered to rats of deoxydium-induced acute hemorrhagic necrotic pancreatitis, Yin Chen can ameliorate the subjects’ overall condition, lower the death rate, lessen the pathological changes, increase the activity of succinate dehydrogenase and raise the cAMP/cGMP ratio in pancreatic tissues. (22)


  1. The Pharmacology Group. Shandong Medical College. Journal of Shandong College of Medicine. 1961;(1):19.
  2. Hunan Medical Research Institute. China Journal of Medicine. 1974;54(2):101.
  3. Jing Jin Tong Xiong. Central Journal of Medicine. Japan. 1956;132:724.
  4. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Technology Press; 1998.
  5. He Ping, et al. Yin Chen’s effect on drug-metabolizing enzymes in mice. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1990;15(6):372.
  6. Sui Yan Hua, et al. A comparative study of Xiang Fu, Qing Pi, Ci Li, Yin Chen, Xi Nan Zhang Ya Cai: Their effects on bile secretion. Henan Journal of TCM. 1993;13(1):19-20, 44.
  7. Wan Yao De. The antipyretic effects of capillarin. Pharmacy Bulletin. 1987;(10):590-593.
  8. Shan Yuan Tiao Er, et al. Journal of Pharmacy. Japan. 1982;102(3):285.
  9. Wan Yao De, et al. Capillarin’s effect on the central nervous system. Journal of Chinese Patent Medicine Research. 1987;(9):45.
  10. Hong Zhen Feng, et al. Yin Chen’s effect on AFB1-induced genetic damages. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1992;33(8):44-45.
  11. Zhang Jian Hong. Yin Chen extract’s effect on tumor cells. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1998;21(7):366-367.
  12. Hong Zhen Feng, et al. Yin Chen’s effect on the plasma middle molecule substance in rats of experimental esophageal carcinoma. China Journal of TCM Science and Technology. 1999;6(2):67.
  13. Du De Ji, et al. The effects of 30 Chinese patent herbal formulas on the generation of tumor necrosis factors. Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Application of TCM. 1990;6(5):27-29.
  14. Huang Tian, et al. The inhibitory effects of 48 Chinese herbs on acne propionic acid bacillus. China Journal of Dermatology. 1992;25(5):307-308.
  15. Wang Hao, et al. The anti-fungal effects of 10 Chinese herbs on pathogenic superficial mycoses. Ningxia Journal of Medicine. 1997;19(4):193-195.
  16. Meng Li Zhen, et al. The extraction of the anticarious components of Hou Po and Yin Chen. Journal of Jiamusi Medical College. 1992;15(3):76.
  17. Huang Jiao Cheng, et al. Scoparone’s effect on the hemodynamics of rabbits. China Journal of Pharmacology. 1993;14(suppl):18-21.
  18. Huang Jiao Cheng, et al. Dimethoxyl coumarin’s effect on the function of the left ventricle and the hemodynamics of cats. China Journal of Pharmacology. 1993;14(3):253-256.
  19. Pan Jing Qiang, et al. Yin Chen’s effect on mice’s blood glucose and blood lipid levels. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1998;21(8):408-411.
  20. Zeng Xiao Ling. The effects of seven herbs of the Compositae family on clearing peroxide anion free radicals. China Journal of Modern Medicine. 1999;9(2):44.
  21. Wan Guang De, et al. Capillarin’s antidotal effects on nitrogen mustard. Journal of Cancer. 1988;7(2):9194.
  22. Li Dong Dong, et al. Yin Chen Hao Tang’s preventive and therapeutic effects on acute hemorrhagic necrotic pancreatitis. China Journal of Integrated Splenico-Gastrology. 1996;4(3):163-165.