Qu Mai

Dianthi Herba, Dianthus


Internal administration, 3-10g, decoction, pill, or powder. 5:1 concentrated extract: 0.6-2 grams/day.

Chemical Composition

Homorientin; Anthocyanin; Diathus saponin A, B, C, D; Gyposgenin; Gypsogenic acid; Dianic acid; Dianchinenoside A, B; Dianthoside; Eugenol; Phenylethyl alcohol; Benzyl benzoate; Methyl salicylate; Pinitol; Chrysoeriol-6-syn-a-D-glucopyranoside; Dianoside A-I; Azukisaponin IV; 3, 4-dihydroxy-5-methyldihydropyran; 4-hydroxy-5-methyldihydropyran-3-O-b-D-glucoside. (1) , (2) , (3) , (4)


Contraindications: deficiency-cold in the lower warmer, urination difficulties, and pregnant and postpartum women.



Qu Mai has two main sources: Dianthus superbus and Dianthus chinensis. Experiments show that Qu Mai made from Dianthus chinensis has a pronounced short term diuretic effect; Qu Mai made from Dianthus superbus does not show a significant diuretic effect. (5)

Counteracting lipid peroxidation

At a concentration of 3.13mg/ml, Qu Mai decoction can inhibit lipid peroxidcation in rats’ liver homogenate. This effect of Qu Mai is shown to be more pronounced that that of Vitamin E. (6)

Effects on smooth muscles

An alcohol-based extract of Qu Mai has a stimulatory effect on in vivo uterus of anesthetized rabbits and in vitro uterine muscles of rats. The effect is manifested in the changes in vibration amplitude, frequency, and tension. An alcohol-based extract of Qu Mai works synergistically with prostaglandin E2. Qu Mai’s stimulatory effect on uterine muscles is dose dependent as the dosage increases, the contraction intensifies, and the frequency increases, resulting in a lasting rhythmic contraction. (7)


  1. Zhang Zhao Rong, et al. Chemical components of Qu Mai of Shandong origin. Journal of Shizhen Medicinal Material Research. 1998;9(3):232-233.
  2. Zhang Qing Rong. Raw Chinese herbs as antidotes. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1986;17(4):43.
  3. Gong Shu Shen Zhai. Flavones of Qu Mai. Foreign Medicine (TCM vol.). 1980;2(5):43.
  4. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica, State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai Science and Technology Press, 1998.
  5. Li Ding Ge et al. The diuretic effect of Qu Mai of Shandong origin. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1996;19(10):520-522.
  6. Chen Xin, et al. The anti-lipid peroxidation effect of 19 herbs. Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Application of TCM. 1995;11(4):27-28.
  7. Guo Lian Fang, et al. Qu Mai’s effect on in-vivo uterus of rabbits and in-vitro uterus of rats, and its synergistic effect with prostaglandin E2. Tianjin Journal of Medicine. 1983;(5):268-27.