Bai Bu

Radix Stemonae, Stemona


3~10g, decocted in water for oral administration.


LD50 (mice/tuberostemonine): 1079.4mg/kg (intragastric administration), 62.0mg/kg (IV). (1)

Chemical Composition

Stemonine; Protostemonine; Stemonidine; Isostemonidine; Hordonine; Sessilis Temonine; Stemonamine; Isostemonamine; Isotuberostemonine; Stenine; Hypotuberostemonine; Oxo-Tuberostemonine; Stemotinine; Isostemotinine; Tuberostemonine; Tuberostemonone; Tuberostemonol; Stemoamide; Tuberostemospironine; Didehydrotuberostemonine; Parvistemonine; Stemofoline; Formic acid; Acetic acid; Malic acid; Citric acid; Succinic acid; Oxalic acid. (2) , (3) , (4)


Bai Bu should be used with caution by patients with hypofunction of the spleen and stomach. There have been reports of Bai Bu causing allergic reaction and biliary colicky pain (one case each). (5) , (6)


Relieving cough

Tuberostemonine has cough-relieving effects. In guinea pigs, the effective dose-50 (ED50, intravenous injection) for relieving mechanical stimulation-induced cough is 6.2mg/kg. (7)

Antiviral effect

The logarithmic values of Bai Bu infusion’s suppression (at maximum concentration and without toxic effect on cells) on nucleate type virus V and NDV are 1 and 2.5, respectively. (8)

Anti-bacterial effect

75% alcohol-based extract of Bai Bu has a pronounced inhibitory effect on the following bacteria: pyocyaneus bacillus, pneumosepticus bacillus, coli bacillus, hay bacillus, Staphylococcus aureus, hemolytic atreptococcus B, Trichophyton gypseum, Microsporum canis, trichomycosis rubra, Epidermophyton floccosum, Aspergillus niger, Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida albicans, etc. The effective concentration is 10% for coli bacillus and pyocyaneus bacillus, and 2.5 ~ 0.039% for the rest. (9)

Effect on trichomonad, etc.

In vitro experiments show that, after application of Bai Bu decoction to the culture medium of trichomonads for 48 hours, the trichomonads have an abnormal change in appearance, move slowly or are at a standstill. The trichomonal density has no apparent change or is significantly lower than that of control group in a new generation, indicating that Bai Bu can inhibit the growth and reproduction of vaginal trichomonads. (10) Bai Bu decoction (100%) has a good inhibitory effect on mites, better than that of flagyl liquid. (11)

Other effects

Tuberostemonine has suppressive effects on the central nervous system. It can decrease mice’ spontaneous movement, prolong the duration of barbittone-induced sleep, relieve pain, dilate coronary vessels of isolated guinea pig heart, and suppress myocardial contractility in guinea pigs. Its intravenous injection (1mg/kg) can also excite respiration and lower blood pressure in the rabbit. (12)


  1. Tang Qian He Dian, et al. The pharmacological actions of Bai Bu component tuberostemonine. Foreign Medicine (TCM vol). 1990;48(8):811-814.
  2. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Technology Press; 1998.
  3. Xu Ren Sheng, et al. Alkaloids of Bai Bu (IV): New alkaloids in Da Bai Bu. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1992;23(11):582.
  4. Lin Wen Han, et al. The structure of Bai Bu component parvistemonine. Journal of Chemistry. 1990;48(8):811-814.
  5. Zhang Quan Rong. One case of allergic reaction to Bai Bu. Journal of Zhejiang College of TCM. 1995;19(2):16.
  6. Su Xiang Fu, et al. One case of biliary colicky pain caused by Bai Bu. Fujian Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1984;15(5)48.
  7. Tang Qian He Dian, et al. The pharmacological actions of Bai Bu component tuberostemonine. Foreign Medicine (TCM vol). 1990;48(8):811-814.
  8. Dang Zheng Sun, et al. Anti-viral effects of 6 Chinese herbs and their combinations. Shaanxi Journal of TCM. 1987;(6):281-282.
  9. Huang Qing Hua, et al. Antibacterial effects of alcohol-based extract of 5 Chinese herbs, including Bai Bu, and their formulas. Journal of Research in Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1987;(6):281-282.
  10. Jiang Zhen, et al. Certain Chinese herbs’ effect on vaginal trichomonads. Shanxi Journal of TCM. 1993;9(4):42-43.
  11. Liang Yu Feng, et al. Screening for Chinese herbs with an inhibitory effect on mites in human bodies. Guangxi Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1999;22(2):40-41.
  12. Tang Qian He Dian, et al. The pharmacological actions of Bai Bu component tuberostemonine. Foreign Medicine (TCM vol). 1990;48(8):811-814.