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In the past few decades, large amounts of research have been conducted on the treatment of hyperlipidemia with Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Primary Treatments with Chinese Medicinal Herbs

Jiao Gu Lan

Ingredients: Jiao Gu Lan (Gynostamma Total Glycoside).

Clinical Application:
This formula is primarily used to treat hyperlipidemia. (1) , (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) A study followed up on 321 patients of hyperlipidemia treated with this formula (3 x 40mg/day for two treatment cycles, each cycle lasting a full month), and reported the results as follows: while prior to treatment, the cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipidprotein cholesterol and low-density lipidprotein cholesterol levels were (mg/dl) 263.1, 252.9, 29.4, and 167.8, respectively, the same indicators were measured at 226.4, 168.3, 41.2, and 140.0, respectively, after the treatment. Other reports further observed that the formula is effective for treating hyperlipemia of the types of qi deficiency, blood stasis, phlegm-dampness, and phlegm stagnation, especially so for treating hyperlipemia of the first two types.

Zheng Quan Ying, et al. used Jiao Gu Lan (Fiveleaf Gynostemma Rhizome) to treat 290 cases of hyperlipidemia. After the treatment, ApoA increased; in contrast, ApoB decreased, as did cholesterol and triglycerides (p < 0.01). (7)

Other Treatments with Chinese Medicinal Herbs

Gingko leaves

Dong Jie, et al. used Gingko leaves for this condition. He found that Gingko leaves lowered both cholesterol and triglycerides. (8)

Luo Bu Ma

Liu Shun Mei, et al. used Luo Bu Ma (leaf of Apocynum venetum L.) to treat 83 cases. 75.9% showed lowered cholesterol. (9)

Tian Hua Fen

Zhou Jian Qun, et al. used Tian Hua Fen (Trichosanthes Root) to treat 30 cases. He found an effective range of 100% for lowering high cholesterol and 84% for lowering triglycerides. (10)

Red Yeast Formula

Liu Zhi Shen, et al. used treatment with Red Yeast as the main ingredient. During the treatment, all patients stopped all other medications. His results with 71 cases showed normal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides; 29 cases showed significant improvement; 36 showed progress; 6 cases showed no response. The total effectiveness rate was 91.5%. (11)

Zhi Xiao Yin

Wang Ming Xin, et al. used a formula called Zhi Xiao Yin containing Ji Nei Jin (Membrane of Chicken's Gizzard), Bai Zhu (White Atractylodes), Chai Hu (Bupleurum), Zhi Qiao (Aurantium Fruit), Yu Jin (Curcuma Root), Yi Yi Ren (Coix), Chen Pi (Citrus), Shen Qu (Leaven), Ban Xia (Pinellia), Ze Xie (Alisma), and Shan Zha (Crataegus). Of 35 treated patients with elevated total cholesterol, 21 showed improvement, 11 showed progress, and 3 showed no response. Dr. Wang used the same formula to treat 40 cases of elevated triglycerides. 22 cases improved, 13 progressed, and 5 did not respond. The treatment was very effective compared to non-treatment (p < 0.05). (12)

Qing Zhi Wu Wei Tong

Tang Jian Wu, et al. used a formula called Qing Zhi Wu Wei Tong containing Huang Qi (Astragalus), Shen Shan Zha (Crataegus), Ze Xie, Hong Hua, and Ta Ren. The group of treated patients showed that total cholesterol and triglycerides decreased. HDL noticeably increased compared to non-treatment (p < 0.01). In the control group, only slight decreases occured for total cholesterol and triglycerides, and HDL-c increased only slightly (p > 0.05). (13)

Acupunture & Acupressure

A group of studies showed positive results with acupuncture treatment. Two groups of acupuncture points are alternated daily. The first group is San Yin Jiao (SP 6), Zu San Li (S 36), and Nei Guan (PC 6). The second group is Tai Bai (P 6), Yang Liang Quan (SP 3), and Feng Long (S40). Ten treatments comprise one course of treatment. Rest three days between treatments. Continue for 2-4 units. After 2 units, check cholesterol level. If the level is found to be normal after 2 units, discontinue treatment. Results showed 73 of 82 cases of lowered cholesterol levels, an 82% success rate. 2 cases increased cholesterol levels prior to decreasing. 2 cases showed no response. 5 cases increased cholesterol levels through treatment. In 11 cases, triglycerides decreased. In 6 cases, there was no change. (14)

Yan Jie chose 4 acupuncture points bilaterally: Tai Chong (LV 3), Nei Guan (PC 6), Zu San Li (S 36), San Yin Jiao (SP 6) once/day for 10 days. After two treatment units, of the 26 patients with high triglycerides had an average reduction of 100 +/- 32.16mg%. Compared to non-treatment, there was enormous improvement (p < 0.01). 45 patients with high cholesterol showed an average decrease in blood cholesterol levels of 23.31 +/- 5.32mg% (p < 0.001). (15)


  1. The First Military Medicine University. Clinical Studies on Jiao Gu Lan. 1989.
  2. Jiao Gu Lan Group. First Military Medicine University Hospital. Clinical Studies on Jiao Gu Lan. 1989.
  3. Qian Bao Qing, et al. Journal of Combining Western Medicine and TCM. 1990;10(3):166.
  4. Lin Wei Min, et al. Journal of Combining Western Medicine and TCM. 1991;11(11):681.
  5. Zhou Qing Fa, et al. Shannxi Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1991;12(1):6.
  6. Zhou Hong Yan, et al. Hunan Journal of Medicine. 1991;8:259.
  7. Zheng Quang Ying, et al. Clinical Trial Using Jiao Gu Lan on Lowering Cholesterol. Journal of Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1997;(10):29.
  8. Dong Jie, et al. Clinical Research on Treatment of Hyperlipidemia Using Gingko Leaves. Journal of Jiang Su Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1997;18(4):44-45.
  9. Liu Shun Mei, et al. The Efficacy of Using Lou Bu Ma to Lower Cholesteral. Journal of Chinese Traditional Medicine. 1988;29(2):20.
  10. Zhou Jian Qun, et al. Using Tian Hua Fen to lower Pre-senile High Cholesterol. Journal of New Medicine. 1987;(10):528-529.
  11. Liu Zhi Shun, et al. Clinical Trial on 76 Cases Using Red Yeast to Treat Hyperlipidemia. Journal of Hu Bei Integrative Medicine. 1998;11(1):28.
  12. Wang Ming Xin, et al. Clinical Trial on 57 Cases Using Zhi Xiao Yin to Treat Hyperlipidemia. Journal of Chinese Traditional Medicine Research. 1999;12(5):22-33.
  13. Tang Jian Wu, et al. Clinical Research on Qing Zhi Wu Wei Tong for Hyperlipidemia. Journal of Applied Integrative Medicine. 1998;11(1):3-4.
  14. Clinical Trial on 82 Cases Using Acupuncture for Hyperlipidemia. Journal of New Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1985;17(6):31.
  15. Yan Jie. The Efficacy of Acupuncture Treatment for Lowering Hyperlipidemia. Journal of Chinese Traditional Medicine. 1987;28(8):43.