Dan Shen - Salvia Root

TCM Materia Medica

Dan Shen TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "dan shen" which in english is Dan Shen herb"salvia root", is categorized within the "herbs that invigorate blood" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the heart, liver and pericardium channels and exhibits bitter (ku) and cool taste/temperature properties.

Dosages and preparations will vary according to each individual and the overall approach of a formula, but generally this herb has the following dosage and/or preparation guidelines:

  • Dosage: 6-15g

Of many possible clinical applications, it may be considered to influence the following issues/symptoms:

  • Invigorate blood, break up blood stasis in lower abdomen - dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, palpable masses, lochioschesis, pain due to blood stasis, chest/epigastric pain, soreness in the ribs due to liver qi stagnation w/blood stasis.
  • Clear heat, soothe irritability - restlessness, irritability, insomnia due to heat entering the ying level.

Dan Shen has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

Dan Shen may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain - cramps) and/or lockjaw

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, dan shen is generally included in the following 19 formulas:

ViewAn Shen Bu Xin Wan (Calm the Shen and Supplement the Heart Pills)

Insomnia and palpitations Anxiety, possible difficulty with concentration Irritibility and restlessness Tinnitus

ViewBu Yang Huan Wu Tang Wan (Great Yang Restoration Pills)

Fatigue, weakness, with pale complexion due to chronic qi and blood deficiency. Hemiplegia, slurred speech or involuntary muscle control due to blockage of the channels and collaterals.

ViewDa Bu Gan Wan (Major Liver Nutrition Pills)

Brittle nails, yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Abdominal cramping, distension or pain in the hypochrondia due to liver qi stangation Fatty liver, hepatitis and other liver diseases. 

ViewDan Shen Huo Xue Wan (Red Sage Root Decoction for Promoting Blood Circulation)

Phlebitis, generally chronic.

ViewDie Da Wan (Trauma Healing Pill)

Useful for many types of traumatic injuries, broken bones, sprains, fractures, etc. anywhere in the body.  Also useful for fixed abdominal masses, ulcerations, sciatica, arthritis, pelvic inflammat…

ViewFu Fang Dan Shen Wan (Saliva Compound Pill)

For a range of stagnation issues in the stomach/epigastric/heart region - gastritis, epigastric pain, peptic ulcer disease. A range of liver issues including hepatitis and cirrhosis. For stasis of …

ViewFu Fang Qing Dai Wan (Indigo Combo Pills)

Itching, rashes, general skin irritation especially of the type that moves around or is intermittent. Insect bites, allergic contact dermatitis, poison ivy/oak/sumac, sun burn.

ViewFu Fang Zhen Zhu An Chuang Wan (Margarite Acne Pills)

Cystic acne, pimples. Skin irritation due to damp heat - eczema, boils, carbuncles, etc. With appropriate diagnosis can be used for acute dermatitis, poison ivy/oak.

ViewGan Bing Zhi Ben Wan (Liver Disease Recovery Pills)

Irritibility or easily prone to outburts or anger. Liver disease such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver. Jaundice - yellowing of the skin, brittle nails, pale complexion.

ViewGu Zhi Shu Song Wan (Osteoporosis Tablets)

For bone disorders includeing osteoporosis and osteopenia. May help reduce or prevent further bone loss.

ViewHuo Luo Xiao Ling Wan (Miraculously Effective Pill To Invigorate The Collaterals)

A range of pain related issues when they arise from qi and blood stagnation (both acute and chronic) - pain essentially anywhere in the body, bruises and swelling and other signs of stasis.  May ofte…

ViewJiang Ya Wan (Repress The Blood Pressure Pills)

Hypertension particularly with ascendent yang and heat signs - red face, red tongue, headaches, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, etc.

ViewQi Xue Da Bu Wan (Nourish Qi & Blood Pills)

Fatigue, lethargy, sensation of feeling heavy or cold. Low appetite, bloating, borborygmus, loose bowels. Impotence, infertility, low libedo. Insomnia, night sweats, vivid dreams, nightmares.

ViewSheng Mai Yin Wan (Replenish Pulse Pills)

Dry mouth, dry skin, dark or scanty urine from yin and fluid deficiency. Fatigue, shortness of breath, and spontaneous sweating.

ViewShen Jing Shuai Ruo Wan (Stress Reducing Pill)

For common variants of the modern western lifestyle - in Chinese Medicine terms, calms the spirit, balance liver and kidney yin, for a range of psycho-emotional and physical issues from chronic stres…

ViewTe Xiao Zao Ren An Mian Wan (Peaceful Sleep Tablets)

Insomnia, vivid dreaming, nightmares. Acute emotional instability. May be used to treat convulsions or spasms that are caused by a combination of blood deficiency with wind.

ViewTian Wang Bu Xin Wan (Emperor of Heavens Special Pill to Tonify the Heart)

Anxiety, insomnia, irritability, night sweats, hot flashes, flushing or sensation of heat in the palms due to deficiency heat. Insomnia, poor memory, poor focus and concentration due to yin deficien…

ViewWu Ji Bai Feng Wan (Black Chicken White Phoenix Pills)

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ViewZhuang Yang Wan (Strengthen Kidney Yang And Preserve Power Pill)

Tonifies the kidney yang and astringe the jing (essence), primarily for sexual dysfunction in older males - symptoms may include impotence, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and other sign…

As noted above, dan shen is within the herbs that invigorate blood functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

(truncated intro "... for blood stasis - pain, abscesses and ulcers, abdominal masses. )".

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