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long dan cao 龍膽草

by: Joe Hing Kwok Chu

click here to see picture.  按此看圖 。

Pharmaceutical name:


Radix Gentianae longdancao

Biological name:


Gentiana scabra Bge,

Gentiana   triflora Pall., 三 花 龍 膽

Gentiana manshurica Kitag.,

Gentiana regescens Fransh.

Gentiana arisanensis Hayata  阿里山龍膽

Other Names:


long dan


long cao


ku dan


ling you


guan yin cao


Pron. in Japanese:


ryutanzo, rindouzo

Pron. in Korean:



Pron. in Cantonese:


lung4 daam2 cou2

Common Name:





throughout China: Northeastern provinces (Manchuria), Anhui, Jingjiang of Jiangsu,Shandong. Those produced in Huzhou of Zhejiang is deemed best.

全中國﹐ 尤其在東北﹐ 安徽﹐ 江蘇﹐ 山東。 浙江湖州產 的一般認為品質較佳。

Properties (characteristics):


bitter, cold, non toxic

苦 寒無毒

Channels (meridians) entered:


gallbladder, liver, stomach

肝 ﹐膽﹐膀胱

Actions & Indications:


expels damp heat from liver and gallbladder channels with symptoms of high fever and seizures, red swollen sore throat and eyes, swollen and painful ears or sudden loss of hearing,  boils in mouth and tongue, hepatitis with jaundice, vaginal discharge, damp and itchy groln area, cystitis, inflammation of the urethra, boils on skin, feverish malaria, chronic gastritis, eczema, conjunctivitis, hypertension with dizziness and tinnitus, malaria, and herpes zoster.

高熱驚厥,目赤咽痛,口舌 生瘡, 濕熱黃疸,帶下,陰 部濕癢,膀 胱炎,尿 道炎,疥瘡,瘧疾發熱,慢 性胃黏膜炎,皮膚濕疹﹐血壓高兼頭暈耳鳴﹐帶狀庖疹

Medical Function:


Medical Function:

  1. Decoction of long dan cao inhibits Pseudomonas aeruginosa﹐ Proteus species, Salmonella typhi and Staphylococcus aureaus, certian skin fungi and Leptospirosis.

  2. Anti-inflammation.

  3. sedative effect

  4. muscle relaxing effect

  5. Small amount taken half hour before meals can stimulate the digestive system and promotes bile, hydrochloride acid and other digestive enzymes secretion; thus promotes appetite. If taken after meals causes the secretion of digestive juices to go down. If large amount  is taken, it interferes with digestion, sometimes creates headache and dizziness.

  6. lowers ALT, choleretic effect; and protects liver from damage

  7. anti-oxidant effect [1]

  8. anti-tuberculosis [2]

  9. inhibits production of melanin

 藥 理﹕

  1. 龍膽煎劑對綠膿桿菌 (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) ﹐變形(Proteus species) ﹐傷寒菌 (Salmonella typhi)﹐金黃 色葡萄 球菌(Staphylococcus aureaus) ﹐某些皮膚真菌及端 螺絲體 (Leptospirosis) 等 ,均有 一定的抑制作用;

  2. 抗炎作用﹔

  3. 鎮靜作用﹔

  4. 使肌肉鬆弛作用﹔

  5. 龍膽草少量飯前口服 ,可反 射性增強胃液分泌,並能增加游離酸,有助消化,增進食慾。如飯後服食則會使消化液體分泌下降。大劑量影響消化有時可致頭暈﹐頭 痛。

  6. 保肝降低谷丙轉氨脢 ﹐ 與保護肝臟﹐利膽作用。

  7.  抗氧化 作用

  8. 抗肺結核病作用

  9. 阻擋角質細胞傳遞產生黑色素訊息到黑色素母細胞,阻斷黑色 素的生成。

Chemical ingredients:化學成份﹕

Chemical ingredients:化學成份﹕
gentiopicrin C16H25O 1/2 H20,龍胆苦甙
gentianose C18H32O16龍膽三醣
gentisic acid龍胆酸



03 to 3 g per day as decoction or powder form

一日量﹕0.3 ~ 3 克﹐水煎或作粉劑。

Samples of formulae:

to strengthen digestive system:

  1. long dan cao 2 g, da huang 1 g, huang bai  1 g, water 400 c.c. Simmer till 150 c.c. Make into 3 serving per day. (source: He Han Yao Ying Yong Fang)

  2. long dan cao powder 0.5 g, huang bai  powder 0.5 g, sheng jiang powder 0.3 g, hui xiang powder 0.3 g, ji nei jin powder 0.5 g, burnt shan zha powder 1 g, gui zhi powder 0.3 g, mix together.  Make into 3 servings per day.


  1. 龍膽草2克 , 大黃 1克 ,黃 柏 1 克﹐ 水400公 撮,煎至150公 撮,一日三回分服。

  2. 龍膽草末0.5克 ,黃 柏0.5克 ,生薑末0.3克 , 桂 枝 0.3克 ,茴香末0.3克 ,雞內金末0.5克 ,山查炭末1克 ,以上混和,一日三回分服。(和漢藥應用方)

Also see:

dang gui long hui wan 當歸龍薈丸

long dan xie gan tang  按此看龍膽瀉肝湯,

long dan xie gan wan 按此看龍膽瀉肝丸。,

Modern Research:

to be loaded soon



not to use in case of diarrhea due to pixu (spleen deficient) . Be careful not to use gui jiu by mistake. Gui jiu is a poisonous herb for cancer treatment.


注 意﹕龍膽草與鬼臼的形狀相似。鬼臼是用 來治癌症。有毒。

[1] Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Jan 15;1389(2):81-90. Isoorientin-6"-O-glucoside, a water-soluble antioxidant isolated from Gentiana arisanensis.Ko FN, Chu CC, Lin CN, Chang CC, Teng CM.

Pharmacological Institute, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei.

[2] Zhong Yao Tong Bao. 1985 Dec;10(12):33-4.
[Antituberculous constituents of Gentiana rhodantha]
[Article in Chinese], Liu YW.

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Last update: Aug 25, 2014; 12:15 a.m. LAH