Herbs & Botanicals
Ligusticum (chuan xiong)
What is ligusticum? What is it used for?
Ligusticum is also known as the Chinese lovage, and is one of the most
popular herbs in China and Korea, where it grows wild and has been cultivated
for centuries. It is a perennial plant with hermaphrodite flowers that
are pollinated by insects.
The root and rhizomes are used for herbal remedies.
In additional to its medicinal uses, ligusticum can be combined with certain
foods and beverages as a flavor component, and to add fragrance to some
soaps and cosmetics.
In traditional Chinese medicine, ligusticum has pungent and warm properties,
and is associated with the Liver, Gallbladder and Pericardium meridians.
Its main functions are to promote the flow of blood and qi, dispel wind,
and relieve pain. Many practitioners prescribe it to treat irregular menstrual
periods, dysmenorrhea, and headaches. It is also given to patients with
inflammation caused by injuries, carbuncles and boils.
How much ligusticum should I take?
The recommended dose of ligusticum is 3-6 grams daily, taken as part
of a decoction. Some practitioners recommend a higher maximum dose of
up to 10 grams per day. When used as a powder, a lower dose (1-1.5 grams)
What forms of ligusticum are available?
Ligusticum is available as a powder or pill, and is occasionally combined
with water as part of a decoction.
What can happen if I take too much lugisticum?
Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should
Ligusticum should not be taken by patients with menorrhagia (abnormally
heavy menstrual flow) or headaches caused by excessive fire due to yin
deficiency. As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions with
ligusticum or cases of adverse effects due to high ligusticum intake.
As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before
taking ligusticum or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.
- Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State
Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai:
Science and Technolgy Press, 1998.
- Cheng JX, et al. Journal of Practical Integrated
- Liu JR, et al. China Journal of Pharmacology and
- Wang J, et al. Journal of Integrated Medicine
- Zhao ZB, et al. Sichuan Journal of Traditional Chinese