Chui Pen Cao (Stringy stonecrop or Sedum sarmentosum)

What Is Chui Pen Cao

Chui Pen Cao is commonly known as Stringy stonecrop or Sedum sarmentosum Bunge, which is a mat-forming perennial succulent belonging to the family Crassulaceae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi> (a supplement to the compendium of materia medica) in the 30th year of Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1,765 AD).

There are about 464 species of sedum, which are mainly distributed in the northern hemisphere, with only some species are distributed in Africa and Latin America in the southern hemisphere. Some of these species are common ornamental plants and some are medicinal plants.

Sedum sarmentosum Bunge is a common edible vegetable in East Asia. They prefer warm, moist, and semi-shady environments. They are highly adaptable and relatively drought and cold-tolerant. They grow well in loose sandy loam. They often grow in rocky crevices on hillsides, ravines, and wet places by rivers below 1,600 meters above sea level. They are mainly distributed in China, Thailand, Japan, Korea, eastern North America, and some European countries.

Sedum sarmentosum

In the summer and autumn, people gather the whole part of Sedum sarmentosum Bunge, remove impurities, dry them in the sun, cut them into sections, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Chui Pen Cao contains tricin, tricin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, liquiritigenin, liquiritin, isoliquiritigenin, isoliquiritin, limocitrin, limocitrin-3-glucoside, limoeitrin-3,7-diglueoside, isorhamnetin, isorhamnetin-7-glueoside, isorhamnetin-3-β-glucoside, isorhamnetin-3,7-diglucoside, luteolin, luteolin-7-glucoside, quercetin, quercitrin, kaempferol, kaempferide, kaempferol-3-α-arabinopyranoside, kaempferol-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, apigenin, hyperoside, sarmenosideⅠ~Ⅶ, grosvenorine, sarmentol A, sarmentoic acid, sedumoside A1~A6, sedumoside B~D, sedumoside E1~E3, sedumoside F1, sedumoside F2, sedumoside G~I, staphylionoside D, myrsinionoside A, myrsinionoside D, alangionoside A, alangionoside J, neosedumosideⅠ~ Ⅳ, daucosterol, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, δ-amyrione, δ-amyrin, 3-epi-d-amyrin, α-amyrin, syringic acid, vanillic acid, oleanolic acid, gallic acid, palmitic acid, alkaloids, volatile oils, cyanogenic glycosides, amino acids, and some trace elements.

Generally, the green Chui Pen Cao with a slight odor and many leaves is preferred.

According to the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, the medicinal property of Chui Pen Cao is relatively cool, with a sweet and bland taste. It has a therapeutic effect on pathological changes in the liver, gallbladder, and small intestine meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to drain dampness to relieve jaundice, clear heat and remove toxins, and treat jaundice due to damp-heat, difficulty and pain in micturition, swelling and pain in the throat, cholestasis, acute hepatitis, chronic hepatitis, persistent hepatitis, virus hepatitis, fatty liver, drug-induced liver injury, liver cancer, atherosclerosis obliterans, pancreatitis, keratohelcosis, carbuncles, sores, summer furuncle, bedsore, herpes zoster, burns and scalds, and snake bites.

There are more than 50 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Fu Fang Chui Pen Cao Granules, Fu Fang Yi Gan Wan, and Hu Gan Ning Wan.


  • Anti-inflammation, inhibiting LPS-induced the polarization of macrophage towards M1 phenotype [1].
  • Anti-oxidation, scavenging DPPH free radicals, hydroxyl free radicals, and ABTS free radicals.
  • Reducing LPS or D-galactosamine-induced acute liver injury in mice and improving the survival rate of liver-damaged animals within 24 h [2].
  • Draining dampness, and treating jaundice, difficulty and pain in micturition caused by damp-heat.
  • Clearing heat and removing toxins, treating carbuncles and sores caused by heat toxins.
  • Treating swelling and pain in the throat, burns and scalds, and snake bites.
  • Its total flavonoids alleviated schistosomiasis japonica-induced hepatic fibrosis by inhibiting the TGF-β1/Smad7 pathway [3].
  • Its extract exerts protective effects against aristolochic acid-induced tubular epithelial cells injury. In addition, its extract alleviated renal interstitial fibrosis in rats with unilateral ureteral obstruction. It has anti-fibrotic effects on renal tissues [4].
  • Its extract alleviates high-fat diet-induced fatty liver in tilapia by inhibiting PPAR and p53 signaling pathways [5].
  • Its extract is potentially capable of improving severe acute pancreatitis-associated acute lung injury, probably through the PI3-K/Akt signaling pathways by suppressing the NF-κB activities [6].
  • Its extract can reduce serum triglyceride levels and inhibit the reduction of collagen levels in bone and cartilage tissue in ovariectomized rats. It may be used to possibly improve the quality of life in menopausal women [7].
  • Its extract can inhibit the proliferation of HepG2 cells and HSC-T6 cells and induce their apoptosis [8, 9].
  • Its decoction has some inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, S. typhi, and Candida albicans.
  • Its extract can increase glucose storage in rats, ensure the energy supply of the central nervous system, skeletal muscle, and red blood cells, reduce the rate of protein catabolism in rats, maintain muscle strength and delay the occurrence of exercise fatigue, thus improving exercise capacity.
  • Studies have confirmed that its ethyl acetate extract can improve the cholestasis induced by ANIT in rats, and its mechanism might be related to the activation of FXR and downstream FXR-associated pathways, thus maintaining the balance of bile acids [10].


Side Effects

At present, there is no literature report that Chui Pen Cao has toxic effects.

Long-term use of it may cause adverse reactions such as weakness of the spleen and stomach, stomach cold and stomach pain, loss of appetite, and mental fatigue.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Chui Pen Cao should be controlled at 15-30g.
  • It can be made into decoctions, pills, or mashed for external use.
  • People who are allergic to Chui Pen Cao should not take it.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take it under medical supervision.
  • Children, the elderly, and the infirm should take it under medical supervision.