Dan Zhu Ye (Lophatherum Gracile)

What Is Dan Zhu Ye

Dan Zhu Ye is the stem and leaf of Lophatherum gracile, which is a perennial herb belonging to the family Poaceae. It first appeared in <Shennong Ben Cao Jing> in the late Western Han Dynasty (around 100 BCE).

There are 2 species of plants in this genus, namely Lophatherum gracile and L. sinense. Among them, only Lophatherum gracile can be made into medicine.

Lophatherum gracile likes a warm and humid environment. They often grow on hillsides, woodlands, forest edges, and sheltered places beside roads.

This plant is widely distributed and can be found in China’s Yangtze River basin and southern China, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, and Japan.

Lophatherum gracile

Before the Lophatherum gracile bloom at the end of summer each year, people gather their stems and leaves, dry them in the sun, cut them into sections, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Dan Zhu Ye contains tricin, luteolin, afzelin, swertisin, orientin, isoorientin, vitexin, isovitexin, cylindrin, taraxerol, friedelin, fernenol, tea-polyphenols, trans p hydroxycinnamic acid, vanillic acid, p-methoxycinnamic acid, hydroxy-benzaldehyde, lauric acid, chlorophyll, thymine, adenine, uracil, β-sitosterol, daucosterol, volatile oil, amino acids, and some trace elements.

Generally, light green or yellow-green Dan Zhu Ye with a lanceolate shape is preferred.

According to <Compendium of Materia Medica>, the medicinal nature of Dan Zhu Ye is relatively cold, with a sweet and bland taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the heart, stomach, and small intestine meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to clear heat and purge fire, relieve restlessness, promote urination, treat oral ulcers, toothache, conjunctivitis, acute nephritis, chronic pyelonephritis, heatstroke, cystitis, urinary tract infection, viral myocarditis, Behcet’s syndrome Signs, and refractory vomiting.

There are about 50 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Yinqiao Jiedu Pian, Qingshu Jiedu granules, and Shenshu granules.


  • Anti-inflammation, inhibiting xylene-induced ear swelling in mice.
  • Raising the pain threshold and inhibiting the pain caused by the hot plate experiment in mice.
  • Enhancing the activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase, reducing the content of malondialdehyde, and delaying aging.
  • Inhibiting respiratory syncytial virus and hepatitis C virus.
  • Lowering serum total cholesterol in hyperlipidemia rats.
  • Promoting urination and increasing the excretion of chloride in the urine.
  • Clearing heart fire and stomach fire, treating irritability and thirst caused by consumption of body fluids in febrile diseases.
  • Treating mouth sores and tongue sores caused by the exuberance of heart and stomach fire.
  • Excreting dampness, treating scanty dark urine, and heat stranguria caused by heat entering the small intestine.
  • Its flavonoids can shrink the abdominal aorta of mice. The mechanism may be related to the activation of α receptors.
  • Its total flavonoids can inhibit the expression of Caspase-3 protein and have a protective effect on myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury.
  • Studies have found that its total flavonoids have a certain protective effect on acute liver injury in mice caused by restraint load.
  • Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus B, Streptococcus hemolyticus.


Side Effects

  • At present, there is no literature report on the toxic effects of Dan Zhu Ye, and there is no data showing that taking it at the prescribed dose will cause serious adverse reactions.
  • Overdose it may cause stomach pain, pallor, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, or loose stools.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Dan Zhu Ye should be controlled at 6-9g.
  • It can be made into decoctions, medicinal liquor, or tea.
  • People who are allergic to Dan Zhu Ye should not take it.
  • Patients  with no damp-heat syndromes should not take it.
  • Patients with weakness of the spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • Patients with loose stools should not take it.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it.
  • People with frequent urination should not take it.