Gao Ben (Rhizoma Ligustici)

What Is Gao Ben

Gao Ben commonly known as Rhizoma Ligustici is the root and rhizome of Ligusticum sinense or L. jeholense, which is a perennial herb belonging to the family Umbelliferae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Shennong Ben Cao Jing> in the late Western Han Dynasty (about 100 BC).

There are about 60 species of Ligustrum, which are distributed in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. Among them, some plants can be used medicinally, such as Ligusticum sinense, L. jeholense, and L. chuanxiong.

Ligusticum sinense often grows under forests and ditch grasses at an altitude of 1,000-2,700 meters. They are distributed in Hubei, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Henan, Hunan, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang.

L. jeholense often grows in forests, meadows, and ditch sides at an altitude of 1,250-2,500 meters. They are distributed in Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, and Shandong.

ligusticum sinense

In autumn or the following spring, people gather the rhizomes and roots of Ligusticum sinense or L. jeholense, remove the sand, dry them in the sun, cut them into slices, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Gao Ben contains 3-butylphthalide, betaphellandrene, Neocnidilide, β-phellandrene, trans-ocimene, lavandulol, α-phellandrene, α-pinene, citrene, terpinolene, elemicin, myristicin, methyl eugenol, ligustilide, n-butylphthalide, ferulic acid, isoferulic acid, daucosterol, β-sitosterol, vanillic acid, citrus flavonoids, and nobiletin.

Generally, the brown or dark brown, friable Gao Ben with yellow or yellow-white fibrous cross-section and a strong fragrance is preferred.

According to the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, the medicinal nature of Gao Ben is relatively warm, with a pungent taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the bladder meridian.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to dispel wind and cold, remove dampness and relieve pain, and treat wind-cold, rheumatic arthritis, arthralgia, headache, angioneurotic headache, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, migraine, total headache, itching, abdominal pain, diarrhea, chronic rhinitis in children, and vaginitis.

There are about 30 kinds of Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Zhen Nao Ning capsule, Liujing TouTong Pian, Qianghuo Shengshi Tang.


  • Anti-inflammation, inhibiting xylene-induced ear swelling in mice and carrageenan-induced foot swelling in rats.
  • Increasing the pain threshold and reducing the number of writhing mice caused by glacial acetic acid or potassium antimony tartrate.
  • Reducing the viscosity of whole blood and plasma, and improving microcirculation.
  • Inhibiting platelet aggregation caused by adenosine diphosphate and preventing thrombosis and atherosclerosis.
  • Relaxing the coronary vascular ring and inhibiting the contraction of the coronary vascular ring caused by KCl, CaCl 2, or histamine.
  • Inhibiting coronary artery spasm and myocardial ischemia in rats caused by pituitrin.
  • Promoting the secretion of bile and inhibiting the formation of hydrochloric acid gastric ulcers.
  • Reducing the number of diarrhea in mice caused by senna or castor oil.
  • Dispelling wind and cold, treating headaches, nasal congestion, and parietal headache caused by wind-cold.
  • Removing dampness, treating head and body pain caused by wind-cold mingled with dampness.
  • Treating arthralgia caused by wind-cold-dampness.
  • It cooperates with pentobarbital sodium to prolong the sleep time of experimental mice.


Side Effects

  • At present, no data has been found to show that serious adverse reactions will occur when Gao Ben is taken in the prescribed dose.
  • Animal experiments have shown that excessive consumption of it may cause animal death.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Gao Ben should be controlled at 3-9g.
  • It can be made into decoctions or lotions.
  • People who are allergic to Gao Ben should not take it.
  • It should not be taken at the same time as Qing Xiang Zi (Celosia Seeds).
  • It should not be used to treat headaches caused by hyperactivity of liver-yang, deficiency of yin and blood, and exuberance of deficiency fire.
  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should take it under the guidance of a doctor.
  • Children, the elderly, and the infirm should take it under the guidance of a doctor.