Senecio Scandens (Qian Li Guang)

What Is Senecio Scandens

Senecio Scandens is also known as Qian Li Guang, which is a perennial climbing herb belonging to the family Compositae. It first appeared in <Tu Jing Ben Cao> (Illustrated Classic of Materia Medica) in 1,061 AD.

This plant often grows in forests, shrubs, or riversides at an altitude of 50-3,200 meters. It is distributed in China, Japan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, and Malaysia.

In summer and autumn every year, people pick Senecio scandens, remove their impurities, cut them into sections, dry them in the sun, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

senecio candens

Senecio Scandens contains hyperoside, quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, caffeic acid, ethyl caffeate, p-coumaric acid, ethyl p-hydroxycinnamate, caffeic acid glyceride, chlorogenic acid, α -carotene, β-carotene, β-zeacarotene, chrysanthemaxanthin, flavoxanthin, β-sitosterol, daucosterol, alkaloids, volatile oils, terpenes and a variety of trace elements.

According to <Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi>, the medicinal nature of Senecio Scandens is relatively cold, with a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on pathological changes of the lung, liver, and large intestine meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to clear heat and remove toxins, improve vision, treat bacillary dysentery, acute enteritis, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, upper respiratory tract infection, lobar pneumonia, acute appendicitis, erysipelas, cellulitis, skin ulcers, acute conjunctivitis, senile chronic bronchitis, paddy-field dermatitis, cervicitis, and burns. It is an important component of Qian Bai Bi Yan Pian.


  • Anti-inflammation, inhibiting xylene-induced ear shell swelling in mice.
  • Anti-oxidation, scavenge hydroxyl radicals, DPPH radicals, and superoxide anions.
  • Inhibiting parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and HIV-1 virus.
  • Reducing the damage of CCL4 to liver tissue.
  • Killing Trichomonas vaginalis, treating eczema, damp-pruritus of the scrotum, and ringworm of the hand.
  • Removing heat toxins, treating sores, and carbuncles caused by heat toxins accumulation.
  • Clearing liver and improving vision, treating redness and swelling of the eyes caused by wind-heat or the up-flaming of liver fire.
  • Clearing damp-heat in the large intestine and treating abdominal pain, diarrhea, dysentery with bloody purulent stool, and tenesmus.
  • Inhibiting the growth of liver cancer cell SMMC-7721, gastric cancer cell SGC-7901, and breast cancer cell MCF-7.
  • Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Bacterium paratyphosum A, Shigella flexneri, Shigella dysentery, and Leptospira.


Side Effects

  • Some studies report that it contains a variety of toxic alkaloids, which may cause mild damage to the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
  • Individual patients taking it may cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, increased stool frequency, or allergic drug eruption.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Senecio Scandens should be controlled at 9-15g.
  • When using fresh Senecio Scandens, the dose should be doubled.
  • It can be made into a decoctions, lotions, or mashed for external use.
  • People who are allergic to Senecio Scandens should not take it.
  • Patients with wind-cold or cold diarrhea should not take it.
  • Patients with deficiency-cold in the spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it.
  • Children and the elderly should not take it.