Qiang Huo (Rhizoma et Radix Notopterygii or Notopterygium Root)

What Is Qiang Huo

Qiang Huo commonly known as Rhizoma et Radix Notopterygii or Notopterygium Root is the rhizome and root of Notopterygium incisum or Notopterygium franchetii, 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 two species of this genus, namely Notopterygium incisum or Notopterygium franchetii. They are medicinal plants unique to China.

Notopterygium incisum likes a cool and humid climate. They grow well in deep, loose, well-drained sandy loam soil rich in humus, and are not suitable for cultivation in low-humidity areas. They often grow in forest edges and shrubs at an altitude of 2,000-4,000 meters. They are distributed in Shaanxi, Sichuan, Gansu, Qinghai, and Tibet.

Notopterygium franchetii often grows in forest edges or shrubs at an altitude of 1,700-4,500 meters. They are distributed in Shanxi, Shaanxi, Hubei, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, and Qinghai.

Notopterygium incisum

In spring and autumn, people gather the roots and rhizomes of Notopterygium incisum or Notopterygium franchetii, remove their fibrous roots and silt, dry them in the sun, cut them into slices, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Qiang Huo contains angenomalin, isopimpinellin, alloisoimperatorin, nodakenin, scopoletin, o-prenyl-umbelliferone, o-methylnotopterol, isofraxidin, ostruthin, columbianetin, xanthnotoxol, cnidicin, notopterol, bergapten, isoimperatorin, pabulenol, bergaptol, chlorogenic acid, linoleic acid, vanillin, diosmetin, vanillic acid, rhamnose, glucose, galactose, fructose, sucrose, polyacetylenes, terpenes, volatile oils, sterols, amino acids, and some trace elements.

Generally, fragile Qiang Huo with a yellow-white wooden parts is preferred.

According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Qiang Huo is relatively warm, with a pungent and bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the bladder and kidney meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to relieve exterior symptoms and dispel cold, expel wind and eliminate dampness, relieve pain, and treat wind-cold, rheumatic arthralgia, aching pain of shoulder and back, headache, nuchal rigidity, premature heartbeats, bronchial asthma, chronic gastritis, nephritis, edema, epilepsy, spondylosis, excessive leucorrhea, vitiligo, cluster headache, supraorbital neuralgia, anal itching, and fungal vaginitis.

There are about 400 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Qiang Huo Sheng Shi Tang, Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao Wan, Tianma Wan.

Benefits

  • Anti-inflammation, inhibiting xylene-induced ear swelling in mice and yeast-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.
  • Anti-oxidation, scavenging DPPH free radicals and hydroxyl free radicals, inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase activities.
  • Inhibiting the aggregation of platelets and red blood cells, reducing blood viscosity, and preventing thrombosis.
  • Inhibiting gastric acid secretion, reducing the high expression of inflammatory cytokines in gastric tissue, protecting gastric mucosa, and inhibiting the formation of hydrochloric acid gastric ulcer.
  • Reducing the number of diarrhea in mice caused by senna or castor oil.
  • Relieving exterior symptoms and dispelling cold, treating fever, aversion to cold, anhidrosis, headache, stiff neck, and heavier limb soreness caused by wind-cold mingled with dampness.
  • Treating rigidity of nape and headache, aching pain of waist and back, and body pain caused by wind-damp.
  • Expelling wind and eliminating dampness, treating rheumatic arthralgia, and pain in the limbs.
  • Treating chronic paroxysmal headache caused by wind-cold or wind-damp.
  • Inhibiting the proliferation of HepG-2 cells, MCF-7 cells, A549 cells, and SK-OV-3 cells.
  • Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella freundii, Escherichia coli, and Typhoid bacillus.
  • Studies have found that its water extract can prolong the appearance of aconitine-induced arrhythmia in rats, increase the dosage of ouabain-induced ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrest in guinea pigs, reduce the incidence of ventricular premature, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation induced by ischemia-reperfusion in rats.

Combinations

  • It can be used in combination with Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae), Xi Xin (Asari Radix et Rhizoma), and Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong) to treat fever, aversion to cold, anhidrosis, headache, stiff neck, and heavier limb soreness caused by wind-cold mingled with dampness.
  • It can be used in combination with Du Huo (Radix Angelicae Pubescentis), Gao Ben (Rhizoma Ligustici), and Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae) to treat rigidity of nape and headache, aching pain of waist and back, and body pain caused by wind-damp.
  • It can be used in combination with Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae), Jiang Huang (Rhizoma Curcumae Longae), and Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis) to treat shoulder and back pain caused by wind-cold -dampness in the upper body.
  • It can be used in combination with Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong), Bai Zhi (Radix Angelicae Dahuricae), and Gao Ben (Rhizoma Ligustici) to treat chronic paroxysmal headache caused by wind-cold or wind-damp.
  • It can be used in combination with Fu Zi (Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata), Yan Hu Suo (Rhizoma Corydalis), and Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong) to treat cluster headache.

Side Effects

At present, there is no literature report that Qiang Huo has toxic effects, and no data is showing that taking it at the prescribed dose can cause serious adverse reactions.

Overdose may cause excessive hyperhidrosis, suffering from excessive internal heat, or vomiting.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Qiang Huo should be controlled between 3-10g.
  • It can be made into decoction, pills, powders, or wines.
  • People who are allergic to Qiang Huo should not take it.
  • It should not be used with flunarizine.
  • People with a deficiency of yin and blood should not take it.
  • People with weakness of the spleen and the stomach should not take it.
  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should take it under the guidance of a doctor.