Sang Ji Sheng (Herba Taxilli)

What Is Sang Ji Sheng

Sang Ji Sheng commonly known as Herba Taxilli is the twig with leaves of Taxillus chinensis, which is a semi-parasitic undershrub belonging to the family Loranthaceae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Shennong Ben Cao Jing> in the late Western Han Dynasty (around 100 BCE).

There are about 35 species in this genus, and they are mainly distributed in southeastern and southern Asia. Among them, only a small number of species are distributed in eastern Africa. Some of these species have high medicinal value and are widely used in clinical applications.

Taxillus chinensis often grows in plains or low-mountain evergreen broad-leaved forests at an altitude of 20-400m. They are often parasitic on a variety of plants such as mulberry, peach, plum, longan, lychee, poplar, camellia oleifera, vernicia fordii, rubber tree, banian, bombax ceiba, pinus massoniana, or water pine. They are distributed in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

Taxillus chinensis

From winter to the following spring, people gather the twigs of Taxillus chinensis, remove the thick stems and impurities, dry them, or steam them, then dry them, cut them into thick slices, and make them into herbal medicines.

Sang Ji Sheng contains quercetin, quercitrin, avicularin, isoquercitrin, quercetin 3-O-β-D-glucuronide, glucose, glutamine, primeverose, guanosine, quinic acid, shikimic acid, malic acid, citric acid, gallic acid, bisdemethoxycurcumin, glucogallin, tachioside, homomangiferin, isochinomin, fluorescein-β-D-galactopyranoside, toddacoumaquinone, 7-O-Benzyl Luteolin, artonol B, hydrocarpin, mulberroside F, protocatechuic acid, p-coumaric acid, procyanidin B2, procyanidin B1, procyanidin C1, cynaroside A, isosakuranetin, glucosyringic acid, 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid, catechin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, epigallocatechin, taxifolin, cosmosiin, swertiamarin, diyhdromelilotoside, androsin, kaempferitrin, tricetin, brassicin, galangin, emodin, myricetrin, taxilluside A, rutin, hyperoside, kaempferol 3-rutinoside, luteolin-7-O-glucoside, astragalin, prunin, afzelin,

Generally, reddish-brown or grayish-brown, and tender Sang Ji Sheng with many leaves is preferred.

According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal nature of Sang Ji Sheng is relatively neutral, with a bitter and sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the liver and kidney meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to expel wind and dampness, reinforce liver benefit kidney, strengthen tendons and bones, prevent abortion, and treat rheumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, lumbar muscle degeneration, uterine bleeding, menorrhagia, bleeding during pregnancy, fetal irritability, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, arrhythmia, coronary heart disease, angina pectoris, and frostbite.

There are about 100 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions containing it, such as Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang, Shou Tai Wan, and Shen Rong Bao Tao Wan.


  • Anti-inflammation, inhibiting xylene-induced ear swelling and complete Freund’s adjuvant-induced paw swelling in mice.
  • Raising the pain threshold and inhibiting the pain caused by the hot plate experiment and glacial acetic acid experiment in mice.
  • Anti-oxidation, scavenging DPPH free radicals, inhibiting lipid peroxidation.
  • Lowering blood pressure in nephrogenic hypertensive dogs and spontaneously hypertensive rats.
  • Expelling wind and dampness, strengthening tendons and bones, treating rheumatic arthralgia, soreness and weakness of waist and knees, muscle weakness.
  • Nourishing the blood, treating insufficiency of liver and kidney, uterine bleeding, menorrhagia, bleeding during pregnancy, fetal irritability.
  • Reinforcing liver benefiting kidney, treating dizziness caused by insufficiency of liver and kidney.
  • Inhibiting the proliferation of BEL-7402 cells, gastric cancer MGC-823 cells, and leukemia K562 cells.
  • Its decoction can inhibit the growth of Salmonella typhi and Staphylococcus in vitro.
  • The study found that its alcoholic extract can reduce the blood sugar level of type 2 diabetes model mice (modeled with a high-sugar and high-fat diet and streptozotocin), increase insulin sensitivity and improve insulin resistance.


  • It can be used in combination with Du Huo (Radix Angelicae Pubescentis), Du Zhong (Eucommia Bark), Niu Xi (Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae), Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi), etc. to treat rheumatic arthralgia, soreness and weakness of waist and knees, muscle weakness.
  • It can be used in combination with E Jiao (Colla Corii Asini), Xu Duan (Radix Dipsaci), Xiang Fu (Rhizoma Cyperi), etc. to treat insufficiency of the liver and kidney, uterine bleeding, menorrhagia, bleeding during pregnancy, fetal irritability.
  • It can be used in combination with Du Zhong (Eucommia Bark), Niu Xi (Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae), etc. to treat dizziness caused by insufficiency of the liver and kidney.
  • It can be used in combination with Dang Shen (Radix Codonopsis), Fu Zi (Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata), He Tao Ren (Juglandis Semen), Lu Jiao (Cornu Cervi), Xu Duan (Radix Dipsaci), etc. to treat weakness of foot and knee, low back and leg pain caused by Kidney yang deficiency and cold accumulation in the waist.
  • It can be used in combination with Ma Qian Zi (Semen strychni), Qin Jiao (Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae), Ma Huang (Ephedra), Mu Gua (Fructus Chaenomelis), Hu Zhang (Polygoni Cuspidati Rhizoma et Radix), Gan Cao (Licorice Root), Ba Qia (Rhizoma Smilacis Chinae), Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae), Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi), etc. to treat joint pain, numbness of limbs, lumbago and back pain, and aggravation with cold.

Side Effects

  • Its high dose of aqueous decoction has toxic effects on rat embryonic development. It may have certain toxic chemical components, which will affect the normal development of the fetus. Pregnant women should avoid taking it in high doses.
  • The Sang Ji Sheng whose hosts are poisonous wood species (such as oleander) are significantly toxic.
  • Animal experiments have shown that it may cause clonic convulsions, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death in experimental animals.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Sang Ji Sheng should be controlled at 9-15g.
  • It can be made into decoctions, pills, powders, or medicinal liquors.
  • People who are allergic to Sang Ji Sheng should not take it.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take it under the guidance of a doctor.
  • The elderly and the infirm should take it under the guidance of a doctor.