Yin Chai Hu (Radix Stellariae or Starwort Root)

What Is Yin Chai Hu

Yin Chai Hu also known as Radix Stellariae, Stellaria Root, or Starwort Root is the root of Stellaria dichotoma, which is a perennial herb belonging to the family Caryophyllaceae. It first appeared in <Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi> (a supplement to the compendium of materia medica) in the 30th year of Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1,765 AD).

This plant likes light and is cold and drought tolerant. It often grows on hillsides or grasslands at an altitude of 1,250-3,100 meters. It can be found in northern China, Mongolia, and Russia.

In the late spring and early summer when the buds of Stellaria dichotoma are sprouting or the late autumn when the plant is withering, people gather their roots, remove their impurities and fibrous roots, wash them with water, dry them in the sun, cut them into thick slices, and make them into Chinese herbal medicines.

Stellaria dichotoma

Yin Chai Hu contains α-spinasterol glucoside, stigmaster-7-enol glucoside, ergostenol-7-glucoside, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, α-spinasterol, stigmaster-7-enol, cyclotides, alkaloids, flavonoids, vanillic acid, 3,4-dimethoxycinnamic acid, dihydroferulic acid, 2,3,8-tri-o-methylellagic acid, volatile oils.

Generally, Yin Chai Hu with a yellowish-white and lustrous surface and the root head looking like a string of pearls is preferred.

According to <Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi>, the medicinal property of Yin Chai Hu is slightly cold, with a sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of liver and stomach meridians.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Yin Chai Hu is used to clear asthenic fever and cool blood, treat infantile malnutrition with fever, consumptive fever, hot flashes, night sweats, malaria, and allergic diseases. It is an important component of Wu Ji Bai Feng Wan.


  • Anti-oxidation, anti-allergy, and anti-cancer.
  • Anti-inflammation, inhibiting carrageenan-induced mouse foot swelling.
  • Inhibiting sperm viability and reducing sperm survival rate.
  • Reducing the lipid content of the aorta and preventing atherosclerosis.
  • Inhibiting norepinephrine-induced rat aortic vasoconstriction and relaxing rat aortic blood vessels.
  • Clearing heat and cooling blood, treating consumptive fever, hot flashes, night sweats, fever caused by yin deficiency.
  • Clearing deficient heat, treating infantile malnutrition with fever, abdominal distension, thirst with emaciation, and dry hair caused by indigestion or parasitic malnutrition.
  • Studies have found that its ethanol extract can effectively reduce the mortality of mice infected with Mycobacterium abscessus.


Side Effects

At present, there is no literature report that it has toxic effects, and no data have been found to show that taking Yin Chai Hu at the prescribed dose will cause serious adverse reactions.

If you need to take it for a long time, please consult a professional doctor and formulate a reasonable medication plan.

Precautions and Warnings

  • The dosage of Yin Chai Hu should be controlled between 3-9g.
  • It can be made into decoctions, pills, or powders.
  • People who are allergic to Yin Chai Hu should not take it.
  • People with wind-cold should not take it.
  • People with blood deficiency and no fever should not take it.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it.