Red Sage Root (Dan Shen), Organic, 1oz. bag

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Red Sage Root (Dan Shen), Organic, 1oz. bag
Salvia miltiorrhiza

Red Sage is known as Dan Shen in Chinese Medicine. It is a member of the mint family, but unlike culinary sage, the part being used is the root. It is one of the most outstanding herbs for cardiovascular health. Michael Tierra claims that it is “even more effective for angina than hawthorn”. 

Materia Medica – Dan Shen, Red Sage root, Red Salvia
Salvia miltiorrhiza – Dan Shen
S. przewalskii – Dan Shen gansu (far more hardy) – appearance is more like Clary Sage
Different names for different parts of the plant.
Lamiaceae (Mint) family

ID: Dark green leaves, huge flowers that are fused tubes, sticky, has a lot of resin, especially on the calyx, doesn’t smell despite the fact it is a mint.
Herbaceous, perennial, medium sized, large flowers

Root is deep purple/red, doctrine of signature for the Blood and Cardiovascular.

Part used: Root

Source: Chinese medicine commerce, Native to China, Southeast Asia

Grow: Quite easy to grow, doesn’t take long to get fully matured roots. Likes warm and bright during germination. Can be hit hard by VT winter (use Mulch).

Can Harvest on the first season, but grown in VT it likely will not be optimal. Pharmacological research suggests you can harvest at 9 months old, but VT doesn’t have 9 months of growing, so best to wait 2 or more seasons. By the fall of the second year.

Taste: Pungent, Bitter, Sweet, slightly bitter, slightly astringent
Vipaka (post digestive effect) is warming

Energetics: Cool → Cold, Moving or Diffusive, Dry

Blood Mover
Neuroprotectant, Neuroregenerative
Anti-bacterial (E. Coli, Staph, Cholera, Pseudomonas) → in the gut or topical
Some see it as an alterative as it helps move waste products out.
Hypotensive (goes w/ the antispasmodic activity)
Sedative (gentle effect) – similar to Baikal Skullcap in that way.
Good for “active, angry, anxious” folks
Hypocholesterolemic – excess cholesterol is created by the liver as a band aid for the lining of the epithelium, but the inflammation is the real culprit. Changing the cholesterol numbers is a bonus effect of reducing the inflammatory burden.
-It has been referred to as an adaptogen, but is not really connected to the HPA axis in the way that a classic adaptogen is…

– excess Heat, inflammation of the cardio system
– extreme manual labor, cigarette smoker, air pollution, pesticides, stress
– all the inflammatory byproducts of local inflammation goes to the Blood and Heart 🙁
– the endothelium is very fragile
– preventive use as a long term tonic
– high blood pressure, atherosclerotic, clottiness (a tendency to coagulate via inflammation)
– myocardial infarction, heart attack
– help people recover from heart attack, stroke
– repair the damage the results from hypoxia (no oxygen to the epithelium)
– TBI, neuroregenerative effect, transient ischemic attack (mini stroke)
– Cold hands & feet, Raynaud’s
– Palipitations (bitter, mint family, cold, blood mover) where there is anxiety, irritability
– Blue Vervain has a similar symptom picture
– Eye Health, Kidney, Nerves, peripheral, anywhere there are capillaries to be nourished
– In diabetes where the microcirculation is impaired due to inflammation
– Cardiometabolic – via diabetes or pre-diabetes
– Deficient Blood that results in Blood stagnation
– like w/ Motherwort or Blue Vervain, it can move too quickly and create a collapse
– important to also build if you are going to use for Blood deficiency
– Blood stagnation = Pain
– if you have pain, you want a Blood mover

-Any kind of brain inflammation, Stroke, TIA, post aneurysm
-protects nerve cells and promotes brain circulation (blood brain barrier)
-Prevention of Alzheimer’s
-Any kind of neurodegenerative inflammation, Parkinson’s, inflammation to nerve cells
-Mood – stuck, hot, depression, anxiety, panic (not the cold person), angry, irritable (Pitta), lethargic, people who are normally accomplishing
-Emotion can be stored in parts of the body, pelvis, heart, shoulders

-affinity for the Liver, where there is Liver inflammation
-any time there is inflammatory pain
-has some activity with Kappa Opioid receptor, related to addictive behavior (possible modulation?)
-many types of cancer, often unfolds from inflammatory processes, particularly breast cancer
-protect the Liver from chemical assaults
-Liver is the Mover of the Blood!
-Hot, Stuck person w/ Heart or Brain inflammation
-Reproductive stuff, reducing clottiness, pain, spasm, menstruation, energy stagnation in pelvis
-Delayed Menses



tanshinone IIA
salvinorin A

organic acids
rosmarinic acid
lithospermic acid (more common in boraginaceae family)


anthroquinones – may have some anthroquinones – not confirmed

Potential uses extrapolated:
Addiction – alcohol use – miltiorone has been studied as an inhibitor of excess alcohol consumption
helps to deal with toxic effect of alcohol on Liver and Brain

Clinical Research

Akaberi M1, Iranshahi M2, Mehri S3. Phytother Res. 2016 Jun;30(6):878-93. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5599. Epub 2016 Mar 14.
Molecular Signaling Pathways Behind the Biological Effects of Salvia Species Diterpenes in Neuropharmacology and Cardiology.
“effects on the benzodiazepine and kappa opioid receptors and neuroprotective effects”

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:4797102. Epub 2016 Oct 11.
Oxidative Stress and Salvia miltiorrhiza in Aging-Associated Cardiovascular Diseases.
“reduces the impact of ischemia/reperfusion injury, prevents cardiac fibrosis after myocardial infarction, preserves cardiac function in coronary disease, maintains the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, and promotes self-renewal and proliferation of neural stem/progenitor cells in stroke.”

Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2010 Apr;35(4):358-64. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1672-7347.2010.04.013.
[Therapeutic effect of the combination of traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine on patients with oral submucous fibrosis].


Safety: No contraindications in pregnancy in lactation but if the woman has risk of miscarriage then maybe consider something else.

Chinese do not consider it to be contraindicated in pregnancy, have used in high BP in pregnancy

Contraindicated w/ anti-coagulant drugs
seen in practice

Some people say that it might be thyroid suppressing. Lithospermic acid may decrease thyroid function (theoretical).

Dosage: If recovering from heart attack, TBI, etc. then use: 6 – 15 grams dried root decocted

3 – 5ml of tincture BID, TID @ 1:3 ratio 60 – 65% using dried herb

Don’t use immediately after TBI.

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.

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