[Explore new clinical application of Huanglian and corresponding compound prescriptions from their traditional use]

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2008 May;33(10):1221-5.
[Article in Chinese]


Huanglian is a commonly used Chinese medicinal herb in the ancient and the present. It has a history of 2000 years in clinical application, having the efficacy of "Clear away heat and remove dampness, purge the sthenic fire and eliminate toxic materials", therefore can be used for various diseases or syndromes in types of dampness-heat and fire-toxin by internal or external use. Compound prescriptions mainly based on Huanglian or prescribed by Huanglian, such as Puji Xiaodu Yin, Huanglian Jiedu Tang, Zhusha Anshen Wan, Qingying Tang, Angong Niuhuang Wan, Niuhuang Qingxin Wan, Jiaotai Wan, Huanglian Ejiao Tang, Zuojin Wan, Danggui Longhui Wan, Huanglian Yanggan Wan, Wu Xiexin Tang, Lianpu Yin, Gegen Huangqin Huanglian Tang, Baitouweng Tang, Xianglian Wan etc. All of these are well-known formulas for clearing away toxin of heat-fire of heart and liver, as well as dampness-heat of stomach and intestines. Nowadays, Huanglian is generally considered as a kind of antibiotic and antivirus herb and is widely used for many infective diseases. In fact, it is also used to cure cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer based on pharmacological studies. Having been using Huanglian in treating the above diseases and having conducted clinical and experimental research on cancer and liver diseases, the author observed that Huanglian and its compound prescriptions have obvious effects on liver diseases such as acute or chronic hepatitis, liver fibrosis, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer due to types of dampness-heat and fire-toxin. Part of the effects has been proved by experimental research and it is worth carrying out more research in this area for development and clinical application.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract
  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • China
  • Digestive System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Drug Prescriptions / history*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • History, Ancient
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / history*
  • Middle Aged


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • huanglian