Characteristics of the traditional Liu-Wei-Di-Huang prescription reassessed in modern pharmacology

Chin J Nat Med. 2019 Feb;17(2):103-121. doi: 10.1016/S1875-5364(19)30013-5.


Liu-Wei-Di-Huang (LW) is a Yin nourishing and kidney tonifying prescription in traditional Chinese medicine with promising pharmacological characteristics that can be further exploited and developed in modern medicine. We provide a comprehensive and detailed literature report on the clinical and experimental pharmacology of LW, including its quality control parameters, phytochemistry, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology. Our literature review indicates that the LW prescription possesses a unique combination of pharmacological characteristics that can be safely used for treating very different diseases. Quality control and pharmacokinetic parameters of LW are mostly based on its major bioactive phytochemical constituents. We postulate that modulating or rebalancing the neuroendocrine immunomodulation network in the body is the underlying mechanism of the multiple pharmacological activities displayed by LW.

Keywords: Liu-Wei-Di-Huang; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacology; Phytochemistry; Toxicology; Traditional Chinese medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / drug effects*
  • Phytochemicals / chemistry
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology
  • Phytochemicals / therapeutic use
  • Quality Control
  • Yin Deficiency / drug therapy*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Liuwei Dihuang Decoction
  • Phytochemicals