Your Total Guide To Adaptogens | Part 4 | Salvia multiorrhiza
Salvia multiorrhiza, or Dan Shen, as it is known in Chinese medicine, is now considered and adaptogen herb. In Chinese medicine it is categorized under “Herbs That Invigorate the Blood” and in the west research has confirmed the effectiveness of Dan Shen of its in the treatment of heart and circulatory problems.
Since it is an adaptogen we know that Salvia root must have many more uses than circulatory disorders, and it does, some of the other areas where you might consider Salvia Root, is as to prevent built up of cholesterol, as an antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, emmenagogue, hepatic, sedative, tonic and in the healing of wounds. It is antimicrobial and most impressively, it improves the micro-circulation, increases blood flow to the coronary artery, improves myocardial contraction and adjusts the heart rate.
Salvia Root, is an herb to keep in mind anytime that blood, blood circulation, blood vessels, and the heart is involved.
There is a caution due to anticoagulant and antiplatelet effects to not use it with heparin, warfarin (Coumadin) and enoxaparin or antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin, dipyridamole (Persantine) and clopidogrel (Plavix) since it might have an additive or synergistic effect.
The use of Dan Shen in China has a much longer documented history, and traditional uses have been for anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, anti-tumor, anti-atherogenesis, and anti-diabetes as well as gynecological uses including mastitis. The use of Dan Shen is indicated if there is for example “Blood Stasis” present, which is a diagnostic pattern in Chinese medicine. In order to avoid unwanted side effects of herbal medicine it is important to understand pattern diagnosis, so according to Chinese medicine some contraindications are cases of “Blood Deficiency, or Yin Deficiency” and typically, if this herbs is needed, other herbs are added to prevent unwanted side effects. Dan Shen should be used with caution in cases where there is no Blood Stasis. Dan Shen is not a “one size fits all” adaptogen, but nonetheless, it has powerful effects on the cardiovascular system.
Now that you know that there are some precautions to keep in mind, you should also know that Salvia miltiorrhiza is an impressive medicinal herb that possesses broad cardiovascular and cerebrovascular protective actions. I hope to see a lot more research and use of this herb in the west.
Anna Bäck L.Ac. Dipl.O.M