Chuan Xiong in Chinese Medicine

Lenore Cangeloso

By Lenore Cangeloso


Chuan Xiong in Chinese Medicine

An active herb in our Bounce Back formula, Chuan Xiong can be an amazing herbal ally for a variety of issues from boosting immunity, to helping out headaches or even a variety of menstrual disorders. Read on to learn more about it properties, uses and common combinations. 

Herbal Highlight- Chuan Xiong

Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong), also known as Sichuan Lovage Rhizome, Ligusticum or Cnidium, is frequently used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for improving blood circulation, alleviating pain, and dispersing blood stasis. It also helps to promote the movement of Qi within the body and helps to expel wind. 

It is a plant within the apiacea family, also known as the carrot family. It is a beautiful flowering plant and the root and rhizomes are the parts used in medicinal preparations. 

In TCM, flavor and energetic nature of our food and herbs are very important characteristics that help to determine their specific mechanisms and impacts upon our physiology. This herb is pungent in flavor and warm in nature, making it a great helps to help assist in moving Qi and blood to alleviate pain. 

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Lovages' rhizome is known to support the Liver, Gall Bladder and Pericardium Organ Systems and to exert its effects in the upper region of the body, especially in the head and eyes, hence its usefulness for headaches. For example, a headache accompanied with fever, flushed face, red eyes and throat soreness—indicate a wind-heat syndrome— and will benefits from herbs such as lovage rhizome, gypsum and chrysanthemum; while headache accompanied with chills, binding sensation over the head, and are aggravated by cold wind—indicating a wind-cold syndrome—would be better treated with lovage rhizome, Dahurian angelica root and Manchurian wild ginger.

Many practitioners also often prescribe this herb to treat gynecological disorders such as irregular menstrual periods, dysmenorrhea, difficult postpartum, abdominal pain, due to its actions and indications associated with moving Qi and Blood. It is also given to patients with inflammation caused by injuries, headaches due to wind conditions or blood stagnation.

This powerful herb is also known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-spasmatic, and a mild sedative. 


  • Boost Qi and Blood circulation
  • Alleviating headaches
  • Assists gynecological conditions
  • Decreases pain patterns and blood stagnation. 

Cautions and Contraindications

The herb is contraindicated in certain patterns such as Yin Deficiency with Fire, Liver Yang Rising or Excess. It is used in caution with pregnancy and for patients taking anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs.

Common Combinations and Formulas

This herb is often used in combination with other powerful herbs to become more specific in how it interacts with the body and various healing mechanisms.  One combination used commonly is with Tao Ren (peach kernal), Hong Hua (safflower) and Dang Gui ( angelica root) in Tao Hong Si Wu Tang. It is also found combined with Wu Zhu Yu (evodia) , Gui Zhi (cinnamon twig), Dang Gui (angelica root), and more in Wen Jing Tang.

You can also find this herb in Bounce Back. Chuan Xiong is utilized for its activating properties and is combined with herbs to help expels wind and relieve headache symptoms. “Bounce Back herbal tablets are a proprietary blend that draws on centuries of Chinese herbal scholarship to provide a unique solution to the fever, chills, body aches, and nasal congestion associated with cold season.”

As always please check in with a well-versed healthcare practitioner before taking this herb or other herbal remedies named in this article.

Lenore Cangeloso is a state-licensed and board certified Acupuncturist and Herbal medicine practitioner. She is the owner of Wild Earth Acupuncture in Portland Oregon. Lenore has spent many months traveling to deepen her knowledge of the human body, and is a dedicated and skilled practitioner that strives to help you achieve optimal states of wellbeing. You can learn more about Lenore at

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