Medicinal Uses of Red Root Sage

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Herbal remedies for easing the heart pain of angina pectoris

Medicinal Uses of Red Root Sage

The Red Root Sage is a traditional Chinese herb that has become important in the West for supporting cardiovascular health and improving liver function. It helps to vitalize and detoxify the blood and is one of the most highly regarded circulatory tonics. Red Root Sage has been shown to inhibit bacterial growth, reduce Fever, diminish inflammation, and ease skin problems and aid urinary excretion of toxins.

Medical Uses

Red Root Sage is widely used in the Orient for supporting cardiovascular health and is now gaining popularity in the West for its heart-healthy properties.

The isolated chemical, tanshinone, is said to increase the force of heartbeats while slowing the heart rate and it works as a vasodilator, causing blood vessels to relax and increasing blood circulation.

This action inhibits platelet aggregation (clotting), thereby reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack. The tanshinones reduce stasis of the blood (stagnation) and help to ease the heart pain of angina pectoris.

Red Root Sage is said to promote healthy liver function and may help to prevent liver damage caused by alcohol, drugs, or diseases. Some studies suggest that Red-Root Sage may provide benefits for treating liver diseases such as cirrhosis, fibrosis, and chronic hepatitis.

By reducing stasis (stagnation in the blood), Red-Root Sage helps to purify the blood; and detoxified blood is thought to be very beneficial for treating many ailments, including skin problems, such as acne, abscesses, and boils. The concept of eliminating stasis to generate new blood simply means that in order for new blood to be generated, old, stagnant, and impure blood that is not vital must be removed.

This theory of vitalizing blood has been applied to the treatment for bone marrow deficiencies.

The isolated tanshinones are unique to Red-Root Sage and have been shown to inhibit bacterial growth, reduce Fever, diminish inflammation, and aid urinary excretion of toxins.

A relatively new area of study for blood stasis concerns the process of aging: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is thought that detoxified blood will help nourish the kidneys, liver, and spleen; and conversely, stagnant blood results in contraction of ligaments, withering of the flesh and overall reduction in vitality, mental function, and health.

During the twentieth century, possibly due to changes in the environment, diet, and lifestyle (as well as progress in medical research into aging), it is generally agreed that disorders associated with aging additionally involve blood stasis.

It is interesting to note that this was an idea first presented by Xu Lingtai, a famous physician of the Qing Dynasty who wrote during the mid-eighteenth century that the blood of the elderly did not flow very well, thus creating other health difficulties; however, Xu’s concept did not get much attention for another two hundred years.

Red-Root Sage has shown some antiviral and antioxidant activity in several laboratory studies.

Salvianolate-B, recently isolated from Red-Root Sage by medical researchers at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, was determined to have powerful antioxidant actions in vitro, and the salvianolic acid was shown to be the strongest of Red-Root Sage’s constituents in protecting heart mitochondria from free radical damage.  Because these are ongoing studies, no conclusions have yet been established.


Pregnant and nursing women should not use Red Root Sage, nor should those who take prescription blood-thinning medications (Coumadin, Plavix, aspirin, etc.).

Those who are allergic to members of the mint family (thyme, basil, sage, marjoram, etc.) should avoid this herb.

You should not use Red Root Sage if you take prescription medications or have high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease, nor should it be used for prolonged periods (preferably one month on and one month off), and it is advisable to use this herb only under the care of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Inform your physician or dentist prior to any surgical or dental procedure if you are taking this herb.

Herbal Guide Staff

The Complete Guide to Natural Healing believes that food, vitamins, supplements, and alternative medicine can be your best medicine. Our staff will show you the truth about health and wellness, so you can help your family and closest friends get even healthier. You’ll learn exactly what you should do and how to eat to get healthy, exercise to get your leanest, healthiest body and how to take control of your family’s health, using natural remedies as medicine.



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